Great Outdoor Provision Co. Weekend 8 Recap

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Ben Huffman (Providence Day) made a final surge up the hill at WakeMed that will change national rankings and postseason predictions.


The nation turned to North Carolina this weekend, watching for the results as top teams and athletes converged on our state's two big postseason courses.  And the Old North State did not disappoint in any way!  Our athletes and teams performed well, our meet directors and staff pulled off huge events smoothly, and the NCRunners staff generated the largest amount of quality coverage we've ever put together on one weekend.  The results from these invitationals will shake up the state and national rankings, and will shape countless athlete's plans for the championship season and the postseason.  Check out all the results. photos, race videos, and interviews below!


Featured Meet: Wendy's Invitational


Highlights (Coming soon)

  • The day started off with a bang in the cooler morning temperatures, as Emma Mashburn (Hardin Valley TN) and Bianca Bishop (Providence) dueled across McAlpine Park in the Girls Open race.  Mashburn held on for the win in 17:47, but fter some time lost to injury this summer, Bishop got the breakthrough she has been waiting for, posting a 17:50.  Her Panther teammates, Grace Sullivan and Kayla Glova, finished 3rd and 4th, keying Providence to the team title in this race and the second-best girls' team performance of the overall meet.

  • The Boys Open race featured returning winner Aaron Templeton (Hardin Valley TN), who ran 14:54 here in a solo effort last year.  Perhaps inspired by the two-girl race that ran just before him, Patrick Sheehan (Lake Norman) went toe-to-toe with Templeton, who was ranked 7th in the Saucony Elite 50.  Templeton made it two for Hardin Valley, duplicating last year's time, with Sheehan only 1 second behind in a monster PR and a new NC #1 time this season.

  • Almost lost in all the individual fireworks was a very strong team effort by the Pinecrest boys.  Chris Kelly and Robert Anderson continue to interchange as the team's top runner, and if they ever BOTH have big races on the same day, this is a potent squad.

  • There was some worry that the Invitational races would be a let-down after the titanic Open race performances, but those worries were quickly squashed by the two girls at the front.  Allie Klimkiewicz (Oakton VA) and Kayla Montgomery (Mount Tabor) pulled away from the rest of the field by their first time around the lake, and they would go on to run 17:34 and 17:42, respectively.  Montgomery's time is also NC #1, and is particularly impressive given the heat (which affects her more than some others due to her MS).

  • Behind the front-running duel in the Girls Invitational, there was a breakout team performance going on: Mary Prouty led her Myers Park squad to the team title and the best team performance of the meet overall, defeating some very strong out-of-state schools in the process.  Prouty's 18:07 for 4th place keyed an 18:55 average for the Mustangs, who put three girls under 19 minutes and all 5 under 19:31.  The NC team rankings are changing this week!

  • The Boys Invitational race did not produce monster individual times, mostly due to the rising temperature, but it did give us some interesting team results.  4A rivals Apex, South View, Mount Tabor, and RJ Reynolds were all in the race, but the last two were both short-handed because of the SAT.  Apex emerged with an impressive, confidence-building team win, with Mount Tabor second; the Spartans continue to race well as a team despite missing a few athletes (different ones each time) from each of their last few competitions.

  • Ian Milder led the way for Mount Tabor, winning with a 15:23 in his return to racing after some minor injury troubles.  Tanis Baldwin (East Henderson) finished second, with Ryan Brady (East Chapel HIll) third, all three under 15:30.

  • Weddington's boys won the 3A race, continuing to assert themselves as 3A title contenders by defeating the newcomer to the classification, North Lincon.  The Knights did take away some hardware, though, finishing second as a team and taking the top 2 individual spots (Ryan Shannon and Andrew Fea).

  • Marvin Ridge won the Girls 3A race handily, even without Melanie Hussey.  By the time this race happened, the course was positively hot, especially for October, and you can see that reflected in the times.  Nonetheless, Lexi King continued to assert her individual talent, as she can clearly push herself when she leads a race (which she did from the very start on Saturday).  Will she be able to run from behind at the 3A state meet?  If so, she might be a dark horse for the title.

Boys MileSplit Elite Gold or Silver Performances

Girls MileSplit Elite Gold or Silver Performances



Great American Cross Country Festival



  • Ben Huffman (Providence Day) had arguably the best performance of the weekend, defeating a strong field of individuals in the Boys Race of Champions.  Huffman was in 5th place at the bottom of the final hill, when he powered past US #17 Louis Colson (Edison VA) and the three guys from Brentwood TN - brothers Aaron and Alec Thomas, plus Taylor Caldwell.  The victory, along with the 14:59.4 time, will surely catapult Huffman into the conversation for Foot Locker South, where he plans to head for the postseason.

  • Brentwood still put 3 guys in the top 5, and they also got a very strong 15:31.3 out of #4 runner Coleman Churitch.  That was enough to bring home the team title over St. Xavier KY, with both squads expressing the desire to come back to WakeMed for NXN Southeast Regionals.

  • Hannah Long (Eureka MO) took the lead early in the Girls Race of Champions, and she was never really threatened over the final 3000 meters, pushing herself to an excellent time of 17:38.0 considering the heat.  Madisyn Peeples (Bowling Green KY) was the only other girl to break 18 on the day, clocking 17:57.6.

  • Blacksburg VA took the early team lead in that race, and still had the lead when their third runner finished.  However, Assumption KY was able to get past on the 4th and 5th runners, eeking out a 1-point win.  Green Hope represented North Carolina well, taking third place ahead of perennial national power Saratoga Springs NY.

  • Nik Kreiling (Jordan NC) pulled away from the lead pack over the last mile of the Seeded Boys race, winning by 20 seconds in 15:38.  It was Parkview GA that brought home the team plaque, though, winning by 33 over Veritas School VA, who in turn edged Brentsville VA by one point.

  • Emma Brown (Providence Day) used the same tactics as her teammate, Ben Huffman, as she surged past the competition on the final hill to win the Seeded Girls race in 18:50.  Emma then apparently ducked out on her interview, but she can only avoid me for so long.  Syosset NY defeated Mill Creek GA for the team title.

  • Parker Lee (Fuquay-Varina) won the Boys Invitational Blue race, running 16:17.3.

  • Green Hope won the Girls Invitational Red race with their second seven, putting 3 under 20 minutes and 5 under 20:10.

Boys MileSplit Elite Gold or Silver Performances

Girls MileSplit Elite Gold or Silver Performances



Hagan Stone XC Classic


Highlights (coming soon)


Girls MileSplit Elite Gold or Silver Performances

Boys MileSplit Elite Gold or Silver Performances

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