Great Outdoor Provision Co. Weekend 11 Preview

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A battle of two youngsters in the NCISAA 2A state meet is just one of the highlights in a huge weekend of cross country action.


Featured Meet: NCISAA State Championship (Hagan Stone Park, Pleasant Garden)

Private and independent schools from around the state (and even two from out of state) gather in Greensboro tomorrow to compete for state titles in 3 different classifications.  The largest of these schools has less than 600 students in high school, roughly equivalent to a smaller 2A public school, and some of the smallest schools in the NCISAA have less than 100 students.  Nonetheless, this meet has a proud tradition of producing and showcasing some of the best individual talent in the state, and in recent years has also hosted a handful of the top teams.

  • 3A Boys: Ben Huffman (Providence Day) is one of two guys that can legitimately claim to be the best runner in the state, and the other one is at an NCHSAA 4A school, so this is his race to lose.  Ryan Speer (North Raleigh Christian) had a strong race at WakeMed earlier this season, and the only pressure he will feel will come from Nick Linder and Jack Paddison (both of Providence Day).  Jack Ratterree (Charlotte Latin) had a breakthrough race at McAlpine last week, while Josh Mitchell (Cary Academy) hasn't reached his full potential yet, despite being under 16 minutes.  In the team scores, Providence Day looks all but unbeatable, which displaces the drama to the battle for second place.  That looks quite interesting, with Cary Academy, Charlotte Latin, and Forsyth Country Day all in contention.

  • 3A Girls: While the individual title race might be a bit anticlimactic, with Eliza Dekker (Durham Academy) the heavy favorite to win her third straight championship, the team competition could be the most intense of the day.  Providence Day has a legitimate chance to sweep both team trophies, as they ride the momentum from a narrow victory in their conference meet over Charlotte Latin.  Ravenscroft ran on a more challenging WakeMed course last week, but solidly defeated Cary Academy in that race; the Ravens absolutely cannot be overlooked here.  Emma Brown gives PD a slight advantage if she holds true to her 2nd-place ranking, although Maddie Ringenbach (Ravenscroft) has the ability to minimize that damage if she moves up from her pre-race #5 seed.  Emma Astrike-Davis (Cary Academy) and Jena Metwalli (Cannon School) have both run under 19 minutes this season.

  • 2A Boys: Alex Dolwick (Grace Christian) had a great race last year to carry his team to the title; this time around, he enters as the #1 seed on a team that has the opportunity to repeat.  Watch out for McKinley Gray (The Epiphany School), who has posted five times within a 9-second range over the last 6 weeks (a classic plateau if ever I've seen one) and could be poised for a breakthrough.  If that happens, it could be Epiphany claiming the team title, as they enter on nearly equal ground with the defending champions.  Brian Whyms (Northside Christian) and Abraham Hernandez (Westchester Country Day) are also in contention for the individual title, in what could be the most interesting race of the day up front.

  • 2A Girls: This should also be a good battle for the top of the podium, as Marissa Bishop (Cary Christian) will have to fight off Ralene Kwiatkowski (Carolina Day), in a battle of 8th grade vs. 9th grade.  Kayla Holder (Kerr-Vance Academy) could also get right in the middle of things individually; this race might come down to which runner has had the most experience on more challenging courses, due to the difficult uphill finish at Hagan Stone.  Despite the lack of a top 3 runner, Asheville Christian's depth puts them in the driver's seat for a team championship.  Fayetteville Academy is the chief competitor, while several teams appear poised to battle for 3rd.

  • 1A Boys: This classification is always hard to predict, as we get very few results during the season.  Connor Jones (Wayne Christian) is good enough to contend for the 2A title, and that makes him dominant in the smallest classification.  This would be tje third straight win for the senior if he pulls it off, and he finished 2nd as a 9th-grader, too.  Interestingly, that was the year that his team won the championship, as well; since then, Hickory Christian has won two titles, and they enter as the favorite for a third.  Jones gives Wayne Christian 1 point, but it is his supporting cast that will have to overcome a strong and experienced opponent - and also hold off a cross-county rival in Wayne Country Day.  This division only scores 3 runners, due to the very small size of the schools, and therefore there is little room for error.

  • 1A Girls: We get even fewer results in this group than in the 1A boys, but what we have strongly suggests that Hickory Christian is poised to sweep both titles.  Their chief competitor from 2012, Epiphany School, has moved up to 2A, clearing the way for what could be a dominant win.  Morgan Lane (Community Christian) comes in with the best time, according to the results we have, although she will certainly be pressured by the Hickory Christian trio of Amber Meadows and Alyssa and Kirsten Burton.

Virtual Meets

Meet Records: Boys  |  Girls

Video Course Walk: Hagan Stone Park



WakeMed Regionals: 4A Mideast, 2A Mideast, 1A Mideast


  • 9:00 - 2A Boys

  • 9:45 - 2A Girls

  • 10:00 - 4A Boys

  • 10:30 - 1A Boys

  • 11:00 - 4A Girls

  • 11:30 - 1A Girls


  • 4A Boys (Team Rankings | Individual Rankings): If not for Mihret Coulter (Apex), who enters the meet ranked 2nd, the Broughton boys would be predicted for a clean sweep of the top 5 and a perfect 15 score, which would be insane given the annual strength of this region.  That won't happen, but Broughton will dominate the team scores, with Apex most likely in second place.  Cary showed big improvement at their conference meet, but it might not be enough to get past Millbrook and Green Hope for the last two spots in the state meet.  Individually, Grant Rodgers (Heritage) is the other guy (alongside Coulter) who has a chance to break up the Caps, whose #1 man (William Roberson) is also the top seed in the race.  He is backed by Asher Smith-Rose, John Dalton Rohr, Peter Millsaps, Jeremy Brown...all of them are capable of getting into the top 5 here.  

  • 4A Girls (Team Rankings | Individual Rankings): Rebekah Greengrass (Panther Creek) enters as the top seed, but she will have her hands full with defending state champion Megan Sullivan (Broughton), who is just now hitting her stride.  Elly Henes (Green Hope) is starting to realize her full potential, and should be able to stay in range of the front two.  Speaking of Green Hope...they put 6 girls under 19:02 at their conference meet on this very course, and the only other runner in the region who can really break up their pack is Emily Pettis (Millbrook).  The Falcons should win big, with Broughton and Millbrook battling for the second-place trophy (no bronze plaques at NCHSAA postseason meets).  Leesville Road, Cary, Sanderson, and Panther Creek are all capable of taking the 4th and final berth in the state meet, which should make for an intense race in the middle of the field.

  • 2A Boys (Team Rankings | Individual Rankings): Science & Math, new to the 2A classification, hasn't exactly laid down and given up against the larger schools.  In fact, the Unicorns are favored to win this regional handily, with Nicholas Walker and Chatham Ellwanger leading the way.  Keeping things in the loose family of "Durham Specialty Schools," it appears that Durham School of the Arts will have a chance to finish 2nd, although Carrboro's boys will have something to say about that before all is said and done (and James Jushchuk will definitely be right in the middle of that Science & Math lead group).  Midway looks like the best bet to take the final state qualifying slot

  • 2A Girls (Team Rankings | Individual Rankings): Despite the loss of three of their top 5 runner from last season, Carrboro is back atop the regional listing, with Maysa Araba more than making up for Grace Morken's lost front-running ability.  Hana Ratcliffe (Durham School of the Arts) should be able to push Araba, and in turn she will have to fend off Helen Morken (Carrboro).  Durham School of the Arts may wind up battling Science & Math in this race, too, but this time it's for second place in the team scores.  It will be a pretty strong upset if anyone gets past Bunn for 4th place and a ticket to Beeson Park next week.

  • 1A Boys (Team Rankings | Individual Rankings): Research Triangle High School has made quite a splash this year, rising all the way to the top seed in this race.  Raleigh Charter has firepower up front in Chris O'Brien, but as a team the Phoenix will have its hands (wings?) full with Voyager Academy in the battle for second place.  Franklin Academy has the inside track on the last advancing position, though Trask is close enough to threaten for a spot in the state meet.  Madison Daniel (Research Triangle) may not be able to stay with O'Brien (there are few anywhere in the state that can), but he should be able to hold off the challengers for second place, which include Joey DiSerafino (Raleigh Charter) and Patrick Lester (Voyager Academy),

  • 1A Girls (Team Rankings | Individual Rankings): Hannah Zenker (Franklin Academy) should be a runaway winner in this race, and might win by 2 minutes if she pushes herself hard.  Her team, however, won't have it so easy from top to bottom, as they face a tough opponent in Raleigh Charter.  Behind those two schools, Princeton and Voyager Academy appear to have strangleholds on the third and fourth spots, respectively, although much can change in the postseason.  Aly Chura (Franklin Academy) should join her teammate on the podium at the end of the day, as should Jenna Jankicki (River Mill Academy).

Video Course Walk: WakeMed Soccer Park



Beeson Park Regionals: 4A Midwest, 2A Midwest, 1A Midwest


  • 9:00 - 4A Boys

  • 9:30 - 4A Girls

  • 10:00 - 2A Boys

  • 10:30 - 1A Boys

  • 11:00 - 2A Girls

  • 11:30 - 1A Girls


  • 4A Boys (Team Rankings | Individual Rankings): Based on best times, Mount Tabor is the team to beat in this regional; however, based on head-to-head competition, it isn't so easy to predict the outcome.  Will the Spartans be motivated by their narrow defeat by RJ Reynolds at the CPC Championship?  Certainly.  Will RJR have added confidence as a result of that same race?  Definitely.  Which effect will win out this time?  One thing is for certain: Ian Milder's low score (almost certainly 1 point in this race) gets more powerful as the field gets larger and the competition deeper.  Ryan Brady (East Chapel Hill), Collin Loy (Southern Alamance), and Jordan teammates Nik Kreiling and Daniel Beamer could all pile between Milder and Reynolds' #1 man, Dustin Sneed, making it harder for the Demons' depth runners to maintain the team lead.  Speaking of Brady, Kreiling, and Beamer, their teams are likely to battle for third place, while Reagan's boys have a large hill to climb to get past one of them and advance to the state meet.

  • 4A Girls (Team Rankings | Individual Rankings): Tabor's girls also grade out tops in the database ranking, although like their male counterparts they have the slight advantage of having a complete set of times from Wendy's on their record.  It was Reagan that won the CPC convincingly, though, and having stayed away from competition for two weeks prior to that meet, the Raiders are definitely underrated by the database.  Grimsley ranks third coming into the meet, with East Chapel Hill and West Forsyth showing as virtually tied - that makes this one of the most interesting regional races in the state, with 5 teams vying for 4 team boxes on the starting line at the state meet.  Kayla Montgomery (Mount Tabor) has not raced Sara Platek (Ragsdale) head-to-head this season, and so this will be quite a test for the ambitious youngster against the veteran, who can legitimately claim to be the best runner in the NCHSAA this season.  Vanessa Bateson (Mount Tabor) will have to battle for 3rd place with Grimsley teammates Tori Churchill and Blair Ramsey.

  • 2A Boys (Team Rankings | Individual Rankings): This might be the most hotly-contested regional race in the state, with no team projected to score under 100 points.  Central Academy of Technology, led by individual top seed Elijah Inuwah, is a very slight favorite coming into the meet, but Randleman and Surry Central are right on their heels.  Even 4th-seeded West Stokes is not so far behind that they can be ignored for the team title!  It does appear that those four teams will advance to the state meet, although their order is far from certain.  Aside from Inuwa, Frisco Poole (Forest Hills) is the only other runner in this race to have broken 17 this season.

  • 2A Girls (Team Rankings | Individual Rankings): West Davidson's Callie Wynn has been among the state's best for a while, but now she has a team behind her that can do some damage.  Behind the Dragons (love that mascot!), there is an incredibly tight knot of teams that are all legitimate candidates to go to states: Randleman, West Stokes, West Stanly, and Ashe County all grade out within 16 points of each other in team rankings for this regional.  Brittany Stanley (Mount Pleasant) should provide some good competition for Wynn up front, while Kaitlyn Stone (West Stokes) is the only other runner under 20 in the race.

  • 1A Boys (Team Rankings | Individual Rankings): The Villains of Bishop McGuinness have the top individual in the race, although it's not the same guy that we thought it would be at this point last year: Sam Williams moved out of state, and Jack Brannan has stepped up in his absence.  This region does not have a single boy who has run under 17 minutes so far this season, and that means runners like Will Jolly (East Wilkes) and Matthew Rogers (Walkertown) have a shot at the individual title.  McGuinness is the best team in the race, though, with Gray Stone Day left to fight off Walkertown, Elkin, North Stokes, and Chatham Central for second place (and yes, that's 6 teams fighting for 4 spots in the state meet).

  • 1A Girls (Team Rankings | Individual Rankings): Kirsten Parries (Mount Airy), quiet for most of the season, emerged just in time for the postseason with a strong race at her conference meet.  It should be a 2-girl race up front between Parries and Carly Kreber (Bishop McGuinness), with Bailey Seach (Bishop McGuinness) entering the meet 40 seconds behind in terms of season bests (though still under 20 minutes).  McGuinness is again seeded #1 in team scoring, and Gray Stone Day is again second, although the scores are much closer for girls that they were for boys.  Union Academy, Elkin, North Stokes, Mount Airy, and North Moore all ahve a chance to claim one of the last two qualifying spots, making this the deepest race in the 1A ranks.

Video Course Walk: Beeson Park



McAlpine Regionals: 4A West, 3A Midwest


  • 10:00 - 3A Boys

  • 10:30 - 4A Boys

  • 11:00 - 3A Girls

  • 11:30 - 4A Girls


  • 4A Boys (Team Rankings | Individual Rankings): This race is a study in contrasts: this is the only regional without a pair of top-6 teams, but it has tremendous individual talent in state leader Patrick Sheehan (Lake Norman) and Wyatt Maxey (Providence).  The chase pack should be composed of sub-16 runners McCann Sheridan (Robinson), Tim Coffey (Mooresville), and Evan Georges (Charlotte Catholic).  Providence has the best team, and Lake Norman appears pretty secure in second, but Myers Park will have to hold off Ardrey Kell and TC Roberson to finish third.

  • 4A Girls (Team Rankings | Individual Rankings): Providence and Myers Park are no longer in the same conference, and although they certainly have seen each other a few times during the season this is by far the highest stakes of any meeting between them.  Providence has the advantage up front, with sub-18 duo Bianca Bishop and Grace Sullivan; Myers Park, led by Mary Prouty, has superior depth.  This race could go either way for the first two teams, while TC Roberson enters as the #3 seed with thoughts of moving up.  The final state meet position should come down to Ardrey Kell (with veteran Sydney Foreman at the helm) against a very young Lake Norman squad.

  • 3A Boys (Team Rankings | Individual Rankings): Weddington enters as the favorite, although 2-time 2A state champ North Lincoln wants to start the 3A stage of their postseason history with a win.  Ryan Shannon and Andrew Fea lead the Knights, with three sub-16 guys behind them: Alex Cornwell (Hickory Ridge), Gil Gilreath (Northwest Cabarrus), and Ryan Hobbs (Weddington).  Marvin Ridge should advance to the state meet (unless something goes badly wrong), as should East Rowan.

  • 3A Girls (Team Rankings | Individual Rankings): Youth is served, at least as far as the Marvin Ridge Mavericks are concerned.  This girls' team is composed entirely of 9th- and 10th-graders, giving them an enormously bright future while holding the top seed in this race in the present.  North Lincoln's girls might not have had quite the success of their boys' teams of late, but they are still very good, and should have no trouble getting to the state meet.  The top 2 teams also have the top 2 individuals, in Alexa King (Marvin Ridge) and Allie Castro (North Lincoln), who have already been acquainted in a few races this season.  Emma Hand (Northwest Cabarrus) has come on strong recently, and if her teammate Maddie Lowe is healthy they have an excellent chance to bring their team to the state meet.  Weddington's girls should also make it through to Beeson Park next weekend.

Video Course Walk: McAlpine Park



Freedom Regionals: 3A West, 2A West


  • 10:00 - 3A Boys

  • 10:45 - 3A Girls

  • 1:00 - 2A Boys

  • 1:45 - 2A Girls


  • 3A Boys (Team Rankings | Individual Rankings): Asheville has been very strong all season, and should be able to cruise through this regional before meeting their biggest test of the year at the state meet.  Fred T. Foard and West Henderson appear to be near-locks to advance to the state meet, and North Bumcombe also has a very good chance to move on.  The only other contender in the team scores appears to be East Henderson, which happens to be powered by top-ranked defending state champion Tanis Baldwin.  Travis Leppi (North Buncombe) will have to pull away from the lead pack to claim second place.

  • 3A Girls (Team Rankings | Individual Rankings): A.C. Reynolds is the top team in this race, and should have a relatively easy time of it (though the state meet will be different), especially given that the Rockets have the top 3 individuals coming into the race: Anna Vess, Kenzie Himelein-Wachowiak, and Larissa Wood.  Fred T. Foard, Asheville, East Henderson, and Pisgah are all pretty evenly-matched, and the order of their finish (as well as which three move on) will depend on how the runners navigate the twisting course at Freedom.

  • 2A Boys (Team Rankings | Individual Rankings): This is the only one of the four Freedom regionals where the team title appears to be contested; Lake Norman Charter is the favorite, but Franklin is certainly close enough to threaten.  Bandys looks to be pretty safely tucked into third place in the team scores, and therefore likely to earn a spot at Beeson Park next week, but Shelby and East Lincoln will have to battle it out to become the final advancer.  Corbin Boyles (Maiden) enters as the top runner in the region, and he may not have shown his full strength yet.  Matthew Panza (Lake Norman Charter) is the runner with the best chance to upset Boyles.

  • 2A Girls (Team Rankings | Individual Rankings): Ninth-grader Frances Massey (East Lincoln) has been a revelation this season, and she comes into the meet in possession of the top ranking as well as at the front of the best team.  Teammates Eliza Witherspoon and Aly Pagano (Brevard) will try to give chase individually, while Lake Norman Charter and Smoky Mountain may be stuck racing for the second-place team trophy.  This regional has one of the most intense competitions for the final berth at the state meet, with Draughn, Shelby, and Brevard all scoring within 10 points of each other in the rankings coming into the meet; early position on the technically-challenging Freedom course might be the key for one of these teams hopes of racing one more weekend.


Video Course Walk: Freedom


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