Will Taylor of Sun Valley and Kimberly Spano are used to winning. Spano has not only won the Freedom Invitational, the Providence Invitational, and now the Charlotte Invitational, but she is last year's 4A defending state champion. Taylor recently won the Union County Champioships, the Varsity Race at the Seahawk Invitational, and like Spano won the Providence Invitational.
Both athletes are running extremely well at this point in the season and should be among the favorites in their classifications, Spano in 4A and Taylor in 3A.
Taylor ran 16:16 at the Charlotte Invitational which was run on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Coach Herbster of Charlotte designed a tough course that covered the fields around the track. Being an alum of Charlotte, I can tell you that the area it covered was no walk in the park. Taylor's 16:16 is impressive and he looks ready to run under 16:00 at McAlpine. Taylor defeated a solid field of individuals: Colin Conroy of Mill Creek(GA), Alex Wiggans of Vance, Alex Taylor of Providence, and Sean Soderman of North Meck. 2nd place, Conroy, ran 16:35 to Taylor's 16:16.
Spano ran 19:24 on the course and won by 25 seconds over Danielle Hobbs of Sun Valley. The course is obviously tougher than most, as Spano has already run 18:47 at Freedom and 19:14, way back at the Providence Invitational at the beginning of the season. Spano was among the top runners all last year until at the state meet she popped a huge race for a huge win. Like last year she may be working on different pieces of her races and training right through each race she runs until it counts in November.
Providence's girls, who recently received an honorable mention in the NTN SE regional rankings, won the event with a score of 45 points. 2nd place was Mill Creek out of Georgia with 64.
Mill Creek's boys won the guys race with a socore of 48 points. Providence was 2nd with 86. Mill Creek traveled all the way from just outside of Atlanta because their coach, Dan Monroe, is a former Charlotte athlete. Dan placed 2nd in the college race with a time of 26:29, so it was a solid showing for the coach back on his old stomping grounds.
Chase Eckard, formerly of South Caldwell, won the college race in 26:20 with Dakota Lowery of West Johnston 3rd in 26:39.
Aja Jackson, formerly of Waddell, won the college women's race in 18:33. Charlotte dominated both college races.