As the gun went off the boys headed down the big hill and run a fast first mile. As they made it into the woods all of the favorites emerged to the front, lead by Connor Lane (Cardinal Gibbons). Keying off Lane's fast early pace was Coleman Mitchell (Cary Academy), David Melville (Northern Guilford), John Tatter (RJ Reynolds), Nathan Gamble (Leesville Road) and Tucker Cera (Millbrook) with a large group close behind. They went out hard for the first mile, running 4:40 as Lane continued to lead as they emerged back up the hill for the first time.
Lane hit the top of the hill and knew it was time he would have to begin to pull away and pick of the pace if he wanted to break his 14:59 PR and Meet Record from last season. He went through the 2 Mile in 3200 in 9:42 and we knew it was going to be close. Melville and Mitchell were in chase, but as they reached the bottom of the hill it was a race for 2nd with Tatter and Cera in striking distance. Lane reached the finishing stretch and saw the clock in high 14:50s, realizing he was going to fall short of his time goal, but earn his second big win of the season running 15:03.
Mitchell, despite having a cold, was able to outlast Melville as they both ran new PRs of 15:21 and 15:22 respectively. Cera and Tatter hit the top of the hill side by side, but it was Tatter with a hard finish to take 4th in 15:24, improving on his seasons best. Cera came in a 15:27, improving on his PR from his sophomore year of 15:57. Cera is having a huge bounce back year after not having the season he would have liked in 2015. Todd Holbrook (RJ Reynolds) came in just behind Cera having a big second half of the race running 15:29 for 6th.
The team race was dominated by Broughton, placing their entire top 5 in the top 25 of this race. They entered the season with a strong top 4 with some questions to who their 5th man would be. But Jacob Wells has stepped up in a large fashion and ran 16:01 and was their 4th man yesterday. Their 1-5 gap was also an incredible 16 seconds!
The team battle for 2nd place was extremely tight, with the 2nd through 5th team were just separated by 24 points. Cary Academy took 2nd scoring 221 lead by a strong top 3 of Mitchell, Chase Coley, and Tommy Bright. Blacksburg was just 4 points off of Cary Academy with 225 points to take 3rd place. Cardinal Gibbons were slightly shorthanded running without Devin Adas and Connor Stephens and too 4th with 232 points.
This was a really strong boys field, and the top 9 NC boys were also the 9 fastest times in NC so far this season.
The girls field was stacked with out of state talent, and Team VA did not disappoint up front. Rachel McArthur (Patriot HS) assumed the early pace followed by Casey Kendall (Oakton) and Rachel Northcutt (Cosby, VA). From NC Sarah Bodmer (Cary Academy) and Isabel Zimmermann (Reagan) were up in the lead group as they came up the hill and through the 2K mark. Slightly trailing was a trio of Gibbons runners including Katharine Priu, Marissa Bishop and Annie Pierce with Broughton's Savannah Jones right with them.
Over the back half of the race things began to string out, as McArthur began to pull away from the field with Kendall, Bodmer and Northcutt in chase. McArthur came to the line looking comfortable in her season opener running 18:07.
Kendall finished hard up the hill pulling away from Bodmer to run 18:19, a second faster than she was a year ago. Bodmer came in at 18:23, just 5 seconds above her PR of 18:18. Northcutt wasn't far behind running 18:26. Samantha Marin and Ailene Edwards come in next in 5th and 6th running 18:28 and 18:34 respectively. Edwards outkicked Zimmermann who came in at 18:35. Katharine Priu continues her breakout season with a new PR and 9th place finish in 18:48 for 9th with teammate Bishop just behind her in 11th showing last weekend was just an off day for her. Reagan freshman Sophie Faricloth had her high school 5K debut running 18:50 to take 10th.
Blacksburg was slightly dominant in the team race placing 4 girls in the top 20, and 7 in front of Gibbons 4th runner to score 71 points for the team title. But Gibbons was missing their 1st and 5th girls from Knights Crossing in Sloane Walter and Molly McGowan. Despite being shorthanded they still were able to beat NC rival Chapel Hill for 2nd with a score of 136 to 152.
Reagan had a huge day and met the potential that we saw with their team. They had a strong top 3, and the addition of Faircloth to this team will fair well for their success this season.
Cary Academy girls took 8th with a young Weddington team right behind them.