It's year number 4 for Apex Friendship as a school and after qualifying a team to the NCHSAA State Championships for the first time last fall. Now they'll look to return as the team shows no signs of slowing down after graduating their first-ever senior class. They graduate Wesley Provost and Alec Atteberry who were the teams #1 and #2 runners last fall both breaking 16 minutes a year ago. The team will return a strong senior class with a lot of strong sophomores and juniors as well to make up the top 7.
Their top runner will be Tim Haughton who I think has the potential to be the 4A individual champ this fall if things go right. Haughton clocked 16:02 last fall as a sophomore and is the #9 overall returner in what looks to be a wide open NCHSAA 4A individual race. Haughton holds PRs of 4:22 for the 1600m and 9:26 for the 3200m. Haughton took 6th in the outdoor 1600m and 5th in the Indoor 3200m last track season. Will Haughton be able to take the next step on the cross country course this fall?
Behind Haughton, the team will return a pack of three seniors in Cameron Adair, Michael Curcio, and Naim Bell. The trio ran 16:37, 16:40 and 16:46 last fall making up the teams #4 through #6 runners. Adair is coming off a track season where he ran 2:05 and 4:53 outdoors, as well as a 6:47 2K Steeple. Though it might look like he regressed on the track he's always been stronger during cross country. Curcio dropped his 1600m PR significantly running 4:36 after running 4:59 as a sophomore. He also broke 10 running 9:53 for the 3200m. Bell also had a breakthrough on the track running 4:38 as a junior as well as 2:04 for the 800m.
A junior who should impact the teams top 5 this fall is Joshua Carlson, who ran 17:14 last fall as a sophomore. Carlson ran 4:37 for the 1600m and also clocked 2:00.73 for the 800m showing he should be faster than his PR indicates this fall. The team will also add in junior John Curcio who has been running strong for the Patriots in the teams preseason meets. Curcio finished as the teams #2 runner at Baysix last week as he enters his first cross country season. Curcio ran 4:53 on the track last spring, but is showing potential to crack the top 5 this fall.
The team will return a lot of depth this fall with Michael Stephens, who ran 17:22 last fall and Carter Reed who ran 17:27. They'll return junior Logan Luparello as well who ran 4:40 on the track as well as Cole Vulpis who clocked 4:56 on the track last spring. This program has gotten very strong really quickly, and I don't see them missing out on the State Championships anytime soon.