Similar to the boys field, the girls field is absolutely loaded in the Championship section with Carmen Alder and Madeline Hill looking to lead the charge up front with 18:04 and 18:18 PRs on this course from last year. We'll also see five of the states top girls programs in Weddington, Cuthbertson, Green Hope, Chapel Hill and West Forsyth square off in a major early season team battle.
Individually there will be a handful of girls looking to take a crack at Pinecrest's Carmen Alder. Alder dominated the field at the Providence Invitational winning in 18:26 two weeks ago, and will take on a stronger field this weekend. Cuthbertson sophomore Madeline Hill ran 18:40 at the Western NC Carnival which is probably pretty equivalent to Alder's 18:26 at McAlpine. Teammate Leah Helms debuted in 18:51 on the WNC course and should also be in the mix up front if she can duplicate that performance.
Eliza Broce (West Forsyth) will be a girl to watch after a strong race last week at the Forsyth County meet winning over Ainsley Cooper in county record fashion at 11:44 for 2 Miles. Shannon Sefton (Panther Creek), Lila Peters (Sanderson), Ainsley Cooper (Reagan), Kelsey Vogel (Green Hope) and Frances Whitworth (Mt. Tabor) should be in the mix up front.
Alder normally takes the pace out quick. The question is will anyone look to hold on and try to go with her early on. And will Maggie McCormick's state lead of 18:21 survive the night?
We saw Weddington, without their top 5 returners, and Cuthbertson impress in week 1 at Providence and WNC respectively, then Chapel Hill top their performances at the Jungle Run with a 19:23 team average. This week we'll see Weddington's true top 7 face off against their 3A rivals in Cuthbertson and Chapel Hill head to head. Weddington is the favorite based off our virtual meet returning an 18:52 team average outscoring Cuthbertson 91 to 109.
Chapel Hill, Green Hope and West Forsyth will be in the mix with for the win as well. West Forsyth scored 242 points in the virtual meet, but have had some very impressive showings over 2 Miles indicating their a much stronger team than our virtual meet predicts. Each of these teams are expected to have girls contending up front for a top 10 finish and is going to come down to the 4th and 5th runners. We'll see how these programs can compete in their first major test of the 2018 season.