The Friday Night Lights boys Championship field was completely loaded with the states top teams and individuals. Over 300 boys and 40 teams were in the field and in the final race of the night we saw athletes go down exiting the starting field at Ivey Redmon. They were beyond the 100m mark where they could have been called back for a restart.
It seemed like none of the big names were taken down in the fall, and Nick Scudder (Millbrook) pushed the early pace as they came through the horseshoe loop for the first time. The whole field was pretty close behind with a lot of boys bidding their time. Through the mile Scudder added a little separation to the field, but no more the 5 to 10 meters ahead of Jack Dingman (Northern Guilford) who led the chase pack with Ian Harrison (Panther Creek), George Hotelling (East Chapel Hill) and Joey Bream (Panther Creek) sitting in the top 5.
Heading down the long straight away by the road things looked the same up front. Scudder continued to roll solely in the lead, but the field was not going to let him get too far ahead. His lead had grown to about 20 to 30 meters. The chase pack came up and there was a lot of green, Weddington & Cary, in the top pack. It was difficult to make out the difference in the team battle since the two teams jerseys are a very similar color.
The boys came through the 2 mile with Scudder still solely in the lead, but you could tell the field was gaining ground on him. Erick Ramirez-Ramos (Surry Central), Dingman, Bream, Harrison and Kyle Durham (Weddington) all sat in 2nd through 6th hoping to reel in Scudder over the final mile. John Malach (Broughton) and Nate Jaster (Weddington) sat back in 7th and 8th.
With about 800 meters to go Bream broke ahead of the field and made the pass ahead of Scudder who tired to hold on. Bream said he felt really strong until about 200m to go and his big push started to hit his legs. Bream was able to continue through the finish line in 15:49, the 3rd fastest time in North Carolina this year. Despite the field gunning for Scudder, he was able to hold on for 2nd place in 15:55 holding off Durham and Jaster, who made up a ton of ground over the last mile. The Weddington duo ran 15:56 and 15:57 respectively with Panther Creek's Ian Harrison also cracking 16 minutes at 15:58.
That makes 11 boys on the year so far under 16 minutes. In the last three years at Friday Night Lights only 4 boys broke 16 minutes. This year 5 did making it the fastest meet in the meets four year history. Bream was just seconds off the meet record set last year by Coleman Mitchell and is #3 All-Time in meet history.
The team battle was a slight surprise with Weddington and Cary looking to be a close battle up front. Weddington dominated the team competition scoring 45 points running a 16:11 team average. Faster than last years Green Hope squad that advanced to NXN by just a second. Weddington put together a 3-4-12-13-16 finish placing their top 5 in front of Cary's #2 runner. Cary was still solid through their 4th runner placing each in the top 21. They were missing #5 returner Griffin Nicholas, but it doesn't seem like the Imps were going to beat the Warriors last night regardless.
Chapel Hill posted a 14 second 1-5 gap from 25th to 33rd place with a 16:52 team average to follow up last weeks strong team performance. The Tigers edged Cary for 2nd place overall with a score of 128 to 134. Panther Creek was led by a strong 1-5 finish from Bream and Harrison to take 4th overall with 150 team points. The Catamounts were solid through 4, but like Cary had a big gap from 4-5. Green Hope, Broughton and Millbrook rounded out the top 7 teams in the 39 team field.
|CHAMPIONSHIP BOYS 5000 METER RUN FINALS
|Weddington High School
|Weddington High School
|East Chapel Hill