Carmen Alder entered the Girls Championship race with a PR of 18:04 and many races close to breaking the 18 minute barrier. Alder hoped to break 18 by this point in the season, but due to weather cancelations she'd get her first real attempt today. Alder immediately went out hard and gapped the field. Earlier at the Providence Invitational and Friday Night Lights we saw her stick with the leaders early on in the race. But as they went into the woods after the opening figure eight loop she had a solid lead established on the field already.
Alder continued to push the pace solo up front with hopes of dipping under 18 minutes. The sophomore ran 18:15 on this Hagan Stone course a year ago. Alder emerged on the final hill leading up to the finish line and she could tell by the announcer that it was going to be close. She stormed through the line immediately thinking she had just missed sub-18 with a 18:00. She checked the results board and she saw 17:59 next to her name rejoiced to finally take down that barrier.
Alder's mark will go down as the 4th fastest in Greensboro Invitational Meet History (35 Years) and the 5th fastest individual ever on the Hagan Stone course. She's one of 5 girls to break 18 minutes on a course that isn't known as one of the states faster ones.
Hagan Stone All-Time Course Records
Chapel Hill girls would go on to dominate with a finish of 4-7-8-9-12 finish scoring 40 team points. Northern Guilford girls would lock up 2nd place behind a 3-5 finish from Fredericks and sophomore Alyssa Hernandez scoring 89 team points ahead of Cary Academy.
In the boys championship race there was a lot of strong athletes in the field and it was anyones race for the taking. Early on around the figure eight loop all of the top guys coming in stayed patient not looking to take the lead early. Cary, who had a lot of boys with potential to finish in the top 10, were in no rush to get up front.
Harrison took command of the pace through the 2 mile pulling ahead of Bream and Dingman, but Ramirez-Ramos was able to stay in touch. It became a two man battle with 800 meters to go as the two ran side by side waiting for each other to make a move. Regardless of who won it would have been the first major win for both athletes.
You could see both athletes round the turn to the final hill and the finish line side by side. Once they got to the top of the hill Ramirez-Ramos had another gear pulling ahead of Harrison to take the win in 15:47 to Harrison's 15:49. The 6th and 8th best times in North Carolina this season.
It's safe to say Ramirez-Ramos showed that the NCHSAA 2A Boys Individual battle is going to be a great one and that he's certainly amongst the main contenders.
Bream would come home in 3rd clocking 15:54 followed by the sophomore Dingman in 16:00. Dingman's formed teammate and Foot Locker/NXN Qualifier David Melville ran 15:56 at this meet his sophomore year to compare how the two athletes progression match up.
Brian Picone lead the Cary team with a 5th place finish as he, Jackson Martin and Anton Idhammar all scored top 10 finishes. They would edge Panther Creek in the team title with a score of 56-73. Chapel Hill and Apex would finish 3rd and 4th with scores of 94 and 125 respectively.
In the boys Invitational Race it was dominated by George Hotelling of East Chapel Hill. He battled early with Jordan Richardson of Northern Nash, but ended up taking the win by 37 seconds over the field. Hotelling is a senior with a 4:20 1600m PR. He's a guy you can't sleep on in the 3A individual title race and would have likely been in the top 3 if he raced in the Championship section today.