One of the top moments every year at the Bojangles Classic are the 4x800m races under the lights on Friday night. Being a two day event this allows for teams to run their top athletes in the 4x800m relay all out and not have to worry about double back later in the day like at most Saturday Invitationals. This year North Carolina is set to dominate on both the boys and girls side as the state lead will go down on the boys side, and Chapel Hill's NC#1 of 9:40.70 will be challenged as well.
Cardinal Gibbons girls ran a NC#2 mark last weekend of 9:43.16 at Apex Relays while Cuthbertson have run a NC#4 9:46.36 and Reagan a NC#5 9:49.31. Reagan girls ran 9:18.09, for NC#2 All-Time Indoors and 8th in the country at indoor nationals. Cuthbertson clocked 9:34.34 indoors as well for NC#2 on the season.
On a good day in the right conditions these teams could all push the 9:20 mark and post some of the fastest marks in the country this outdoor season. Gibbons and Reagan will likely be a preview of the NCHSAA 4A State Championship 4x800m battle while Cuthbertson and Weddington (and Chapel Hill who isn't racing tomorrow) will be a preview of the NCHSAA 3A 4x800m race later this year.
Section 2 Timed Finals 1 Cuthbertson 'A' 2 Reagan 'A' 3 Cardinal Gibbons 'A' 4 Hillcrest 'A' 5 Weddington 'A' 6 Providence Day School 'A' 7 Hilton Head 'A' 8 Dorman 'A' 9 Panther Creek 'A' 10 Nation Ford 'A' 11 Bishop England 'A' 12 West Forsyth 'A' 13 May River 'A' 14 Lexington 'A' 15 Glass, E. C. 'A' 16 Cane Bay 'A' 17 Beaufort 'A' 18 Hardin Valley 'A' 19 Watauga 'A' 20 River Bluff 'A'
Weddington boys set the meet record of 7:49.52 a year ago and return their entire squad from last years team. The Warriors ran 7:40.65 indoors, good for US#4 All-Time Indoors. They're certainly the class of this field and could run away with this race. This will be their first time running their top relay team outdoors. They'll have four athletes well under 2:00 in Will Mazur, Jake Toomey, Stephen Larson and Kyle Durham.
Aside from Weddington we'll see 6 other North Carolina boys teams that could break under 8 minutes in Cary, North Lincoln, Cuthbertson, A.C. Reynolds, Millbrook and Providence Day. Cary ran 7:55 last year at this meet and return 3 out of 4 legs and should be even better this year. North Lincoln has three athletes that have broken 2 in the other 800m in Jason Thomson, Johnny Grant and Brian Rissse. They're certainly capable to hang with Weddington and Cary up front.
Providence Day have run 8:09 and Cuthbertson 8:10 already this outdoor season, but those times can very easily improve against a deep 4x800m field like this. A.C. Reynolds ran 8:01 last year at the NCHSAA 3A State Championships and return that entire squad.
Section 3 Timed Finals 1 Weddington 'A' 2 Cary 'A' 3 North Lincoln 'A' 4 Cuthbertson 'A' 5 AC Reynolds 'A' 6 Millbrook 'A' 8 Byrnes 'A' 9 Providence Day School 'A' 10 Hardin Valley 'A' 11 Apex 'A' 12 Bishop England 'A' 13 Waccamaw 'A' 14 Archbishop Carroll 'A' 15 Spring Valley 'A'