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Two programs are set to go after the triple crown this Friday at the NCHSAA 3A State Championships. Weddington boys and Cuthbertson girls have each won 3A cross country and indoor track team titles in the 2018-2019 school year. If either can win this weekend they'll become the third and possibly fourth teams to win the triple crown.
No 1A or 2A programs have ever won the triple crown. This is mainly being due to their state championships not always being separated. From 1986-1997 cross country was combined for 1A/2A schools. Indoors all classes ran together indoors from 1986-2006 and from 2007-2013 it was the NCHSAA 1A/2A/3A Indoor State Championships. Today 1A/2A still compete together indoors and not all schools compete indoors. For example, Lake Norman Charter girls could have won all three team titles last year if they sponsored indoor track.
Indoor track also didn't start til 1986 making the triple crown not possible until then.
Weddington boys have been pretty dominant all year long. They scored 50 points in cross country to beat Chapel Hill by 76 points for the NCHSAA 3A Team Title. Indoors the Warriors scored 99 team points to finish ahead of Cuthbertson who scored 56 points.
The Warriors will score the majority of their points through their distance squad. They're led by Kyle Durham who is the favorite in the 1600m and 800m. Will Mazur is projected to score in both the 1600m and 800m. Jackson O'Hara is a top contender in the 1600m as is Jake Toomey in the 800m. They'll also have their 4x800m relay that is one of the best in U.S. history.
Emerson Douds on the sprints side is a contender in all the sprint events coming in ranked 2nd in 3A in the 100m, 200m and 400m. He's been a star in the 3A sprints since his sophomore year and I expect no different from the All-American this weekend.
Alec Mock comes in as the top 3A athlete in the shot put and ranks third in the discus. The junior has thrown 55-9 and 157-0 this season and will score big points for the Warriors this weekend.
They'll have a lot of other places where they can pick up points as well throughout the meet. Coach Rick Spencer would argue with us if we said they were unbeatable heading into the weekend, so we'll say they need a lot to go wrong to lose this Friday. It is a state meet, anyone can rise to the occasion and anything can happen.
The Cuthbertson girls won the cross country team title by 21 points scoring 47 points to Chapel Hill's 68. Their first team title in school history. Indoors they beat a really good Parkland team scoring 102 team points to Parklands 76. That was their third straight indoor team title, but they haven't won an outdoor yet.
Their biggest competition is Hillside and Parkland. Contrary to Cuthbertson, Hillside and Parkland each have stars that can win and score high in many events. Alysia Johnson of Hillside is a favorite in the 200m and 400m as well as a big boost to their 4x200m and 4x400m relay squads. Parkland has Alexis Patterson who won the 100m, 200m, 100m Hurdles and ran on the winning 4x200m last year. Hillside will also have Emmaya Waters, Jada Green and Jala Laws who should be big point scorers as well. Parkland has strong 4x100m and 4x200m relays as well as freshman jumper Ija Mumford and sprinter Del'Nique Penn who can score big points.
Cuthbertson's backbone is their distance squad, though they're overall a strong program across the board. Their girls 4x800m rank 2nd in 3A. Gabriella Castro and Leah Helms will contend for podium finishes and possible the win in the 1600m and 800m. Then cross country state champion Madeline Hill will contend in the 3200m.
Indoors they went 1-2-3 in the pole vault. Indoor state champ Lainie Baumgardner placed 5th at the regional, though she would have won any other regional meet. They'll still have Ava Studney and Netanya Linares who could very easily go 1-2.
They'll look for big points from Mackenzie Townsend in the 400m and hope she can score in the loaded 200m. They'll also look for points from Anyha Goode in the 100m and 200m as well as Linares in the 100m Hurdles. They'll also have a top 4x400m as well as 4x100m and 4x200m squads that can score.
The girls competition should be wild with three teams that should be able to score enough points to win the state meet in a regular year. Every event holds some sort of state in the eventual outcome of the girls team battle and every placement point earned could be the difference at the end of the meet.