The Girls Championship race will be the premier event of the night headlined by NCHSAA 2A State Champion Hannah Preisser (Carrboro), Paxton Chitty (Ashley) and superstar freshmen Ryann Aycock (Cary Christian) and Kaitlyn Obremski (Topsail).
Despite being only a freshman with a handful of local races under her belt, Obremski has the best PR in the field at 18:23. She's had two early season 5Ks and run 18:23 and 18:29 respectively in both dominating her competition in both events. This will be her first major competition of her high school career, so we should see a fast pace from her up front under the great Jungle Run conditions.
Preisser took 2nd in this race last year running 18:40 as a freshman. She'd go on to run 18:31 later in the year at Foot Locker South, and has been dominant in 2A over the course of her freshman year. She ran 10:55 and 5:11 on the track last fall, so should be ready for a big performance tonight.
Chitty will have her first real debut of the season tonight. She's coming off a great sophomore year where she was 8th in 4A at the state meet. Chitty ran 18:55 last year and 11:22 on the track. She's paced her teammates early in the season, but will look to battle with Obremski to see who will be the top girl in the Wilmington area, taking over for recent grad Natalie Tyner (Laney).
Aycock took 3rd last year as an 8th grader running her PR of 18:48. Aycock continued to shine on the track running 5:07 and 11:06 winning NCISAA DII State Titles in both events. She could emerge as one of the top athletes in the state tonight coming off a strong track season.
Jordan Landis (Riverside), Emily Bowbliss (Union Pines), Isabelle Grimm (Corinth Holders) and Dalia Hasan (Leesville) will also be ones to watch. Landis and Bowbliss return with sub-19 credentials this season.
The team battle should be really exciting between Carrboro, Hoggard, Ashley and Laney. Carrboro should come in with the advantage as returning 2A state champions. With Preisser up front and a lot of depth through 7 they'll be tough to beat. Hoggard doesn't have the frontrunner that Carrboro do, but they have 5 girls coming in just ahead of Carrboro using seasons best.
Ashley girls will need to see some improvement from their 3-5 girls. They have potential to be one of the better teams in 4A, along with Hoggard, but will have to have improvement throughout their top 5 over the course of the season.
Laney has had a strong start to the 2019 season with the addition of the Bufalini sisters. They should be right in the mix for the team title tonight.