Stars Emerge From A Rumble Through The Jungle



Race Video & Interviews


The Boys Championship Race was the first championship race of the night.  The race was headlined by John Malach (Broughton), but had a ton of studs looking for their breakthrough moment.  

No sole leader emerged early on in the race with a lot of guys locked into a pack through the opening loops on the South View practice field.  As they approached the mile mark a pack of five boys led by Malach and James Blizzard (Leesville Road) pulled ahead of the field slightly.  Also in this group was Elliott Kleckner (Croatan), Zach Clark (Cleveland) and Kenny Eheman (Cary Academy).  

Over the back half of the race Malach pulled into sole possession of the lead, but Kleckner, Clark and Blizzard remained in striking distance.  

Malach would continue to lead through the 2 mile, but the three behind him would not let him get too far ahead.  

Clark and Kleckner would close the gap and move into the lead as they emerged onto the track for the final 400 meters.  The two were side by side, but Clark pulled ahead and continued to pick up the pace as they rounded the grass loop inside of the track.  

Clark would roll through the line in 15:29 ahead of sophomore Kleckner in 15:35 in what was a breakout performance for both athletes.  Blizzard would hold off a challenge from William Mitchell (Millbrook) as the two would clock 15:37 and 15:38 respectively.  Eheman and Luke Scacheri (Ashley) would edge Malach at the line as they'd clock 15:44, 15:45 and 15:46 to round out the top 7.

Broughton freshman Dylan Core and Joshua Navarro (Millbrook) would also break the 16 minute barrier.

Zach Clark's breakthrough was big time.  He held a PR prior of 16:46 from his junior year and improved on the track to run 9:43 and 4:29.  He said he upped his mileage from around 25 miles per week up to around 50 this summer with goals of being one of the top athletes in 3A.  His hard work has certainly paid off.

1Zachary Clark12Cleveland High School15:29.251
2Elliott Kleckner10Croatan15:35.420
3James Blizzard11Leesville Road15:37.342
4William Mitchell11Millbrook15:38.673
5Kenny Eheman11Cary Academy15:44.134
6Luke Scacheri12Ashley High School15:45.645
7John Malach12Broughton15:46.926
8Dylan Core9Broughton15:56.057
9Joshua Navarro11Millbrook15:58.138
10Andrew Macemore12Leesville Road16:02.009

The girls race was an interesting one to say the least.  The race went off and the lead gator died as they were navigating through the opening loop of the course.  This left freshman Kaitlyn Obremski (Topsail) leading the field with no idea where to go.  

After what looked like a few wrong turns struggling to see the course marks in the dark a coach jumped into the field to try to help guide them through the course.  Without the lead gator no one knew the athletes were coming and their were spectators all over the course.  The top 5 girls in Obremski, Ryann Aycock (Cary Christian), Paxton Chitty (Ashley), Hannah Preisser (Carrboro) and Makayla Obremski (Topsail) took a wrong turn and were separated from the field.  

Instead of running the "S-Loop" the first time around, the coach would run the girls through that part of the course the second time through.  In doing so they would run a little bit extra of the course in order to do so.

So it was almost like two races going on at once with the top 5 and the rest of the field on different parts of the course.  

Kaitlyn Obremski would hold a lead over Aycock throughout the course of their race.  Neither knew what was going on or why a coach was serving as the lead gator, but the girls just ran their race without worrying about it.

Obremski would run a phenomenal 17:54 winning her first major meet of her high school career.  She's certainly the real deal and is a 3A State Title contender in what is a loaded field as the year gets going.  

Aycock would run a strong mark of 18:16 to finish 2nd with Chitty just behind in 18:33.

Freshman Olivia Bufalini (Laney) would edge Hoggard freshman Sarah Martin for 2nd, the top 2 girls that ran the usual course.  They would clock 18:49 and 18:55 respectively.  Add Molly Parker (Hoggard) who took 7th 5 freshman girls finished in the top 7 spots.  Four from the Wilmington area which shows how strong the region will be over the next four years distance wise.

Coaches did meet on the infield after the event and decided that even though the top girls didn't run the normal course that they still ran the course plus some and wouldn't be DQed or anything in the scoring would be changed.  

1Kaitlyn Obremski9Topsail17:54.851
2Ryann Aycock9Cary Christian School18:16.060
3Paxton Chitty11Ashley High School18:33.022
4Olivia Bufalini9Laney18:49.443
5Sarah Martin9Hoggard18:55.874
6Makayla Obremski11Topsail19:00.605
7Molly Parker9Hoggard19:14.186
8Sierra Collins11Harnett Central19:17.410
9Louise Lounes12Carrboro19:18.927
10Hannah Preisser10Carrboro19:25.368

On the boys side Broughton would edge 4A East Rivals Leesville Road and Millbrook.  Broughton didn't have top guy Jack Rooney, but were led by top 10 finishes from Malach and Core giving them a 5 point 74-79 win. Broughton would average 16:21 from 1-5. Leesville had a good outing and have been a team that has improved a lot over the course of a season, so a 16:18 team average isn't a bad starting spot for the Pride.  

Coastal Christian impressed with a 5th place finish with a 16:56 team average solidifying them as NCISAA 3A state championship contenders.

1Broughton746+7+19+20+22 (45+50)0:55 1-5 Split | 16:21 Avg
2Leesville Road792+9+12+27+29 (31+38)1:12 1-5 Split | 16:18 Avg
3Millbrook1363+8+32+44+49 (81+127)1:43 1-5 Split | 16:38 Avg
4Hoggard14918+23+26+30+52 (56+95)0:46 1-5 Split | 16:53 Avg
5Coastal Christian HS17713+14+17+53+80 (93+102)1:30 1-5 Split | 16:56 Avg

Carrboro's 39 second 1-5 gap was too much for the field to handle.  They finished 7-8-9-11-16 to win the team title with 51 points.  Laney would run well taking 2nd with 69 points ahead of local rivals Ashley, Hoggard and Topsail who rounded out the top 5.  

Carrboro are defending 2A State Championships and look poised to defend their team title.  The 4A East looked strong with big days from Laney, Ashley and Hoggard in what should be a tight battle over the course of the season as each will hope to advance to the state meet in what has become possibly the toughest 4A Region in North Carolina.

1Carrboro517+8+9+11+16 (29+30)0:39 1-5 Split | 19:32 Avg
2Laney693+12+13+20+21 (22+33)1:18 1-5 Split | 19:41 Avg
3Ashley High School862+14+15+27+28 (37+59)1:49 1-5 Split | 19:48 Avg
4Hoggard934+6+25+26+32 (49+50)1:42 1-5 Split | 19:52 Avg
5Topsail1181+5+23+34+55 (61+66)4:33 1-5 Split | 20:04 Avg

In the boys Invitational Race junior Aaron Rovnak (Franklin Academy) took home a major win opening up a big lead early on in the competition.  He had a massive lead that kept growing and growing over the course of the race and he'd finish with a mark of 15:46.  Rovnak's finish would have been good for 7th, and possibly better if he were in the race, in the Championship Race.  He's certainly proved he's a big time NCHSAA 1A state title contender individually.

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