The boys race at adidas was nuts producing the top 8 performances on the year across the state as the top 9 cracked the 15:30 mark.
The first mile at WakeMed is fast no matter how to go about it with a downhill sprint to kick off the race. As they got down the hill and into the woods Maddon Muhammad (Myers Park) lead Ian Harrison (Panther Creek) with a large pack right behind them.
The group would cross the mile mark in 4:45, then the 2K mark in 6:03. The top 12 boys were all within a second of each other at this point in the race. Harrison, Muhammad, Avery Cannon (Watauga) and Carson Williams (Cardinal Gibbons) just behind at the front of the lead pack.
As they looped around WakeMed park and got close to the final uphill a front pack of Thomas Vo (Green Hope), Harrison, Muhammad, Jack Rooney (Broughton) and Cannon were left fighting for the win with around 800 meters to go in the race. About 50 meters back was Jason Thomson (North Lincoln), Jake Toomey (Weddington) and Zach Hughes (First Flight).
Vo was leading that group and would begin to pull away from the field going up the brutal 600m hill to end the race. Rooney would stick with him as long as he could, but Vo began to pull away for his first signature win in 15:10 to Rooney's 15:14. Massive PRs for both athletes.
Vo had recently taken 2nd to Ben Armentrout at Friday Night Lights and held a 15:39 PR from a year ago. He's had a lot of strong performances over the last two years, but this was certainly a huge step forward for the senior. Vo's 15:10 also breaks the Green Hope school record of 15:18 held by Peyton Barish. It is also the 6th fastest time ever at the adidas XC Challenge.
Jason Thomson closed very hard up the hill catching everyone in the lead pack to take 3rd in 15:19 ahead of Muhammad and Harrison who ran 15:21 and 15:22 respectively to round out the top 5.
Muhammad has been a stud on the track the last two years, but this is only his second ever cross country race and 5K showing his potential for the rest of the season.
Hughes would beat out Toomey and Cannon in a sprint to the finish in 15:24 as Jacob Gallant (Mount Tabor) would close hard to finish 9th cracking the 15:30 mark in 15:29. Jack Dingman (Northern Guilford) would round out the top 10 boys running a PR of 15:36.
This is the fastest we've ever seen at adidas as a whole. It is the top 8 fastest marks in the state so far this season. We saw 9 North Carolina boys under 15:30. The most we've seen in one year at adidas was 6 in 2016. Dingman's 15:36 was the fastest 10th place finisher in 18 years at the adidas XC Challenge.
We had a super close team battle across the board as well. Panther Creek was lead by a fifth place finish from Ian Harrison to score 173 points to beat out Oakton by 13 points. The Catamounts had a 1:08 1-5 gap and a team average of 16:09. They were the first team to have 5 runners through the line as Hayden Perko took 55th. Weddington's 4th and 5th came in just behind.
Oakton had a good day and were the first team through the line with 4 runners, but Panther Creek's 1-2 were 10 places ahead of Oakton's 1-2 respectively and their 5th man was 8 spots ahead of Oakton's making the difference in the end.
Weddington and First Flight came in within one point for 3rd place as Weddington would get the nod 206 to 207. Weddington had 7 runners through the line before First Flight's 5th making the difference between a 3rd and 4th point finish.
First Flight earned a lot of respect yesterday and likely proved a lot of people wrong. A 2A school from the Northeastern coast with less than 800 students took down a bunch of 4A powerhouse programs with 2000-2500 students. First Flight had two runners under 16 minutes with Zach Hughes and Tyler Sylvia at 15:24 and 15:54. Joseph Davidson also had a good day at 16:10. They'd beat out their 2A rivals in North Lincoln by 32 points as the Knights would take 7th with 239 points. The two teams had a 16:13 to 16:17 team average as the 2A team battle is closer than it's ever been in year three of this rivalry.
Green Hope would take fifth place with 225 points. Their 4th man on the day actually came from the JV race where Kyle Davis-Isaac ran 16:41. This would have bumped the Falcons up to a 207 point tie with First Flight if he were in the Championship race.
Panther Creek got a major win in their first meet of the season and a lot of other programs were not too far behind them. They emerge as the 4A team title favorites after this weekend.
|1||Panther Creek||173||5+24+42+49+53 (93+136)||1:08 1-5 Split | 16:09 Avg|
|2||Oakton||186||15+33+37+40+61 (107+130)||0:43 1-5 Split | 16:16 Avg|
|3||Weddington High School||206||7+39+51+54+55 (62+63)||1:07 1-5 Split | 16:15 Avg|
|4||First Flight||207||6+16+30+60+95 (104+179)||1:35 1-5 Split | 16:13 Avg|
|5||Green Hope||225||1+35+36+71+82 (85+115)||1:40 1-5 Split | 16:15 Avg|
|6||Broughton||228||2+12+22+65+127 (165+174)||2:06 1-5 Split | 16:13 Avg|
|7||North Lincoln||239||3+23+44+50+119 (129+157)||1:53 1-5 Split | 16:17 Avg|
|8||Cardinal Gibbons||249||14+18+25+74+118 (141+147)||1:18 1-5 Split | 16:23 Avg|
|9||Leesville Road||254||31+45+47+56+75 (102+133)||0:35 1-5 Split | 16:27 Avg|
|10||Mount Tabor||258||9+13+48+89+99 (108+126)||1:34 1-5 Split | 16:21 Avg|
|11||Watauga||272||8+11+43+86+124 (138+176)||1:48 1-5 Split | 16:20 Avg|
|12||Pinecrest||293||17+20+46+88+122 (131+153)||1:17 1-5 Split | 16:31 Avg|