Athlete of the Year & Coach of the Year Awards
**Included are comments made by nominating coaches.
Athletes of the Year
1A Boys - Taylor Anthony, Christ Covenant
Upstanding gentleman all season, great camaraderie, sportsmanship, AND state champion. A fantastic performance at the state meet with a big PR. Completely took control at the start of the 3rd mile.
1A Girls - Keegan Lisiecki, United Faith Christian Academy
Keegan won her 3rd consecutive 1A state title and did so easily. Running way out ahead of everyone else is impressive indeed.
2A Boys - Alex Hibs, Trinity Academy of Raleigh
Alex won all but one race during the regular season regularly beating his PR. Alex got 5th at Hares and Hounds in September. He realized that that wouldn't be enough to win at states, so he worked even harder and dropped 47 seconds off of his time at McAlpine between 9/21 (Hares and Hounds) and the state meet on 10/25 where he finished the race in 2nd place. Alex is a senior and has been an outstanding captain and leader of this team for the last 2 years. One of my favorite things about him is that after he finishes each race, he turns around to cheer each of his teammates on until the whole team is in. Pushing the pace and leading a whole race with a runner known to be very fast is a tough one. Alex just got beat out at the end, but he ran a very gutsy race.
2A Girls - Anna Richard, St. Thomas More Academy
Anna won with a wonderful race at the state meet. Her 19:02 was one of the top performances of the day. Sophomore, state champion, leading start to finish by yourself with no looking back is HARD.
3A Boys - Isaiah Arnold, Coastal Christian
Isaiah wasn't the favorite coming in, but completely took control of the race with 800m to go. Came away with a personal best and an individual title. Sophomore winner in his personal best time.
3A Girls - Ryann Aycock, Cary Christian
Season-long success! Freshman winning states by almost a minute. An impressive feat. She has had a stellar season, and she has been very consistent. Ryan ran the fastest time of any girl in the NCISAA at the state meet, going 18:32. State champ! Awesome character. Just one example . . . spent one weekday meet helping one of our runners break 20 minutes for the first time. Won state meet by one whole minute as a frosh.
4A Boys - Andrew Hammel, Christ School
Season-long success! Andrew has clearly worked hard during his three years in the NCISAA. He has dealt with a number of injuries but has persevered. Andrew won the 4A title by running confidently from the front and really making it a pace no one else wanted to go with. Good way for him to go out as a senior with a win. A 15:37 is an impressive finish, almost 20 seconds ahead of the competition. Sub 15:40 multiple times.
4A Girls - Sophie Spada, Charlotte Country Day
Sophie won the 4A title with a gutsy performance over the last 800m. She has had the fastest time all season in 4A and works tirelessly to improve. She is a model athlete for her team and the rest of the NCISAA. Sophie was the best in the CISAA from beginning to end. Well-deserved. Individual Champ in 1600m and XC. Came back from devastating knee injury freshman year. CISAA Champ, NCISAA 4A Champ, Eye Opener Race Winner, 18:30 PR.
Coaches of the Year
1A Boys - Coach Dan Lenz, Lee Christian
He designed a brand new XC course at Lee Christian. Dan spent the entire summer clearing the woods at Lee Christian and getting the course ready for the season. He was instrumental in coaching and encouraging the runners to run their absolute best. Boys won their 1st title since 1998.
1A Girls - Coach Dawn Lenz, Lee Christian
Dawn is a great coach and an even better person. I coach for a bitter rival, but Dawn and I have always been able to practice together and share our knowledge of the sport. She is always cheering for my runners and helping me in any way she can. This year, in her first year as Head Coach, Dawn led both her girls and boys teams to the State Championship. In her first year coaching, she led Lee Christian to a sweep of the 1A state meet, winning the school's 1st ever girls' title.
2A Boys & Girls - Coach Dan Rolando, St. Thomas More Academy
Led his boys to team title in dominating fashion. Girls also won, making it a clean sweep. The boys had only a 45 second split . . . that's impressive racing.
Led his girls to team title in dominating fashion. Also had the overall individual champ in the girls' race. Winning back to back titles with mostly young team.
3A Boys - Coach Joe Scott, Forsyth Country Day
Joe's team has steadily improved all season and really showed up on race day of states. His athletes put a lot into the race to win. He also had two 9th graders in the top 5! State champs. FCDS showed promise early, and put it together at states.
3A Girls - Coach Mark Driscoll, Carolina Day
6th straight team title. His girls always show up in impressive fashion at the state meet. The championships speak for themselves, but watching the tenacity with which the Carolina Day squad runs their races is an inspiration. Another dominating performance from these ladies, and some young girls in the mix as well.
4A Boys - Coach Ben Hovis, Providence Day
Season-long success! Coach of the top team at the state meet in a very dominant fashion. Ben shows continued excellence over a long period of time. 6 boys in the top 11, making All-State is crazy. Ben's team scored a team low 28 points, something not matched since the 1980s I believe. His boys ran with confidence and this marks the team's 3rd in a row. One of the best teams in NC this year. Great pack for the boys, multiple state championships in a row, strongest team in NCISAA history.
4A Girls - Coach Costen Irons & Coach Kristin Stroupe, Durham Academy
Season-long success with a very impressive crew! Not only do they have the best team in the NCISAA, but maybe the best team in NC. They have done a great job with these girls in winning their 2nd straight team title. A REALLY impressive team split proving a well-disciplined group. 5 finished top 10 at states.