The No. 7 team on our cross country pre-season countdown are the Fighting Cougars of Asheville! This Asheville squad returns their entire top seven from their sixth-place team at the 2020 NCHSAA 3A state meet.
Sophomore Natalie Nery leads this team back in 2021 ready to challenge for a podium finish as they move up from 3A to 4A. Nery was 15th at last year's state meet, and runner-up in the NCHSAA 3A West Regional. She was 10th at the NCHSAA 3A track and field state meet in the 3200m.
Senior Adele Williams won the 3200m at their regional, clocking 11:42, and backed it up at the state meet finishing 8th. She was 5th at last season's 3A West XC Regional, and was 3rd the year prior. Williams is a big time racer who will bring some veteran experience and leadership to this Asheville squad.
Caitlyn Elliott was 4th at the NCHSAA 3A XC Regional, just one spot ahead of Williams. Elliott was 15th in the 800m at the NCHSAA 3A state meet. Jade Lovio ran 2:26 over 800m in the spring. If that speed can transfer over to the course she will be in for a breakout season.
Evan Wilker is the 5th runner for these Fighting Cougars and if she is up with Lovio this could make for a sneaky-title favorite in November!
|1) Natalie Nery||19:03.10||35|
|2) Caitlyn Elliott||19:29.74||61|
|3) Adele Williams||19:33.00||69|
|4) Jade Lovio||20:00.30||117|
|5) Evan Wilker||20:15.00||138|
|Average Time: 19:40.23 Total Time: 1:38:21.14 1-5 Split: 1:11.90|
|6) Madeleine Carrington||20:31.51||179|
|7) Mattie Clark Palme||20:44.73||206|