2020 Throwback: Tolbert and Bickerstaff Battle For 1A Title

Although the 2019 XC state meet was unlike any other, the races did not disappoint. Then-juniors Lauren Tolbert (Highland Tech) and Briley Bickerstaff (Riverside) were each looking for their first cross country state title. Tolbert was 3rd as a freshman, and runner-up as a sophomore, so that state champion feeling was right at her grasp. 

The lead group in the 2019 field was Tolbert, Bickerstaff, and Hazel Pasley (Alleghany). They broke away from the field early and made it clear it was a three-girl race for the NCHSAA 1A state title. Up the final hill with about 400 meters to go Bickerstaff made the first move and took a small lead on Tolbert. Tolbert did not let Bickerstaff out of her reach and was on her shoulder as they hit the straightaway.

Tolbert used that track speed to power down the home stretch and finally capture her first cross country title!

Bickerstaff gets her redemption this weekend as the duo will battle for the final time in NCHSAA cross country play!

NCHSAA 1A Girls Rankings