What To Watch For: Monday's Conference Championship Season

And just like that, we blinked and it is October 17th, and we are entering the post-season for North Carolina cross country! 

If you thought the action was heating up, we are just getting started.

Monday plays host to the NAC-6 (4A), Mid-Piedmont (3A), and Queen City Athletic Conference (3A/4A) Championships!

The NAC-6 will be held at WakeMed Soccer Complex and will host Heritage, Knightdale, Millbrook, Rolesville, Wake Forest, and Wakefield.

In 2021 on the boys' side, Millbrook home the win with 24 points, backed by a 1-2-3 finish. Those top three have either graduated or moved away, so Millbrook is looking to top returner from the 2021 championship, Kamron Kedzierzawski. Millbrook runs with a tight pack, and that pack racing for the title will also include Silas Mann, Luke Nordone, and Payden Lewis

The team title shouldn't be a run-away by any means. Heritage and Wake Forest have put together stellar seasons of their own. The top time in the conference this season belongs to Heritage's Spencer Thompson, and the second best time belongs to Wake Forest's Matthew Walker

On the girls' side, there was only one senior to place in the 15 in 2021, and that was champion Olivia Fischlein. Heritage's Ainsley Donovan and Charlotte Wakefield went 2-3 in 2021. Viola Korir has had a breakout season for Heritage. She ran 19:45 to take 2nd place at Bo Run earlier this season.  Heritage looks to be the overwhelming favorite going into Monday's race. 

The Mid-Piedmont Conference Championship will at Denton Farm Park. This conference includes Asheboro, Central Davidson, Ledford, Montgomery Central, North Davidson, and Oak Grove High School.

The boys' defending champion Isaac Reyna (Ledford) has graduated, so that leaves a big field ready to race for the crown. 

Collin Kirk (Central Davidson) and Grayson Byrd (North Davidson) both went sub-18:00 during the 2021 conference championship. Oak Grove High School, led by Hunter Creech and Mason McMillan, look to be the favorites for the team title. In 2021, Oak Grove was runner-up, only five points behind Central Davidson.

For the girls', defending champion Jillian Parks (Central Davidson '25) returners ready to defend her crown. She may not have to look too far away for the top talent. Central Davidson has the top three girls in the conference currently, with Parks, Riley Horne, and Chelsea Kirk. Their 1-5 average of 21:16.99 is over a minute faster than projected runner-up Oak Grove (22:15.25).

Over in Charlotte at McAlpine Park, the Queen City Athletic Conference is set for Monday. Hough's boys are looking unstoppable, as they currently have the five fastest times in the conference. Defending champion Brackton Parrish is ready to go after yet another conference title. 

Hough is looking strong on the girls' side of things, as well. With defending champion Lilly Walters graduated, Reagan Rainey is the overwhelming favorite, as she holds a season best of 18:42, more than two minutes ahead of No. 2 in the conference, Kasey Wigginton.