Christ School's Rocky Hansen and Myers Park's Mary Bonner Dalton punched their ticket to San Diego for Champs XC Nationals after their top ten finishes at the Champs South Regional this weekend in Charlotte, North Carolina at McAlpine Park.
Hansen has been the one to beat in the state, if not the country this season, and proved he can race with the biggest names in the southeast. He pulled away from the field just after the mile mark, going around the pond for the first time. He kept charging along, and kept the hot pace going. He came back around the pond with his sights set on the finish line. He came roaring down the home stretch, competition long behind, and emphatically crossed the line victoriously in 14:40.
He led the entire top seven under 15:00.
He is the first North Carolina boy since Avery Cannon (Watagua) in 2019 to make Champs (Formerly Foot Locker) XC Nationals.
On the girls' side, the field was as tight as they come. #TeamNC's Mary Bonner Dalton was racing cross country for only the sixth time since 2021. Here three prior runs this season included runner-up finishes at NCHSAA 4A states and NCRunners Elite, and a win at her regional.
Dalton looked as strong and health as she had in a long time. The tireless miles and battling injury has paid off for her, as she placed 8th in 17:23, and more importantly, qualified for Nationals in California! Her time is a cross country personal best and gives her to momentum she needs going into the next race.
She is the first girl to represent #TeamNC at this national championship since Mariah Howlett (Lake Norman Charter) in 2017.