Team Nationals, on top of sending the top two teams, sends the first five individuals not apart of a qualifying team to Nationals in Portland, Oregon. Two of our very own, Gabriel Schmid and Hannah Rae Shaffer earned their spots at nationals with huge performances at WakeMed this weekend.
Schmid, the NCHSAA 3A champion, has been on a hot streak. He took nearly 30-seconds off his personal best and clocked 15:13.30, good for 5th place overall.
"I was positive [heading into the race]. Thinking of just running a personal best, not really thinking I would qualify," Schmid said, "But last minute of warm-ups, I just told myself 'why not, why not go for it''', and go for it he did.
In the girls championship race, defending champion Hannah Rae Shaffer was ready to defend her title. With no 2021 Team Nationals, Shaffer wanted to make her first trip to cross country nationals as a high schooler.
The chase pack behind Irene Riggs, who won in high school No. 2 all-time 16:02, was tight throughout.
Shaffer took 6th place overall, running 17:44.00. For reference, she won last year in 17:44.90. There was one finisher ahead of her who qualified with her team, so Shaffer is headed to Portland, Oregon to run as an individual at Team Nationals.