Mount Tabor senior Bronwyn Parks took down a stacked Friday Night Lights Girls Championship field clocking a massive PR of 17:49. In 2022 she set her PR at Friday Night Lights taking 5th overall in 18:14.
This year's field was loaded with 8 girls coming in with sub-18 credentials. Morgan Boonshaft (Providence Day) debuted two weeks ago setting a state-leading mark of 17:51 and was game to push the pace taking the field through the Mile in 5:36. Chandler Welsh (R.J. Reynolds) and Park sat side by side just behind her followed by a larger group of 9 girls at 5:40 including last years champion Stella Kermes (Cuthbertson), Grace Hanson (Weddington) and Charlotte Bell (Cuthbertson).
|1||Bronwyn Parks||12||Mount Tabor||17:49.80||1|
|2||Chandler Welsh||12||R.J. Reynolds||17:53.20||2|
|3||Grace Hanson||12||Weddington High School||17:59.60||3|
|4||Stella Kermes||12||Cuthbertson High School||17:59.80||4|
|5||Morgan Boonshaft||12||Providence Day School||18:00.60||5|
|6||Charlotte Bell||12||Cuthbertson High School||18:03.50||6|
|7||Joiner Evans||12||Mount Tabor||18:09.30||7|
|9||Kasey Dingman||10||Lake Norman||18:29.60||9|
|10||Morgan Miller||10||First Flight||18:33.30||10|
Team score-wise, Mount Tabor girls team positioned themselves well and lead the team scores with 73 points through the Mile with a 5:46 average as their top 5 were all in the top 25 spots. Cuthbertson girls would sit second with 115 points with their fourth and fifth runners Josie Schihl and Ava Walters in 48th and 50th place respectively.
Over the next Mile Boonshaft would continue to hold the lead with Welsh and Parks just behind, but Kermes had regained connection with the top group with Hanson and Bell not too far behind. They went through in 11:25 each looking like they could make their move at any point.
The team scores had taken a turn with Cuthbertson moving up to 83 points with Tabor at 97. Cuthbertson's fourth runner Josie Schihl had moved up from 48th to 20th causing a massive shift as Tabor girls group started to spread out.
Just last week Welsh was able to pull away from Park in a 2 Mile for the Forsyth County Championship. This time, it was Parks who was able to gap Welsh and the front of the field and pull away for a massive win with a 25-second PR in 17:49. Parks made her move at 400m to go. She said she was thinking "I had confidence, I'm feeling good right now, if I take it right now I could hold it. It was 400m to go and I just went for it and didn't look back."
A huge win for the Spartan in her final Mt. Tabor hosted Friday Night Lights XC Festival. Her mark is the second-fastest in North Carolina this season and now the third-fastest ever at Friday Night Lights moving ahead of Carmen Alder (Pinecrest) who won in 2019.
Welsh would take 2nd in 17:53 as Grace Hanson would kick just ahead of Kermes and Boonshaft to take 3rd in 17:59.
On the team side, both Cuthbertson and Mt. Tabor were able to move up over the final Mile equally causing no change in the team scores. Tabor had strong showings from Parks and Evans finishing 1st and 7th, but Cuthbertson was able to finish 4th, 6th, 11th, 15th and 41st in the team scores totaling 77 points to the Spartans' 92.
Josie Schihl went out conservatively but moved up 37 spots over the final two miles to finish 11th and as the Cavaliers' 3rd runner. This is exactly the breakout her team needed after graduating Alyssa Preisano and Lily Nasta from last year's top 5. The Spartans were super impressive as well with an 18:50 team average. I'd expect both teams to make great strides from this over the course of the season but would say the Spartans proved they'll be in the mix for a 4A title this November.
Hoggard was able to run a 19:34 team average to win a close battle for 3rd over Green Level who took fourth with 175 points to 189 points. Green Level had a 19:46 gap from 1-5. Freshman additions of Naomi Greengrass and Neela Chintapalli gave a big boost to the Gators making them a team to keep an eye on this fall.
|1||Cuthbertson High School||77||4+6+11+15+41 (46+70)||1:46 1-5 Split | 18:39 Avg|
|2||Mount Tabor||92||1+7+17+22+45 (118+174)||2:09 1-5 Split | 18:50 Avg|
|3||Hoggard||175||8+20+34+54+59 (61+99)||1:58 1-5 Split | 19:34 Avg|
|4||Green Level||189||29+31+39+42+48 (69+111)||0:35 1-5 Split | 19:46 Avg|
|5||Weddington High School||213||3+38+43+64+65 (91+92)||2:33 1-5 Split | 19:44 Avg|
|6||Broughton||222||19+23+28+44+108 (160+168)||2:15 1-5 Split | 19:51 Avg|
|7||Marvin Ridge||228||14+21+53+66+74 (76+84)||1:56 1-5 Split | 19:54 Avg|
|8||North Lincoln||236||16+32+37+73+78 (80+113)||1:51 1-5 Split | 19:55 Avg|
|9||Panther Creek||245||30+33+49+62+71 (127+138)||1:01 1-5 Split | 20:04 Avg|
|10||West Forsyth||329||36+51+55+86+101 (132+191)||1:33 1-5 Split | 20:29|