Shaffer, Cardinal Gibbons Win adidas XC Challenge


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Cardinal Gibbons girls dominated a strong field at the adidas XC Challenge scoring 45 points and averaging 18:06 from 1-5.  Hannah Rae Shaffer was also able to take the individual win in a new personal best as well of 17:18.  Her mark is good for the fourth fastest in adidas XC Challenge history.

Gibbons girls were coming off a strong showing at Knights Crossing in Virginia where they scored 15 points averaging 18:30 from 1-5.  They were the favorites coming in, but other teams were thought to have been in striking distance.

They were out well after the downhill start at WakeMed with Shaffer sitting up front in fourth and their pack from 2-5 sitting together from 13th through 17th 10 seconds back from Shaffer who went through in 6:55.  They were scoring 41 points through this point in the race.

Alyssa Sauro (Williamstown, WV), Reese Dalton (The Covenant School, VA) and Addison Dempsey (Cardinal Mooney, FL) sat up front with Shaffer through 2K.

Mount Tabor, West Springfield (VA) and W.T. Woodson (VA) sat 2-3-4 through 2K.

2K Results

All would stay the same through 2 Miles as Shafffer would sit just behind the same pack of girls up front splitting 11:19.  Gibbons pack would still remain within 7 seconds of each other sitting in 13th through 19th between 11:42 and 11:50 with a huge lead over Mt. Tabor 44 to 114.  W.T. Woodson would move in front of West Springfield for 3rd with Hoggard sitting in 5th.

Shaffer has run the WakeMed course many times and has finished strong up the hill plenty of times.  The front girls started to string out slightly and Shaffer began to pick them off one by one.

Shaffer said post-race, "The last Mile going up that hill I just kept thinking about my girls and how they're doing it for me and I should do it for them.  I just picked off each girl one by one.  Every time I passed one I'd get a shot of energy so I'd surge past them."

She'd surge past Alyssa Sauro to come down the finish shoot all alone in a new PR of 17:18.8.  That is 5:34 pace for each mile and the second fastest mark in North Carolina so far this season.

Addy Mitchell, Maggie Whitham and Katherine Pagorek would battle close together up the hill finishing in 13th in 18:11, 15th in 18:18 and 17th in 18:18 respectively.  Fifth runner Ina Lazarczyk was just behind in 19th running 18:26.  Whitham is a sophomore while the rest of their top 5 are all juniors.

The Crusaders would score 45 points as a team really impressing in dominant fashion.  Mount Tabor would take 2nd with 112 points with Bronwyn Parks leading the way for the Spartans in 8th overall in 17:59 and Joiner Evans 14th overall in 18:15.

W.T. Woodson would hold on for third scoring 139 points ahead of West Springfield who took 4th with 194 points.

Hoggard would hold off Broughton and Weddington for 5th place scoring 245 points to Broughton's 255 and Weddington's 260.