We've got an exciting team and individual battle on our hands tomorrow for the NCISAA 4A at WakeMed in Cary!
A year ago at Hagan Stone, Charlotte Latin won the team title with a 19:41 team average and Durham Academy freshman Audrey Crowder the individual title in 18:27. Latin girls come into the meet this year with a season average of 19:40 and Audrey Crowder just off her winning time a year ago of 18:34 which ranks them 4th as a team and 9th as an individual showing just how strong the NCISAA 4A division has gotten over the last year.
Individually, freshman Caitlin Kasten (Covenant Day) comes in with the best mark of the year with a 17:36 on the same WakeMed course. In the same race, senior Morgan Boonshaft (Providence Day) ran 17:54 and holds a season-best of 17:47. While Kasten looked to be a heavy favorite just a few weekends ago at Great American, Boonshaft struck back beating Kasten running 17:48 at McAlpine for the CISAA Championship with Kasten taking in 18:07. I would argue that Boonshaft's mark at McAlpine is slightly faster than Kasten's 17:36 at WakeMed, but we get to see it play out tomorrow.
Not to be forgotten is Annie Miller (Metrolina Christian) who holds a season best of 17:57 and was last year's runner-up. She won the MAC Championship last week winning by 80 seconds in 18:06. Miller holds personal bests of 2:11 and 4:59 on the track and would be no surprise if she made it a three-girl race up front.
Charlotte Country Day School come in as the favorite on the girl's side after beating conference rival Providence Day 39-46 at CISAA's last weekend. They're powered by a strong 1-2-3 punch that each individually could finish within the top 5 tomorrow in Abby Kerrins, Kasey Cone and Sam Vanderhave. They hold a team average of 18:39 and have 5 girls ranked in the top 18 of the classification on the year. Their key a week ago was scoring their top 3 ahead of Providence Day's second runner, which by no means is a given to happen again tomorrow.
Providence Day has their ace in Morgan Boonshaft, but have nearly an equally strong 2-3 punch as CCDS in Carly Arrington and Blane McElroy. Arrington holds a seasons best of 18:23 with McElroy's seasons best coming last weekend at the CISAA Championship of 18:39. On paper, CCDS comes in as a 48-63 point favorite, but with PDS having the top runner up front between the two schools the only thing that truly stands out is CCDS with Emma Lewis as the fourth runner. The Chargers could very well break up CCDS' top 3 and make it a battle up front.
Providence Day girls beat their top NCISAA competition at Hare & Hounds earlier this year and would be no surprise if they did the same tomorrow.
Metrolina Christian and Charlotte Latin come in as the 3rd and 4th in the pre-meet team rankings. They lack the depth through 5 that CCDS and PDS have shown all year, but should make for a fun battle for third between them, Ravenscroft, Covenant Day and Durham Academy. Ravenscroft won the TISAC Championship over Durham Academy a week ago 33 to 34. While on paper it looks like MCA and Latin are favorites for third, I'd expect five programs to be in contention in a tight team race tomorrow.