One year ago Orange's Gabriel Schmid emerged and Croatan won a tight 4 team battle in pursuit of NCHSAA 3A individual and team titles. Both returning as favorites in the classification with Croatan just losing one senior from their top 7, and Schmid only getting better and better since claiming his first state title.
Schmid's winning mark a year ago was 15:44 to win by 16 seconds while Croatan scored 143 points with a 17:37 average to edge North Lincoln by just 6 points.
Sporting a season-best of 15:03, Schmid came into the NCHSAA 3A State Championships 23 seconds faster on the year than next closest competition in Eli Julian of South Rowan. On the team side, Croatan had been the top 3A team throughout the year, but Schmid's Orange team improved as the year got on and looked to potentially take down the defending champs if they could take another step forward, or Croatan was to falter.
Schmid proved it was no question who the best 3A individual was running away with the individual crown in what is likely the best run thus far of his high school career. He clocked 15:14.75 to win by 34 seconds over Croatan's Tyrese Cone who ran 15:48 in a strong performance for second overall.
Schmid's mark is the 6th fastest mark ever at Ivey Redmon Sports Complex ahead of the afternoon NCHSAA 2A and 4A races going off later today.
Orange would have a strong day as a team behind Schmid's low stick scoring 93 points with a 16:22 team average. They would even be the first of the two teams to have five runners finish. But Croatan was stronger through four runners and Cone basically made Schmid's low stick presence a wash with his runner-up finish.
Joining Cone with an all-state performance was fellow senior Andrew Wahlgren who placed 6th overall in 16:01 who is in his first year of running. Noah Guerrero would be not far behind as their third runner in 16:14 placing 13th overall with Matthew Quispe finishing 18th overall in 16:24. Just behind Orange's 3-4-5 was Croatan's fifth man Cooper Stephens running 16:55 setting a 18 second PR to seal up a victory for the Cougars. They would run a 16:16 team average from 1-5 runners scoring 67 points as a team.
|5000 METER RUN|
|15:48.42||Tyrese Cone||2nd||Unofficial 3A Boys Results|
|16:01.55||Andrew Wahlgren||6th||Unofficial 3A Boys Results|
|16:14.20||Noah Guerrero||13th||Unofficial 3A Boys Results|
|16:24.09||Matthew Quispe||18th||Unofficial 3A Boys Results|
|16:55.43||SB||Cooper Stephens||33rd||Unofficial 3A Boys Results|
|17:07.37||Trey Austin||41st||Unofficial 3A Boys Results|
|17:10.42||Seth Nelson||45th||Unofficial 3A Boys Results|
Orange had a great day with three of their top 7 running seasons best, but Croatan just was not going to be denied in repeating as team champions today. Orange would bost a 16:22 team average finishing with 93 team points for second overall with Jesse Carson, First Flight and North Lincoln rounding out the top five finishers.
3A Boys 5000 Meter Run Finals Team Scores
|1||Croatan||67||2+6+12+17+30 (35+38)||1:07 1-5 Split | 16:16 Avg|
|2||Orange||93||1+15+24+26+27 (36+63)||1:34 1-5 Split | 16:22 Avg|
|3||Jesse Carson||156||5+18+28+41+64 (83+125)||1:39 1-5 Split | 16:50 Avg|
|4||First Flight||204||16+31+44+48+65 (86+113)||1:20 1-5 Split | 17:05 Avg|
|5||North Lincoln||208||14+19+49+60+66 (71+75)||1:22 1-5 Split | 17:03 Avg|
Behind Schmid and Cone would be Julian of South Rowan running 15:52 for third just ahead of Corbin Weeks of Union Pines and Jorge Clemente-Garcia of Jesse Carson. Ethan Rich (Western Harnett), Hudson Rice (West Henderson), Eli Clonch (West Henderson) and Will Downs would round out the top 10 all-state finishers alongside sixth-place finisher mentioned above in Andrew Wahlgren.
3A Boys 5000 Meter Run Finals
|3||Eli Julian||12||South Rowan||15:52.49||3|
|4||Corbin Weeks||10||Union Pines||15:58.01||4|
|5||Jorge Clemente-Garcia||11||Jesse Carson||15:59.31||5|
|7||Ethan Rich||10||Western Harnett||16:05.66|
|8||Hudson Rice||12||West Henderson||16:07.20||7|
|9||Eli Clonch||11||West Henderson||16:07.73||8|