Swain County girls keep getting better and better on the state championship stage as they win their third straight NCHSAA 1A Girls Team title on Saturday morning at Ivey Redmon Sports Complex.
Their first in 2021 was a 12 points victory ahead of Thomas Jefferson Classical, and second in 2022 scoring 59 points winning by 55 points ahead of Eno River Hill, and today by 56 points ahead of Thomas Jefferson Classical with a score of 44.
The Maroon Devils had seemed to be the class of 1A throughout the year returning 5 of their top 7 from 2022. However, they had been without 2021 individual champ Arizona Blankenship throughout the year, who also did not race at the State Championship in 2022. While they didn't need Blankenship's help to win today's team title, they got back their ace when they needed her.
Sophomore Annie Lewis would finish at Swain's top girl just ahead of Blankenship and Angelina Lomelli who finished 5-6-8 overall each placing all-state individually. Freshman Emily Grey Stargell would place 16th overall in 20:48 with fifth and sixth girls Lily Bjerkness and Audrey Monteith finishing side by side in 26th and 27th overall respectively.
This would give them 6 in the top 19 in the team scores with no other school with more than two runners finishing ahead of their 6th!
Coach Keith Payne had this to say about his program, "I'm very proud and honored to be a part of this program. Our girl's discipline and work paid off today."
With just one senior in their top 10 in Bjerkness, things won't get easier in the near future for their NCHSAA 1A competition.
|5000 METER RUN|
|19:53.94||Annie Lewis||5th||1A Girls|
|20:05.42||SB||Arizona Blankenship||6th||1A Girls|
|20:13.86||Angelina Lomelli||8th||1A Girls|
|20:48.62||Emily Grey Stargell||16th||1A Girls|
|21:33.01||Lily Bjerkness||26th||1A Girls|
|21:34.00||Audrey Monteith||27th||1A Girls|
|22:47.67||Marden Harvey||49th||1A Girls|
|1||Swain County||44||4+5+7+10+18 (19+36)||1:39 1-5 Split | 20:30 Avg|
|2||Thomas Jefferson Classical Academy||100||8+12+24+27+29 (41+45)||1:40 1-5 Split | 21:25 Avg|
|3||Christ the King Catholic School||110||1+3+20+42+44 (57+59)||4:36 1-5 Split | 21:14 Avg|
|4||Bradford Prep Charter School||143||6+9+23+39+66 (75+90)||4:17 1-5 Split | 22:02 Avg|
|5||Voyager Academy||147||2+14+32+49+50 (67+69)||3:56 1-5 Split | 21:59 Avg|
|6||Bishop McGuinness||174||17+21+33+51+52 (53+74)||2:07 1-5 Split | 22:34 Avg|
|7||Woods Charter School||176||15+16+28+56+61 (71+72)||2:54 1-5 Split | 22:40 Avg|
|8||Lejeune||203||13+22+43+46+79 (80+89)||4:36 1-5 Split | 22:59 Avg|
|9||Cornerstone Charter Academy||206||25+26+40+55+60 (68)||2:33 1-5 Split | 22:59 Avg|
|10||Eno River Academy||209||34+35+38+48+54 (58+81)||1:21 1-5 Split | 23:05 Avg|
|11||Elkin||254||11+31+62+73+77||4:37 1-5 Split | 23:34 Avg|
|12||Gray Stone Day School||311||37+63+65+70+76 (78)||2:34 1-5 Split | 24:22 Avg|
|13||Northside (1A)||369||30+82+84+86+87 (88+91)||5:17 1-5 Split | 25:59 Avg|
|14||Pamlico County||371||47+64+83+85+92||8:31 1-5 Split | 26:47 Avg|