From 2010 through 2018 the NCHSAA XC State Championship did not finish without the Crusaders winning a team title. From 2010 through 2014 they won NCHSAA 3A titles, then upon moving to 4A in 2015 did the same through 2018. Even before then in 2A they were dominant winning titles from 2005 through 2008, only losing to Chapel Hill 52-94 when they moved to 3A in 2009 over the 13 year span.
After two years of Hoggard girls winning in 2019 and 2020 followed by Cuthbertson in 2021 and 2022, Gibbons girls are finally back atop the NCHSAA 4A, and look poised to stay for at least another year.
Cardinal Gibbons came into the event as the favorites only losing this year to Tatnall (DE) at Great American XC Festival. However, Mount Tabor and Cuthbertson both had teams that would not make it easy on them and would give them little room for error.
Just behind was Cuthbertson and Mount Tabor's 1-2-3 which each would finish just ahead of Gibbons third making for what looked to be an exciting team battle on paper. Cuthbertson were led by 7th, 10th and 12th place finishes from Justine Preisano, Charlotte Bell and Josie Schihl as Tabor would Go 11-13-15 from Joiner Evans, Eliza Brand and Rachel Riley.
While Cuthbertson and Tabor being ahead through 3 runners looked on paper to make the team scores closer, Gibbons third and fourth would be just a few spots back as Ina Lazarczyk and Katherine Pagorek would place 16th and 17th overall. Fifth girl Maggie Whitham for Gibbons would finish ahead of the Cavaliers and Spartans fourth runners in 24th overall. Gibbon's 6th and 7th runners Peyton LanAsa and Catherine Lorelle would impact the team scores as well each finishing ahead of their competition's fifth girls putting together a 45 point victory for Cardinal Gibbons.
4A Girls 5000 Meter Run Finals Team Scores
|1||Cardinal Gibbons||60||4+5+14+15+22 (30+40)||1:05 1-5 Split | 18:29 Avg|
|2||Cuthbertson High School||105||6+8+10+24+57 (87)||1:47 1-5 Split | 18:48 Avg|
|3||Mount Tabor||136||9+11+13+26+77 (114)||2:13 1-5 Split | 19:04 Avg|
|4||Marvin Ridge||137||12+20+32+36+37 (38+53)||0:58 1-5 Split | 19:12 Avg|
|5||Hoggard||156||3+21+29+43+60 (65+116)||2:12 1-5 Split | 19:12 Avg|
Cardinal Gibbons girls placed 3rd overall in 2021 followed by a runner-up finish in 2022 behind an unbeatable Cuthbertson squad.
They'll return a top 5 with no seniors and will be heavy favorites to be the top team in North Carolina as we look forward to the 2024 XC season.
They'll take on NXR Southeast in two weeks as they'll look to head to Nike Cross Nationals for the second time in program history.