NCISAA Champs: Charlotte Latin, Providence Day, Asheville Christian, Cary Christian, Wayne Christian


3A Girls | 3A Boys | 1A/2A Girls | 2A Boys | 1A Boys


What an incredible day it was for the NCISAA in Black Mountain, NC. Skies were blue, leaves were colorful, the course was nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, and there was great compettition on a superb course. The course in Black Mountain is not fast, but it provides a great experience for cross country runners. With its wide variety of terrain and openess, it truly provided both spectators and athletes a unique setting for this year's NCISAA State Championships.

The morning began with the smaller private schools taking to the course in ideal temperatures. Going into the races, all titles looked to be up in the air and that was proved to be true as Asheville Christian won the boys 2A race by just 4 points and Cary Christian won the girls 1A/2A race by only 6. Wayne Christian took the 1A boys race by 18, but due to a lack of results, I'm not sure anyone knew what to expect from the boys of 1A.

Cary Christian, the 1A/2A girls champs, were led by Aundrea Holmes who placed 2nd overall in 19:37, giving the overall champ, Whitney Thornburg, a closer race that it appeared on paper. Cary Christian placed two more girls in the top 11, earning All-State honors. Tiffany Hagan was almost a minute behind her teammate, Holmes, but still snagged 3rd place overall to give Cary Christian a very tough 1,2 punch. In 3rd for them was 9th grader Caroline Stogner who finished 10th overall. Going into the race, everyone knew this team had a very solid 1,2,3, and number four had been good as well, but it was really going to come down to their 5th runner. Finishing in 4th for the team was Laurie Van Deventer who placed 17th and then stepping up and rounding out the scoring was Ashley Bolick in 76th.

St. David's School of Raleigh was 2nd overall with 108 points, while Cary Christian totalled 102 after displacing runners from teams without a scoring 5. St. David's place 2 runners in the top 11, Maggie O'Hara was 4th and Angela Delfino was 11th. Here's a closer look at how the scoring broke down for the two teams.

Cary Christian
#1 - 2
#2 - 3 (5 total)
#3 - 10 (15 total)
#4 - 16 (31 total)
#5 - 71 (102 total)

St. David's
#1 - 4
#2 - 11 (15 total)
#3 - 15 (30 total)
#4 - 27 (57 total)
#5 - 51 (108 total)

Whitney Thornburg of Asheville Christian (photo right: courtesy of the Asheville Citizen Times) came in as the favorite and left with an individual title. Whitney ran 19:28 to claim her first XC state title after finishing 8th, 4th, & 3rd the last 3 years. Her time was good enough for the 5th fastest time of the day including the 3A girls competition, proving she is solidly a sub-19:00 runner at McAlpine Park. Seeing that she clocked an 18:55 at last year's Foot Locker race, seems that if she chooses to race it again, 18:30 could be in her future.

In the boy's 2A race, the team battle was close as expected and the individual title was won with a very fast time, as expected. Scott Morgan of Calvary Baptist won his 2nd straight XC title, defeating Bobby Mintz of Cary Christian by 12 seconds, 15:33 to 15:45. Scott's time set a new course record and was very impressive considering the difficulty of the Black Mountain course. These two runners have gone 1,2 for the last 3 years with Scott taking the last 2 and Bobby taking the title back in 2008. Scott and Bobby have been battling in track and XC over the last 3 years and thanks to their friendly competition, they have improved to be 2 of the top runners in the state of NC. Hopefully following in their footsteps will be the 3rd place finisher, Trevor Sleight of Carolina Day. Just a sophomore, Trevor actually passed these two briefly on the first pass up the main hill, but then later was overtaken. Sleight ran 16:05 on the day which would have been 2nd in the 3A race and was good for the 4th fastest ever run on the course. Look for Trevor, Bobby, & Scott to represent the NCISAA very well at the Foot Locker South Regional. All three have the potential to crack 15:30 at McAlpine.

Asheville Christian Academy won the boy's state title, defeating St. David's by 4 points. Once again, this team competition looked like it was going to be close prior to the meet as these two teams had put themselves on the map with solid performances throughout the season. Asheville Christian was led by Josh Thornburg who placed 5th overall. Placing two more athletes in the top 10 helped Asheville Christian take the early lead over St. David's. Lawson McDonald was 8th and Sully Pierce placed 10th overall. Rounding out the scoring for ACA was Blake Hedrick who was 16th and Derek Long who placed 23rd. St. David's placed one athlete in the top 10, freshman David Rohr was 7th overall, but then had a solid pack finishing 13th, 14th, 15th, and 17th. Putting 5 in before ACA's 5th had to give them hope, but there simply weren't enough athletes between 18:18 (17th) and 18:44 (23rd) to give them the win. It was obviously a great battle as the race unfolded, most likely having both teams thinking they had done enough to win.

Asheville Christian Academy
#1 - 5
#2 - 8 (13 total)
#3 - 10 (23 total)
#4 - 16 (39 total)
#5 - 23 (62 total)

St. David's
#1 - 7
#2 - 13 (21 total)
#3 - 14 (34 total)
#4 - 15 (49 total)
#5 - 17 (66 total)

The 1A boys hadn't raced for their own state title in a number of years as they have to have a certain amount of full teams in order to gain their own meet. This year there were 9 full teams in the 1A boy's competition and Wayne Christian School out of Goldsboro, NC took home their first state title. Wayne Christian scored 41 points to defeat Davidson Day school by 18 points. As the majority of 2A & 3A schools go into their championship races knowing a good bit about the teams they will be racing, the 1A schools didn't have that advantage. These schools do not send in race results or run at as many Invitationals throughout the season, therefore this is truly a nerve-racking race.

Wayne Christian race solidly as they placed 3 boys in the top 10, led by 9th grader Connor Jones who was 2nd overall. Their 4th and 5th runners placed 14th and 16th overall . . . watch out for this team because 3 of the top 5 were freshmen and 5 of the top 7 were 9th and 10th graders! Davidson Day who placed 2nd overall also returns 5 of their top 7, with the oldest of that 5 being in 9th grade. If the 1A gets to have their own championship race next year look for these two teams to be right at the top once again.

Shannon Forrest senior is going out on a high-note as Garret Conover won the individual state title in 18:07. Conover looked to be the early favorite coming into the race based on the results that had been submitted. He proved this to be true as he pulled away for an 8 second victory in the end.

Charlotte Latin's girls have been the talk of the town for the last 4 years. When Haylee Dawe, Kameron Spence, & Ally Finical arrived on the scene as 9th graders they helped speed their team right ahead of the pack and claim their first CISAA title and first NCISAA title in school history. Now, they have 4 of each. These 3 ladies have contributed more to Charlotte Latin's girls program and than any other runners in their school's history. Going out on top once more was their goal and going out on top once more is exactly what they did.

Haylee Dawe won her first state title after chasing Wesley Frazier and Adrianne Soo, two Foot-Locker finalists. Haylee's persistance paid off as she was able to capture a well deserved state title. Haylee ran 18:43 on a tough course and pretty much ran away from the field in the first mile. Dawe was pursued early by Eliza Dekkar of Durham Academy and then Stephanie Schauder of Cannon School had her eyes on Haylee's back, but neither could match the determination of Haylee on this day.

The CISAA conference took the top-3 spots, as Cannon's Stephanie Schauder was 2nd in 19:03 and Latin's Kameron Spence was 3rd in 19:12.

Latin's team put 5 girls in the top 11, earning All-State honors. Joining Dawe and Spence were also Ally Finical, 6th, Trisha Murphy, 8th, and Laura Gill, 11th. Honestly, this wasn't Latin's best race of the year but thanks to solid depth and incredible talent, they still won the NCISAA title easily. Behind Latin was a vastly improved Greensboro Day team. Led by 8th grader, Kaitlyn Lingard who finished 7th for an All-State performance. This Greensboro Day may be the first team in quite some time to push Latin next year as they return their entire top 7. Latin's returns much of their team, but they do lose their strong top 3.

The girl's competition was solid this year as so many teams had the opportunity to finish near the top of team competition. Spots 3-7 were separated by 31 points. With so many young runners returning, look for the 3A competition to remain tightly contested over the next few years.

Thomas Graham of Cary Academy won his 3rd straight NCISAA title and yes, he's just a junior. Graham never really had any challengers as he began to pull away early into the first loop of the two loop course. He ran 15:52 which was good for about a 40 second victory. It was the 3rd fastest time of the day, but look for Thomas Graham to take aim at qualifying for Foot Locker Nationals now. Last year he ran 15:03 as a sophomore!

Behind him were Durham Academy's Ward brothers, Carl and Fred, who finished 2nd and 3rd respectively. What a fitting ending to a superb XC career for these two guys. They graduate with 2 state titles and a number of All-State performances. As 9th graders they helped their team to a very close 2nd place finish and from that point on, the rest of the state was nervous. Colin Godwin of Cary Academy, a sophomore, had an excellent race and moved up steadily througout. Colin made quite a move over the last mile to go from 6th/7th to 4th overall. However, it took a sprint finish by the Wards to hold him off at the line.

Providence Day's boys came into the race as slight favorites as they had won on the Black Mountain course earlier in the season and had times that gave them a 3 point edge over Cary Academy. (this was based on the database) Durham Academy also couldn't be overlooked with the Ward brothers up front. Providence Day had shown great depth this season as they had placed 7 runners under 17:30 at the CISAA meet. The Charger's took control of the race as 9th grader, Ben Huffman, moved up from 24th to 14th during the 2nd loop. All-State runners, Jacob Dordick and Reed Payne, paced PD up front as they finished 7th and 8th respectively. Rounding out the scoring for the Chargers were Steven Starr and David Stern who placed 16th and 21st. The team scored 66 points and distanced themselves from Cary Academy and Durham Academy who scored 84 and 89. The Chargers showed their depth by placing 7 runners in the top 27 and putting 7 runners across the line before any other team could bring across 4. Once again, like many of the girls teams, PD brings back a lot next year and will definitely be in the hunt to repeat. However, with Cary Academy returning the top 2 guys next year, look for a crazy race at the 2011 NCISAA meet. This win for PD was their 4th in the last 6 years.

Here's how the top 3 teams finished up:
(take a close look at the team scores through 4 runners . . . WOW!)

Providence Day
#1 - 7
#2 - 8 (15)
#3 - 14 (29)
#4 - 16 (45)
#5 - 21 (66)
#6 - 25
#7 - 27

Cary Academy
#1 - 1
#2 - 4 (5)
#3 - 10 (15)
#4 - 29 (44)
#5 - 40 (84)
#6 - 52
#7 - 78

Durham Academy
#1 - 2
#2 - 3 (5)
#3 - 12 (17)
#4 - 28 (45)
#5 - 44 (89)
#6 - 53
#7 - 67