Cross Country Preseason Countdown: #9

This spot in the rankings gives us two programs with long histories of succes in cross country, both with potent #1 runners.


As we approach the start of official NCHSAA cross country practices on July 30th, NCRunners will count down the top 15 teams in our Preseason All-Classes Team Rankings.  The list began with the returning 5000 rankings from the 2011 cross country season, and then modifications were made based on improvements during the spring track season, runners lost, and recent program history.  Bonus consideration was given to teams with tight packs (at least 3 of the top 5 within 30 seconds of each other) and front runners (under 16 minutes for boys, under 18:45 for girls).  Subscribers can view the statistics that were used in the rankings process:


Returning 5000 Team Rankings

Boys  |  Girls


Returning 3200 Team Rankings

Boys  |  Girls


Returning 1600 Team Rankings

Boys  |  Girls


Boys Preseason #9 Team: Cary

Cross country success will be a family affair this fall for Cary, with four of their top 5 returning runners being named either "Abushouk" or "Tecle."  Of course, the most prominent of those is Bakri Abushouk, the #7 runner overall coming into the season.  Don't overlook the improvement of their other runners, however, especially Abel Tecle (9:33 for 3200 this spring) and Dean Abushouk (10:03).  The Imps return their top 4 intact from last year, and they should be very strong up front; their biggest need will be the development of depth after their top 5.  Cary has been hard to judge in the early part of the season, because the Muslim holiday of Ramadan (which includes fasting from sun-up to sun-down) fell in the month of August and had an effect on some team members' training.  Cary catches a bit of a break there this year, however, as Ramadan will be over on August 18, almost two weeks earlier than last year, and that should allow for complete recovery and solid training before the serious racing begins.  One other possible downfall for the Imps: injuries have hounded Bakri for the last few years.  If he can stay healthy, though, top 5 at the 4A state meet seems realistic.


  1) Bakri Abushouk   15:47.10 6
  2) Abel Tecle   16:21.00 30
  3) Dean Abushouk   17:05.31 151
  4) Everette Jordan   17:07.70 158
  5) Robel Tecle   17:23.50 237
  Average Time: 16:44.92 -- Total Time: 1:23:44.61 -- 1-5 Split: 1:36.40
  6) Chris Johnson   17:48.95 363
  7) Judson MacDonald   18:20.00 538



Girls Preseason #9 Team: T.C. Roberson

Today is a day for programs with a rich, deep history and strong #1 runners, and T.C. Roberson definitely fits the bill.  How's this for sustained success: the last time the Rams were NOT in the top 5 in their classification's state meet was 1995, a streak that includes an amazing 5 straight 3A championships.  This year will be a bit of a challenge, though, due to the loss of four of last year's top seven runners (numbers 3, 5, 6, and 7).  They do have front-runner Brooke Gordon for one more year, and she returns with the 7th-fastest time in the state.  In order to get into the top 5 of a loaded 4A girls meet this year, however, Roberson will need a strong summer and the development of their depth runners.  Anastasia Soule showed great improvement last year, running 12:11 during the winter and then clocking 5:24 in the spring season; Lauren Hartmann, last year's #9 runner, ran 5:38 and 12:10 during outdoor track.  In the end, the Rams may need an infusion of one or two talented newcomers to avoid the end of a 17-year streak.


  T.C. Roberson  
  1) Brooke Gordon   17:51.34 5
  2) Rachel Koon   19:08.00 44
  3) Anastasia Soule   19:27.00 62
  4) Casey Greenwalt   19:56.00 119
  5) Lauren Hartmann   20:23.00 179
  Average Time: 19:21.07 -- Total Time: 1:36:45.34 -- 1-5 Split: 2:31.66
  6) Julia Rose Tyler   20:37.65 212
  7) Priti Chand   21:10.00 329