For the second straight year, Jena Metwalli (Cannon School) saved her best race of the season for the conference championship meet.
Girls Championship (Race Video)
From the gun, Jena Metwalli of Cannon School went out to the lead as she was on the hunt for a new PR, and Kiera Dowell from Charlotte Latin went out with her for the early stages of the race. Behind was a pack of 5 Providence Day runners who seemed content to just be running as a team. As the race went on, Metwalli established a large lead over the field and Dowell had dropped back with Covenant Day runner Cameron Echols, who were chased by the Providence Day pack. Around the lake Metwalli's lead was looking to be too much for anyone to make up as she entered the last mile, but Emma Brown of Providence Day had broken off from her teammates and reeled in Dowell and Echols, hoping to get within striking distance of the leader. The rest of the Providence Day pack was still together as they had hopes of their entire top 5 breaking the twenty minute barrier. Metwalli emerged back to the lake and was just racing the clock, with no one in sight to steal the victory away from her. She finished hard around the lake and ran a new PR of 18:49 to take the CISAA Conference Championship. Brown distanced herself from the rest of the field, as she was able to finish second running 19:36; she looks to be back healthy after injury held her back last track season and over summer. Echols and Dowell were able to finish strong in third and fourth, as they ran 19:48 and 19:53 respectively. Providence Day's 2-5 were just outside breaking 20 minutes, but were able to place 5 in the top 8 to secure the team championship. After some close battles the last two seasons winning by one point over Charlotte Latin, this one was never really in doubt for the Chargers.
Boys Championship (Race Video)
We've seen Providence Day seniors Jack Paddison and Nick Linder duel it out all year long, but no battle was as exciting as Friday's. Linder took the pace out hard, looking for a fast time as well as a conference championship. But to my surprise Paddison didn't go with him and hung back a little, while keeping his teammate in sight. As the race went on, Linder maintained an even lead on Paddison as they made their way to the two mile mark. Paddison was roughly ten seconds back going into the last mile (Linder went through in 9:58 and Paddison at 10:10). As the two emerged out of the woods nearing on the last 800 meters of the race Linder still had a good size lead, but Paddison came out of the woods running like a madman, absolutely leaving everything on the course as he hoped to reel in his teammate. As they reached the lake for the final time, the crowd started to go wild as they watched these two studs duel it out the last 400 meters. On the backside of the lake is when Paddison caught Linder and passed him still without slowing down as he rolled down the homestretch to take the CISAA Conference Championship. In the process, Jack set a 20-second PR as he ran 15:19, which is a new CISAA Conference Meet record. Linder finished second, but also had a fantastic race, earning a new PR of 15:25 while running by himself basically the whole race. I cannot wait to see what these guys do next week at the NCISAA Championshp at Jackson Park! Charlotte Latin's Jack Ratterree finished third in a new seasons best of 16:02 as he outdueled Patrick Hunter of Cannon School, who finished fourth in 16:16. Behind them Providence Day's 3-6 ran together as a pack as they placed 6 runners in the top 9 to increase their streak of consecutive CISAA titles to 15 years.