Considering Myers Park and Providence are two of the state’s top-ranked girls cross country teams, it came as no surprise they would be the ones battling for the NCHSAA 4A West Regional title.
As it turned out, just a couple of positions and a handful of points were all that separated the two, with third-ranked Myers Park edging No. 2 Providence by two points (58-60) Saturday at McAlpine Park.
It was the closest finish in the girls’ regional meet since 2008, when Watauga edged Myers Park by four points (39-43), and gave the Mustangs their first regional title in seven years.
“I knew it was going to be us and them, neck and neck,” Myers Park coach Lamont Hayes said. “I knew it was going to be close and knew it was going to come down to body-on-body at the finish line.”
Providence senior Grace Sullivan won her second straight regional title, beating Myers Park senior Mary Prouty by 3 seconds. Sullivan won the 5-kilometer race in 17 minutes, 35 seconds.
But the deciding finishes for Myers Park came in the lower half of the top 20. Mustangs runner Sydney Farris finished 14th while Providence’s Sarah Parrish came in 15th, 3 seconds behind.
Had Parrish finished ahead of Farris, it would have left Myers Park and Providence tied, with the tiebreaker as the team’s sixth runner. That would have given the team title to the Panthers, whose No. 6, Claire Strickler, came in 22nd.
“We knew it was going to come down to one or two runners,” Providence coach Kurt Niedenzu said. “That’s what you expect from the teams that are second and third in the state.”
In the boys meet, Providence won its second regional title in three years by edging defending champ Lake Norman by 16 points (73-89).
Mooresville senior Tim Coffey won his first individual regional title, edging East Mecklenburg’s Fisher Ramsey by 1 second. Coffey, who finished third last year, won in 16:03.
Coffey and Ramsey both qualified for next week’s state meet as individuals, as did Watauga’s Michael Holland (fifth), Olympic’s Ryan Ragoonath (seventh), and A.L. Brown’s Kellen Corson (11th).
3A Midwest Regional: Weddington’s boys and Marvin Ridge’s girls each claimed their fourth consecutive team championships, as well as taking individual titles, at Saturday’s regional.
Weddington, the defending state 3A champions, dominated the boys regional, with all five of its scorers finishing in the top 10 to beat North Lincoln by 78 points (32-110).
Weddington junior Mitchell Resor took individual honors, edging Carson’s Zachary Marchinko by 2 seconds. Resor won in 15:41.
In the girls meet, Marvin Ridge – led by two-time regional champ Alexa King – put three runners in the top 10, and beat Weddington by 38 points (46-84).
King, a sophomore, easily won her second straight regional title, leading from start-to-finish and beating Piedmont freshman Jaeden Phelix by 28 seconds. King won in 18:32.