Lexi King has accomplished a lot in her Marvin Ridge cross country career, winning the Southern Carolinas’ conference and 3A Midwest Regional titles as freshman, sophomore and junior.
The Marvin Ridge senior has had a lot of success on the track, winning two individual N.C. 3A state state championships (1600-meter in 2015 and 2016), two relay state titles (4 X 800, 2015 indoor, 2016 outdoor) as well as two team titles (2014 and 2015, 3A indoor state titles).
But in her final cross country season in high school, King is focused on winning the 3A state championship that has eluded her after finishing fifth in the state as a freshman and fouth at the 3A state meet the last two years.
King hopes to help her Mavericks’ cross country team win it all, as the Marvin Ridge girls have finished as 3A state runner-up in 2013 and 2015 and third in 2014.
"It’s definitely a goal to finish out strong and come out on top (at states) in cross country for (myself) and our team," said King, who has run 40 to 50 miles per week all summer to prepare for the upcoming season.
Coach Cameron Starr says King’s focus in on the process of each race.
"In big picture, Lexi is focused on being a consistent contender in all of her races," said Starr, noting King has a lot of college track interest. "She has matured as a runner in the last three years and she is much more confident at the big meets. I believe we are going to see a much more aggressive Lexi in state championship meet(s) and I think that approach will pay off."
Name: Lexi King
School/Class: Marvin Ridge senior
Sport: Girls’ Cross Country
2015 Cross Country Stats: Won Southern Carolinas’ conference (SCC) and 3A Midwest Regional cross country championships for the third year in a row, finished fourth at states for the second straight year.
Why Her?: The three-time, all-state (cross country) performer wants nothing less than to finish her (cross country) career with an individual and team state title this fall.
Charlotte Observer Girls’ Cross Country Runners to Watch
Melissa Zammitti, Davidson Day, Sr.: Reigning NCISAA 2A state cross country runner-up had a monster outdoor season winning three individual state titles (800, 1600, 3200), and looks to carry that momentum into this season.
Izzy Evely and Mariah Howlett, Lake Norman Charter, Jr. (both): Evely was Big South conference and 2A West Regional champion, finished fourth at states; Howlett was Big South conference and 2A West Regional runner-up, 14th at states, providing a potent one-two punch that capable of winning any race.
Jennae Jacob, Marvin Ridge: The Mavericks have plenty of talent to go with King, the reigning 2015 Union County cross country champion, who finished seventh in SCC, 11th at regionals last year.
Danielle Rinn, Weddington, Jr: Quickly became a consistent contender in the SCC (5th), 3A Midwest Regional (5th) and at states (11th) in her first year with the program, now looking to be even better.
Kate Eiselt/Story Gourley, Myers Park, Sr. (both): The Mustangs’ senior duo have been consistent performers over their Myers Park careers, and look to finish with a bang as Eiselt finished third at 4A West Regionals last year, while Gourley is the defending SW4A conference champion.
Charlotte Observer Girls’ Cross Country Teams to Watch
Marvin Ridge: The Mavericks girls have been a consistent 3A state contender, and with King, Jacob and sophomore Lindsay Harrison plus a talented group of freshmen, coach Starr believes the reigning 3A state runner-up will be in the championship race again.
Myers Park: The Mustangs have the depth, experience and talent to be a serious contender after winning the SW4A conference title, finishing as 4A West Regional runner-up and sixth at 4A states last fall.,
Lake Norman Charter: The Knights finished third at 2A states last year, and with two of the states’ best in Evely and Howlett returning, they will have a chance to be a big factor again.
Providence: The defending 4A West Regional and SoMeck8 champions have consistently been one of the states’ best and will look to do it again this fall led by senior Lindsay Lanier.
Providence Day: Coach Ben Hovis and company have consistently been state contenders, and the 2015 NCISAA 3A state runners-up have the talent to be near the top again led by sisters, Justine and Regan Cronk and Molly Kral.