-- After a huge day at last week’s N.C. High School Association regional events, Observer-area runners will go after state titles Saturday when the championships return to Kernersville for the sixth straight year.
The races will be run at the Ivey M. Redmon Sports Complex.
Observer-area regional winners last week included: South Mecklenburg’s Haywood Ferguson (4A West); Providence’s Kayla Glova (4A girls West); Weddington’s Mitchell Resor (3A Midwest); Marvin Ridge’s Alexa King (3A girls Midwest); Lake Norman Charter’s Izzy Evely (2A girls West); and Mount Pleasant’s Brittany Stanley (2A girls Midwest).
Observer-area team winners included: Providence boys and girls (4A West); Weddington boys (3A Midwest); Marvin Ridge girls (3A Midwest); Lake Norman Charter girls (2A West); Central Academy boys (2A Midwest).
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This week, those runners and teams will face the top competition from across their state in their classifications. The eight cross-country championships include one in each of the NCHSAA’s four classifications for men and women.
The first race of the day will be the 2A boys championship at 10 a.m., followed by the 4A boys, 2A girls and 4A girls at 30-minute intervals. After a break, the 1A boys will start at 3 p.m., followed by 1A girls, 3A boys and 3A girls. The final race is set to start at 4:30 p.m.
Raleigh Broughton is the four-time defending men’s 4-A team champion and a Wake County school has won each of the last eight state team titles in that classification. Broughton won the 4-A Mideast Regional team title and Jeremy Brown of Broughton, the defending individual state champion, took top honors at that regional event last weekend.
Wilmington Hoggard, Winston-Salem Mount Tabor and Charlotte Providence also won their respective regional events.
Cary Green Hope’s girls have won the last six state 4A championships, and was second in the 4A Mideast Regional this year. Southern Pines Pinecrest, Raleigh Leesville Road, Raleigh Cardinal Gibbons and Providence were the regional women’s team champs.
In the 3A classification, Weddington broke through in 2013 to snap the Cardinal Gibbons hold on the boys’ state title, with the Crusaders winning three of the last four team crowns. Chapel Hill had won the team title the two years prior to that, in 2009 and 2010. Gibbons has also earned the last five 3A girls team titles but has moved up into the 4A classification.
In last weekend’s boys’ 3A regionals, Weddington was a winner along with Northern Nash, Chapel Hill and Asheville. The girls’ team champions in regional competition were West Carteret, Chapel Hill, Waxhaw Marvin Ridge and Asheville A.C. Reynolds.
Anna Vess of A.C. Reynolds, the reigning 3A individual girls champion, qualified for the state meet again by winning her regional event.
Durham North Carolina School of Science and Math has won the 2A boys championship for the last two years, with North Lincoln capturing state crowns in 2011 and ’12, and NCSSM won its regional last weekend. Newport Croatan, Central Academy of Monroe and Sylva Smoky Mountain were the other boys teams advancing after winning regional titles.
Carrboro has won four of the last five girls 2A team championships and a Carrboro individual runner has captured five 2A titles in a row, and the Jaguars are strong again after winning their regional event. Other team winners at the regional level were Kill Devil Hills First Flight, West Stanly and Lake Norman Charter.
Kernersville Bishop McGuinness has captured the 1A boys state crown for three consecutive years, but when the Villains’ streak started in 2012 they were the sixth different champion in that classification in a six-year period. Regional champs were Lejeune, Raleigh Charter and Research Triangle finishing in a tie in their regional, Walkertown and Community School of Davidson.
Community School of Davidson won the 1A girls team state title last year, with Bishop McGuinness winning two in a row right before that, in 2012 and ’13. Lejeune, Raleigh Charter, Misenheimer Gray Stone Day and Pine Lake Prep’s women’s teams all won their regional events.
The town of Kernersville is a host city sponsor for the cross country championships.