Providence senior Grace Sullivan has established herself as one of the top distance runners in the state over the past few seasons whether running on a cross country course, indoor track or outdoor track.
This fall, Sullivan, who has committed to East Carolina, proved she was among the best runners in her conference, region and in the state in her final high school cross country season.
Sullivan earns the Observer girls’ cross country runner of the year honors after running the best time in the coverage area when she won the 4A West Regional title in 17:35 (3rd-best time in the state this season) at McAlpine Park.
Sullivan, the SoMeck8 Conference champion, also finished fifth at the 4A meet and was a model of consistency running four of her six races in under 18 minutes.
Myers Park’s Lamont Hayes is the Observer girls’ cross country coach the year after leading the Mustangs to Southwestern 4A Conference and 4A West Regional titles and finishing state runner-up.
The Mustangs had a balanced lineup led by senior Mary Prouty, who ran the second-best time in the Observer area (17:38 at 4A West Regional).
The Community School of Davidson girls (NCHSAA 1A) and Providence Day’s boys and girls (NCISAA 3A) won their respective team state championships.
First Team All Observer
Grace Sullivan, Providence, Sr.: SoMeck8 Conference, 4A West Regional champion (in personal-best 17:35) also finished fifth at the 4A state meet, won Wendys’ Invitational open race, Seahawk Invitational.
Mary Prouty, Myers Park, Sr.: SW4A Conference champion, 4A West Regional runner-up in personal-best 17:38 (tied McAlpine Park school record), also finished seventh at state.
Lexi King, Marvin Ridge, Soph.: Southern Carolinas’ Conference, 3A Midwest Regional champion took fourth at 3A state, ran a season-best 18:04.8 at the Adidas Challenge.
Maddie McHugh, Hough, Sr.: Ran personal-best 18:19 at Providence Invitational, won MECKA 4A Conference title, finished fifth at 4A West Regional, 22nd at state.
Brittany Stanley, Mount Pleasant, Jr.: Rocky River Conference, 2A Midwest Regional champion ran personal-best 18:19.2 at Hares and Hounds Invitational, finished 3rd at 2A state.
Kiley Aymar, Ardrey Kell, Soph.: SoMeck8 runner-up, sixth at 4A West Regional, 15th at state, ran personal-best 18:20 at Wendys’ Invitational.
Malia Ellington, Community School of Davidson, Sr.: Harvard signee won her 11th individual state title while leading Spartans to a 1A state championship; also won Southern Piedmont 1A Conference, 1A West Regional titles, season-best 18:24.27 at Hares and Hounds Invitational.
Lanie Jo Knight, Rock Hill, Fresh.: AAAA state runner-up in personal-best 18:23.82, also Region IIII, AAAA and AAAA Mid States’ champion.
Second Team All-Observer
Holly Bailey, Lake Norman, Soph.
Josie Jordan, Ardrey Kell, Fresh.
Kayla Glova, Providence, Jr.
Kate Eiselt, Myers Park, Soph.
Frances Massey, East Lincoln, Soph.
Emma Hand, Northwest Cabarrus, Sr.
Paige McKinney, Hough, Jr.
Natalie Andrejchak, Jay M. Robinson, Sr.
Jenna Metwalli, Cannon School, Jr.
Melissa Zammitti, Lake Norman, Soph.
Observer runner of the year: Grace Sullivan, Providence.
Observer coach of the year: Lamont Hayes, Myers Park