Coach feels good about cross country future

Published 9:36 am Thursday, November 3, 2016

With one personal record and season-best time after another, the Davie cross country teams’ showings in the Midwest Regional were validation that Davie is moving in the right direction in year one under coach Rob Raisbeck.

The regional was held at Beeson Park in Kernersville on Oct. 29.

“It was a great finish to the season,” Raisbeck said. “We always want to peak for the championship meets. I told them before the race that they had done the hard part already in their training. The race was the easy part. All they had to do was perform like their preparation indicated they could. To their credit, every one of our athletes performed at a high level with more than half of them running faster than they ever had before. To have so many PRs or season bests at the same meet, and on the season’s biggest stage, is a credit to these young men and women, and to coach Jeff Jones and coach Kathy Hurst who tirelessly devoted their time and energy into helping make it happen. With continued hard work through the winter and outdoor track seasons, and a dedicated summer of conditioning, the future looks very bright for Davie cross country.”

The Davie girls, who finished 10th out of 19 teams, were led by freshman Emerson Frantz, the all-conference runner who placed 36th with a personal-record 21:02. She lowered her PR by 1:15 in the last two weeks.

Junior Jill Staley, who lowered her PR by an astounding 1:38 in the Central Piedmont Conference meet, lowered it another 15 seconds to 21:37 to finish 51st.

Junior Emily Pender, an all-conference runner, finished 57th at 21:49. “Emily had problems with a new pair of spikes, which hampered her race,” he said. “But she gutted out a good performance.”

Sophomore Abby Yount was 67th with a season-best 22:27. “Abby overcame a series of injuries and was limited in her training the last two weeks,” he said. “But she had her best performance when it mattered most.”

Junior Lilli Butterfield was 96th in 23:27 – a PR by 52 seconds. She lowered her PR by 1:31 over the last two meets. “Lilli is a 300-meter hurdle specialist in track, but she demonstrated a tremendous work ethic during the season,” he said. “We really needed her at the end of the season due to the unavailability of three of our top runners and she came through for us.”

Sophomore Meredith Everett was 97th in 23:29. It was a season best by 1:32. “I think Meredith may have been a little surprised we put her in the lineup for regionals, but her performance late in the season merited her selection,” he said.

Senior Erin Gniewek, who was 109th at 24:31, had a PR by 17 seconds.

“I could not be more pleased with the performance of our girls,” he said. “Including our three (two freshmen and one junior) who were unable to race Saturday, we will have our top nine returning next season.”

The Davie boys, who were 13th out of 22, were paced by tremendous showings from their top two.

Sophomore Clay Summers finished 46th as he broke 18 minutes for the first time. His 17:49 time was a huge PR of 28 seconds. Sophomore Trey Raisbeck was 60th at 18:08 as he posted a massive 54-second PR.

Senior Bryson Penley was 79th with a season-best 18:33. “Bryson had a late start to training as he spent the summer as a page working at the U.S. Senate in Washington, D.C.” Raisbeck said. “Due to a heavy academic load and other commitments, Bryson had decided not to run until his teammates talked him into it. As an example of Bryson’s tremendous character, he sent me a text after a rough performance at the CPC meet, apologizing for not running as fast as he thought he was capable. He promised to run faster at regionals and he responded with a great effort, which was 1:07 faster than the week before.”

Junior Alex Rodriguez was 88th at 18:51, and junior Harrison Shives was 92nd at 19:02. “Harrison was on his way to a PR and was running with Alex until he got tripped and fell in the last mile,” he said. “He crossed the finish line with blood running down his leg and arm from the fall.”

Sophomore Cameron Lee was 93rd with PR of 19:05. “Cameron was running with Bryson the first two miles and was on his way to a 30-second PR before twisting his ankle and limping home the last mile,” he said. “Despite the mishap, he still ran his best time ever.”

Junior Zach Rominger was 97th at 19:13 – a 33-second PR. “Zach altered his race strategy and went out a little slower the first mile,” he said. “As a result, he finished much stronger over the last mile and raced to a PR.”

The boys will return six of the top seven next year. “And we have three promising freshmen we hope will develop to help us in their sophomore years,” he said.