Davie boys 6th of 32 in Friday Night Lights cross country meet

Published 8:59 am Thursday, September 16, 2021

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One hundred schools from the Carolinas and Virginia converged on Kernersville’s Ivey Redmon Park on Friday for the annual cross country carnival known as Friday Night lights. Approximately 2,500 runners spread across 10 races battled in excellent weather conditions as the temperature dipped into the 60s for the championship races after dark.

Davie runners competed in five separate races, including a developmental two-mile race, two JV 5k races and the invitational varsity races which commenced just before 9 p.m.

In the boys’ varsity invitational race, the War Eagles battled 32 schools and came away with a sixth-place finish. Providence captured the team title with 98 points to defeat Riverside (129) and Charlotte Catholic (151) while Dave tallied 232.

Stephen Fernetti of North Lincoln was the individual winner with a time of 16:01. Davie was led by Andrew Brown, who placed 27th in 17:17. He was followed by Caleb Young in 35th (17:33), Cole Swade in 52nd (17:45), Reece Yount in 56th (17:51) and Tyler Hill in 67th (17:58). Owen Sulecki claimed 91st (18:22), Thomas Essic was 96th (18:26) and Sebastien McEwen rounded out the Davie effort in 156th (19:25) in a field of 238 finishers.

“Although this course is slightly more difficult than McAlpine Park where we raced two weeks ago, the milder temperature resulted in generally faster times for us,” said coach Rob Raisbeck. “Seven of our eight varsity boys ran faster than our first meet. We had several breakout performances. Cole had by far the best race of his career. Coach (Jeff) Jones and I have been waiting for Cole to perform like that and he really came through. Our two freshmen also were outstanding. Tyler and Thomas are running beyond expectations now and  currently have the 19th and 39th best freshman times in the state. The main issue for us was that we needed to get out faster at the start. We were buried in the first mile. Coach Jones was stationed at the mile mark and reported to me that we had nobody in the top 70 at that point. To their credit, our guys methodically made their way through the pack and we probably improved by at least five team places in the last mile.”

The varsity girls were still not at full strength and only entered five runners in the invitational race. The Lady War Eagles finished 20th as a team and were led by Riley Almond, who claimed 63rd in 21:49. She was followed closely by Lexi Kulis (79th in 22:12) and Gracie Spicer (80th in 22:14). Logan White made her season debut with a 173rd place finish (24:26), while Raelyn Lankford rounded out the scoring in 191st (25:04). Page freshman Allie Kinlaw claimed the individual title in 19:03, while North Lincoln knocked off Providence and Green Hope in the team race.

“We are lacking depth right now on our girls’ squad,” said Raisbeck. “But all of them ran hard and performed much better than at our first meet.”

The Davie boys were well represented in two JV races. “We had 10 guys in the JV races,” said Raisbeck. “Most were freshmen who have only been training for about a month, but their improvement across the board has been pretty remarkable. All 10 of our runners were faster than at the Providence meet and almost all of them were one or two minutes faster. Hayden Key (21:55), Adam Brown (22:40) and Noah Shore (22:30) were all around two minutes faster and Wade Bomar (23:37) improved by three minutes. If we can keep them focused and committed to our training program, a bunch of these young guys have a chance to really help us down the line.“

The Davie runners have a short turnaround before returning to action Sept. 18 at the Pfeiffer Invitational in Misenheimer.

“We usually prefer to race every two weeks, but this is a smaller meet with only 14 teams entered as of now and it will give us a chance to work on some technical things in a low-key setting,” he said. “Plus we won both varsity races the last time this meet was held two years ago, and I like the idea of going and defending our title.“