Boys cross country 3rd out of 25 teams

Published 9:27 am Thursday, October 7, 2021

Guilford County’s Hagan Stone Park was the site of the annual Hagan Stone XC Classic on Saturday. The Davie cross country team was among the nearly 50 schools from across North Carolina and southern Virginia entered in multiple sections.

Competing in the championship division against the top teams in the field and running without two of their top four runners in the lineup, the short-handed War Eagle boys raced to an impressive third place finish. Perennial power Green Hope took top honors with 32 points to easily outdistance Jordan, which finished with 111. Davie was third with 124, followed by Community School of Davidson with 177 and Christiansburg (Va.) with 189. A total of 25 schools registered team scores in the race.

Jordan’s Ian Rouse cruised to his second consecutive big meet victory of the season as he crossed the line in 16:05. He was followed by Green Hope’s Jacob Kurak in 16:18. Andrew Brown led the Davie harriers with an 18th place showing in 17:19 in a field of 174 finishers. Reece Yount took 25th in 17:33, one place ahead of Owen Sulecki in 17:38. Freshmen Tyler Hill (17:50) and Thomas Essic (17:52) rounded out the Davie scoring in 36th and 38th place, respectively. Sebastien McEwen placed 85th in 19:00, while Will Allard made his varsity debut with a time of 20:48.

“Our varsity boys rose to the challenge today,” said coach Rob Raisbeck. “We are a bit banged up and had two of our top four out of the lineup, so we didn’t have any margin for error. We responded with four of our top five finishers running personal record times. Reece is now running two minutes faster than his best time before this season. Owen has returned to form after an illness slowed him down early in the season. And our freshmen both ran extremely well. Tyler and Thomas are each among the 30 fastest freshmen in the state at the moment. Coach (Jeff) Jones and I are very pleased with the effort of our varsity guys right now. We now have seven guys under 18:00.”

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The Davie girls also competed in the championship division and finished 11th among a field of 23 teams registering team scores. Charlotte Country Day easily took the team title with 24 points while Green Hope (106) and Northern Guilford (107) placed second and third. Davie claimed the 11th spot with 317 points. Topsail’s Kaitlin Obremski showed why she is one of the premier runners in the state as she cruised to victory in 18:17 and was followed by a trio of Charlotte Country Day runners.

Riley Almond ran her best race of the season and finished 34th    in a field of 151 runners with a time of 21:20. Gracie Spicer nabbed 47th place in 22:33 while Lexi Kulis was 51st in 22:42. Logan White ran a personal best time of 24:13 for 81st place and was followed by Raelyn Lankford (26:05) and Isabel Kittleson (26:34).

‘We were missing a couple of girls today just like in the boys race,” said Raisbeck. “But even at full strength we would only have moved up to 10th overall. We have some aches and pains we will need to get behind us before the conference meet in a few weeks, but it was good to see Riley have a good race. That should set her up for the championship races later this month.”

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The JV boys competition was the last race of the day. The War Eagles were led by Cooper White, who placed 18th with a time of 20:33 in a field of 107 runners. Hayden Key was 26th (21:02), Aric Boles 29th (21:13), Jesus Guzman 32nd (21:28) and Tyler Shore 41st (21:51).    

“We had some huge PRs from our JV boys,” said Raisbeck. “We had a total of 25 runners compete in the three races and 15 of them ran personal bests. In the varsity boys race, we saw PRs by Reece, Owen, Tyler and Thomas. In the girls race, we had PRs from Gracie, Logan and Isabel. And in the JV race, we had PRs from Hayden, Aric, Tyler, Adam Brown, Jake Hannah, Wade Bomar, Christopher Devicente and Matthew Freeland. Hayden, Aric and Tyler, in particular, all had huge improvements. Aric ran 2:32 faster than ever before, which is pretty amazing.”

The Hagan Stone meet marked the last invitational on the Davie calendar. Next up is the CPC Championships at Ivey Redmon Park on Oct. 20.

“As always, the CPC is proving to be one of the toughest in the state,” said Raisbeck. “Mt. Tabor is the top team in the state among boys and is ranked in the top 25 in the nation. Reagan is strong and will be tough to beat for second, but that will be one of our goals. On paper we are very close with West right now in the battle for third. Among the girls, Mt. Tabor, Reagan and West are all strong and Reynolds is improving. We are a solid bet for fifth right now. But anything can happen on race day.”