As part of the New Hanover County Cross Country Championships at Hugh McRae Park on October 15th, in addition to the varsity and junior varsity races, Cape Fear Academy will also host a competition that reaches out to middle and elementary schoolers from across the area.
All of the county’s high schools will be opening the ‘championship’ season in a little less than two weeks. Top teams this season, as well as top individuals, will be recognized immediately following the meet thanks to real time results provided by Go Time race management at no cost to the event.
Following the high school competition, there will be a two-mile middle school race and one-mile elementary school race at the park. Athletes in theses divisions will be recognized as well.
“While high schools must have a New Hanover County address – we are encouraging competition from any middle or elementary school in southeastern North Carolina,” said Cape Fear Academy Coach Colin Hackman. “We would like to encourage local club teams, middle school coaches, and elementary school running clubs to come give ‘big time’ cross country a try.”
The girls varsity meet is shaping up to be an entertaining race with runners from Laney, Ashley, Hoggard and New Hanover all near the top of this year’s field.
Haley and Cameron Smithwick are among the elite, with top-three finishes in their last two outings, each earning a win in the 500-meter race and guiding the Bucs to a pair of team victories. Freshman Natalie Tyner has also emerged as another threat for Laney, with a consecutive top-three performances in September and a fifth-place finish at the Seahawk Invitational, completing the 3.1 mile course in 20:37:80. Ninety-four other runners from across the state competed at the event.
Working into form in hopes of another county championship, Hoggard junior Sara Pellizzari is looking to defend her crown and add another accolade to a growing list of awards, which includes last year’s Mideastern Conference title. Charlotte Jones (New Hanover) and Julia Boudreau (Ashley) have all represented their schools with strong showings in the top five this season.
In the boys race, the field is loaded with experienced runners as teammates Xavier McKinley (New Hanover) and Henry Kunz (New Hanover) both have times in the low 17-minute range. Robison Snider (Hoggard), Brian Walker (Laney) and Cody Benton (Ashley) are a trio of seniors looking to fare well in their final season. Cape Fear Academy’s Alex Nadaud is also a runner to keep an eye on down the stretch.
Information on the meet, and registration is located HERE on the NCRUNNERS website.