Friday, October 28, 2011

Providence Day wins NCISAA state cross country championship

After seeing the group of red jerseys at the top of the pack on McAlpine Park’s course on Friday, it was only a matter of reading the results to learn what most people had figured out – Providence Day’s boys won another state cross country title.

The Chargers took four of the top 13 places, including all-state finishes by senior Reed Payne (fourth, 16:03) and sophomore Ben Huffman (fifth, 16:04), and five of the top 22 to beat runner-up Cary Academy, 56-73, and win their second straight NCISAA 3A title and fifth in seven years.

“We went into it the same way we went into it last year,” said Providence Day coach Ben Hovis, who acknowledged that this was the school’s best team in history. “That if we put four in front of their (third runner), we would win.”

After Payne and Huffman, who won the CISAA conference title more than a week ago, Providence Day had strong performances by freshmen Nick Linder (12th, 16:26) and Jack Paddison (13th, 16:28), as well as sophomore Evan Gray (22nd, 17:03).

For such a young team, the turning point to knowing this would be a special season came on Sept. 17 at the Adidas Cross Country Challenge in Cary and at the United Way Invitational in Newton on Oct. 12. That’s when several of the younger runners had solid races.

Cary Academy’s Thomas Graham won his fourth straight title, covering the 5K course in 15:09. Charlotte Country Day’s Rob Saunders earned all-state with a ninth-place finish (16:13).

In the girls’ 3A race, Raleigh Ravenscroft won its first title since 1995 by beating four-time champion Charlotte Latin, 70-17, and Durham Academy freshman Eliza Dekker ran 17:50 to win individual honors. Area all-state runners were Providence Day’s Emma Brown (ninth, 19:39) and Charlotte Latin’s Tricia Murphy (10th, 19:45) and Laura Gill (11th, 19:48).

In the girls’ 2A race, Davidson Day was runner-up to two-time defending champion Cary Christian, 48-63. Leading Davidson Day were all-state runners Melissa Zammitti (fourth, 20:01) and Rachel Bringewatt (ninth, 20:28).

In the boys’ 1A race, Hickory Christian, winners of the last three N.C. Christian Schools Association titles, moved to the NCISAA this season and won the NCISAA boys’ 1A title, 38-68, over defending champion Wayne Christian. All-state performers Ben Lowry (third, 18:12); Luke Lowry (fifth, 18:38); Andrew Tysinger (sixth, 18:52) and Mitchell Hartman (11th, 19:26) led Hickory Christian.

-- Correspondent Brett Honeycutt


Anonymous said...

Congrats to Ben Hovis--the best cross country coach in the south!!! Keep up the good work, hoss!

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