Saturday, October 27, 2012

Providence dominates 4A West cross-country regionals

Providence High's boys and girls cross country teams have had their measure of success -- usually at different times.

But both Panthers teams put it all together Saturday, taking three of the four championships at the NCHSAA 4A West Regional meet at McAlpine Creek Park.

Providence swept the boys and girls team titles for the first time in the school's 23-year history, and junior Wyatt Maxey added to his Southwestern 4A championship by taking the boys individual title.

"I don't think this has ever happened," Providence boys coach Steve Touranjoe. "It's no surprise considering our region, which I think is one of the toughest in the state. Every year, it's a battle just to get out of the region and go to the state meet."

Led by Maxey -- who edged Lake Norman's Patrick Sheehan by less than a second to win his first regional title -- the Panthers placed three other runners in the top 20 to finish ahead of Asheville's T.C. Roberson by 19 points (55-74).

"I thought it was going to be close," said Maxey, who finished the five-kilometer course in 15 minutes, 43 seconds. "Patrick is such a tough runner. But we practice here everyday. That gives us great knowledge of the course, where to make your moves and stuff like that."

Also qualifying for next week's NCHSAA state meet in Kernersville were teams from Watauga (87 points) and Ardrey Kell (132). Sheehan advanced to the state meet as an individual runner, as did Mooresville's Tim Coffey, East Mecklenburg's Fisher Ramsey, and Dylan Mathewson and Alex Craig from South Caldwell.

In the girls meet, Providence had three runners finish in the top 10 to beat out Roberson again for team honors, 55-82.

Roberson senior Brooke Gordon won the individual title after two-time regional and 2010 state champ Darby Middlebrook dropped out with a leg injury while leading at the two-mile mark.

"That's not the way I wanted to win this," a tearful Gordon -- who time of 18:09 was six seconds ahead of Ardrey Kell's Syndey Foreman -- said after the race. "It's hard to see a friend hurting like that."

Also advancing to the state meet were teams from Ardrey Kell (85) and Myers Park (88), and individual runners Doria Kosmala and Madison Harman from Watauga, and Anna Vess, Larissa Wood and Emma Himelein-Wachowiak from Asheville's A.C. Reynolds.