Carolina 1-A meet
By Gabe Whisnant
Published in Sports on October 5, 2006 2:31 PM
SEVEN SPRINGS -- The North Duplin boys and Princeton girls cross country teams continued their Class 1-A Carolina Conference dominance with convincing wins at Cliffs of the Neuse State Park on Wednesday afternoon.
Keyed by juniors Clint Bland (20:17), Justin Hicks (20:37) and Michael Mathis (20:53), who took the top three spots, the Rebels posted 32 team points and claimed their third victory in as many meets against league foes.
The three ND runners have been in the program since its beginning in 2004 and take pride in seeing it grow into a conference force.
"We all started in the ninth grade and nobody knew much about cross country," Bland said. "But since then, we've had an increase in teammates every year. We're all competitive in practice and push each other to the max."
Spring Creek, paced by a fourth-place finish by Ryan Kelly at 21:11 and Alex Casey's ninth-place time of 22:17, took second with 51 points. It was the Gators' third, second-place finish.
"They are tough," Kelly said of the North Duplin trio. "I think I can catch them by the end of the year, but it's going to take a lot of hard work and practice."
Both Princeton (60) and Rosewood (79) had two in the top 10 and rounded out the team scoring. Christopher Hinton (21:20) and Chris Langdon (22:00) led the Bulldogs, while Brandon Bryant (21:19) and Jeremy Peterson (22:40) paced the Eagles.
Kyle Canuette (22:41) and John Canuette (24:16) helped North Duplin's effort with 11th and 16th place finishes, respectively.
"North Duplin's got those three guys up top, but they've also got those middle spots," Spring Creek coach Mike Jones said. "We've got to get some of our guys to work up into those 10, 12, 14 positions to be able to catch them."
In the girl's meet, Princeton harriers made up half of the top 10 spots and also remained unbeaten in three league outings. Missing one of its leading runners, senior Courtney Yancey, the Bulldogs still finished with 28 team points and bested rival North Johnston, which had 42.
Sophomores Olivia Booker (25:57) and Maegan Hewett (26:44) led Princeton in third and fourth, while teammates Brittany Rainbow (28:15), Jill Whitley (28:40) and Haylee Wood (29:35) claimed sixth, eighth and ninth, respectively.
"We don't have that top girl this year, but have a strong base and core to the team," Princeton coach Amanda Rowland said. "The girls all come in together."
The next Carolina meet is slated for Oct. 11 at North Johnston. The conference championship meet returns to Cliffs of the Neuse on Oct. 19.
North Duplin 32, Spring Creek 51, Princeton 60, Rosewood 79
1. Clint Bland (ND) 20:17
2. Justin Hicks (ND) 20:37
3. Michael Mathis (ND) 20:53
4. Ryan Kelly (SC) 21:11
5. Brandon Bryant (RHS) 21:19
6. Christopher Hinton (PHS) 21:20
7. Jonathan Teachey (NJ) 21:39
8. Chris Langdon (PHS) 22:00
9. Alex Casey (SC) 22:17
10. Jeremy Peterson (RHS) 22:40
Princeton 28, North Johnston 42, North Duplin 71, Rosewood 79
1. Elizabeth Baker (NJ) 23:11
2. Rocio Alvarado (ND) 25:10
3. Olivia Booker (PHS) 25:57
4. Meagan Hewett (PHS) 26:44
5. Amanda Sharp (NJ) 27:35
6. Brittany Rainbow (PHS) 28:15
7. Savannah Egelston (SC) 28:35
8. Jill Whitley (PHS) 28:40
9. Haylee Wood (PHS) 29:35
10. Sarah Conger (RHS) 29:40
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