Eagles' league title bid denied
By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on October 23, 2009 1:46 PM
The three-peat will have to wait.
Wayne Christian's quest for a third consecutive Carolina Christian 1-A Conference boys' cross country championship was derailed on Thursday afternoon at Waynesborough Park.
Cresset Christian placed three runners among the top 10 and compiled a team score of 47 to take home the conference title. Cresset's Jon Stallings was the top male individual runner with a time of 17 minutes and 53 seconds. Stallings captured male runner-of-the-year honors.
Trinity of Durham finished with a team score of 60 ahead of Cape Fear's 66. Wayne Christian and Grace Christian shared fourth place with 81 points.
The Eagles. Connor Jones crossed the finish line in second place with a time of 18:36. Cape Fear's W.A. Myatt (19:22) was third ahead of Trinity's Will Young (19:46). Grace Christian's Bob Houser (19:53) rounded out the top five.
Wayne Christian head coach Lee Price has seen the affects graduation and the development process of young runners has had on his program.
"We knew coming in that we were going to be a little bit less than what our competition was," said Price. "Our conference is very, very strong. We've been running better all year, but I knew were a little weaker. We've won the conference the past two years in a row and we've lost some kids to graduation and we're young now.
"I think we did fairly well for what we did but we've got a long ways to go and we're building."
Grace Christian claimed four of the top seven spots on the girls' side and tallied a team score of 25. Trinity was second with 37 and Wayne Christian finished third with 68 points. Cresset and Cape Fear did not earn team scores.
Sinclair Owen, the conference's female runner-of-the-year, finished first in 21:22. Teammate Katarine Pibl crossed the line in second place in 21:25.
Cresset's Jordan Black (22:03) was third ahead of Grace Christian's Ashley Clark (22:34). Jennifer Price was the Eagles' top finisher in fifth place at 22:56.
Coach Price has seen his team benefit from the experience gained from a schedule full of meets against strong competition.
"They've just matured into good runners," he said. "In the beginning they were just out here trying a new sport. They just caught on and now they've become runners. This is our 19th meet and we've tried to run a variety of different meets.
"Our conference is strong and it makes us strong. It will make us better later on."