09/29/10 — Watkins, Rogers pace Falcons

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Watkins, Rogers pace Falcons

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on September 29, 2010 1:47 PM

DUDLEY -- Charles B. Aycock's Doug Watkins and Alex Rogers did everything they could to break up South Johnston's perfect performance on a partly-sunny Tuesday afternoon.

The Trojans were just too good in the end.

Junior distance runner Nathan Raynor emerged the individual winner in 19 minutes, 5 seconds, and four teammates crossed the finish line behind him during an Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference cross country meet at Southern Wayne. The Trojans collected 15 points -- the minimum score a team can earn in a meet.

Watkins (22:09) and Rogers (22:43) ended up sixth and seventh, respectively, for the Golden Falcons, who logged 49 points. The host Saints edged North Lenoir 85-88 for third place.

"They have some good guys on their team," said Watkins of the Trojans. "The second mile, they pushed ahead pretty good. My second mile, I lost a lot and made up for it on the third mile, but it wasn't enough to get me back up there where I was (early in the race)."

South Johnston sophomore Seth Merson captured eighth in 22:51. Aycock's Cory Haas (23:02) and Saints senior Quadray Blount (23:05) rounded out the top 10.

North Lenoir's Kenny Greene seized 11th.

The Trojans grabbed the girls' portion of the race with a 40-60 decision over the Saints. The Hawks, led by Sarah Irsik's runner-up effort, scored 65 points. Aycock had four runners, one short of the necessary number needed to post a team score.

South Johnston's Morgan Gatlin secured the individual race in 23:40 -- 40 seconds ahead of Irsik, who placed third in the JV division during the ECU Invitational contested last weekend.

The Trojans' Katie Hodges claimed third, while the Golden Falcons' Kendra Speight (26:04) wound up fourth. South's Dava McLamb (26:18) and Aycock's Kayla Newsome (28:40) placed fifth and sixth, respectively.

The Golden Falcons' Myra Waheed (28:52), the Hawks' Madison Hines (29:56) and Saints teammates Kanesha Jones (29:57) and Domelia Dewitt (30:22) completed the top 10.

"The girls ran well today," said Southern Wayne head coach Takisha Vann. "They're getting better and their times are coming down, so I can see the improvement. Hopefully, this will encourage them to keep working hard."