10/20/10 — Hawks' Irsik seizes girls' individual championship

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Hawks' Irsik seizes girls' individual championship

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on October 20, 2010 1:47 PM

Everyone at the Eastern Carolina 3-A Cross Country championships on Tuesday will certainly remember their trip to Waynesborough Park.

If not for the running, certainly for the mosquitoes that swarmed runners, coaches and spectators throughout the afternoon.

Through the swarm, it was the South Johnston boys team and the Triton girls squad that emerged victorious.

The day's only mild upset came in the girls' individual race.

North Lenoir sophomore Sarah Irsik captured the championship in 21 minutes and 24 seconds, and was named the ECC runner-of-the-year. The recent transfer from Kansas strolled to the lead during the second lap and easily held off South Johnston's Morgan Gatlin and Triton's Laura Godwin.

"When Sarah moved here I asked her how many runners were on her old cross country team and she told me there were 50," said North Lenoir head coach Jim Montague. "She has had to adjust to being one of only six runners, but she has obviously taken to it."

Eastern Wayne finished second in the girls' team standings with 57 points. Heather Black paced the Warriors with a seventh-place finish in 23:54. Rachel Christela (24:17) finished in 10th place for Eastern Wayne. Warriors' head coach Jessica Gray earned girls coach-of-the-year honors.

C.B. Aycock finished with 74 team points, led by Kendra Speight's ninth-place run. Teammate Kayla Newsome ended up 19th.

Southern Wayne, North Lenoir and Cleveland did not have enough runners to record a team score. Kanesha Jones paced the Saints in 26:54.

On the boys' side, South Johnston's dynamic duo of Nathan Raynor and Cirillo Perez claimed first and second, respectively. Raynor earned runner-of-the-year honors with a time of 17:27.

South Johnston collected a meet-low 34 points in the team-title chase. Eastern Wayne finished second in the team standings with 66 points. Triton (81), Cleveland (90), C.B. Aycock (93), North Lenoir (146) and Southern Wayne (169) rounded out the boys' field.

"I was really pleased with the boys for continuing to work hard throughout the year and earning a second place finish today," said Eastern Wayne head coach Sydney Myers. "I hope that we really hit our peak with the county meet and the regional coming up."

Warren Kirkwood (18:53) led the Warriors with a seventh-place finish. Caleb Cooper (19:17) ran in 10th place and Nolan Kirkwood (19:55) finished 13th.

Cory Hans led C.B. Aycock with a 12th-place finish in 19:52. Doug Watkins (20:01) finished in 15th. Southern Wayne was led by Quadri West's time of 20:58 and North Lenoir was paced by Kenny Green in 20:54.

All of the Wayne County teams will return to Waynesborough Park next Tuesday for the annual Bill Kemp Invitational. The eastern 3-A regional is Oct. 30 in Winterville.