09/16/11 — Rosewood's Britt, Princeton's Evans record top times

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Rosewood's Britt, Princeton's Evans record top times

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on September 16, 2011 1:49 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- "Follow Nick Britt" will be the recurring theme during Carolina 1-A Conference boys' cross country meets this fall.

The Rosewood senior launched defense of his 2010 championship with a first-place effort of 18 minutes, 41 seconds in the season-opening meet contested at Mount Olive College on a hot, humid Wednesday afternoon.

"The course was kind of annoying because it was three circles and I'm used to either one or two, and when you have to do the same thing a third time, it makes it a little tougher," said Britt. "I just had to keep pushing myself. It was very hard ... hot. I have to give God the credit because he gives me the strength that I have."

Meanwhile, Megan Evans just might continue a legacy outstanding runners produced by the Princeton High girls' program. The freshman covered the 5k (3.1-mile) run in 27:04 -- more than a minute faster than her nearest competitor.

"It was hard, but it was fun," said the soft-spoken Evans.

The flat course encompassed three loops around three athletic fields. Each race started beside Nancy Chapman Cassell Field (softball), ziz-zagged at points near Amon Field (soccer) and concluded with a trek behind Scarborough Field (baseball).

Princeton, the reigning boys' team champion, placed five runners among the top 10 and racked up 25 points. Spring Creek was second with 59, followed by North Duplin (81) and Rosewood (100).

Tri-County 1-A member Midway competed as a "guest" team.

"I think we did all right today," said Princeton's Quinn Dougherty, who placed fifth in 19:47. "I was surprised I stayed with him (Britt) as long as I did. I'm pretty excited because we lost one runner from last year and we have a good freshman group.

"I liked the course, am glad it was flat and is a nice change from the Cliffs. Some more shade would have been nice."

Cliffs of the Neuse is closed due to damage from Hurricane Irene.

Midway's Caleb Sanders finished second behind Britt, followed by Spring Creek freshman Allen Coor (19:40) and Goldsboro High sophomore Victor Predzinbowski (19:45).

Neither preferred the course layout, but each felt extremely pleased with their respective effort.

"I could have done better, wish I had done better but for not practicing with the cross country team and running soccer, I think I did well," said Prezbindowski. "The course was nice, but I wish we didn't zig-zag around as much and it confused me a little bit because we would go forward, go back the same way and then turn.

"I would have preferred one big loop."

Christine Conger (28:16) spearheaded a 2-3-4 finish in the girls' portion of the race, and helped Rosewood edge Princeton 26-45. Teammates Ashley Duran and Charleigh Smith followed her to the stripe in 28:19 and 28:23, respectively. Fellow Eagles Brynna Lee (29:08) and Kelsey Kornegay (31:01) rounded out the team scoring.

The Rebels placed third with 59 points.

Two of the top runners from last year, Goldsboro's Mikayla Huf and former Rosewood standout Chloe Lamb, did not participate. Huf is recovering from a right knee injury, while Lamb transferred to Charles B. Aycock. Huf hopes to begin running next week.

Goldsboro's Grayson Collins grabbed fifth in 28:35.

Kaytlin Casey and Abigail Rubio seized eight and ninth, respectively, for Princeton.