08/29/12 — Wayne Christian cross country

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Wayne Christian cross country

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on August 29, 2012 1:51 PM

Coming off of an individual state championship in 2011, it would be understandable if Wayne Christian cross country star Connor Jones relaxed a little bit in 2012.

Jones showed no signs of stopping to smell the roses on Tuesday.

The fleet-footed junior ran smart and finished with a personal-best time of 17 minutes and 14 seconds on the course at Waynesborough Park. The time was three seconds better than his run in the state championship meet last season.

"I really have to give credit to McKinley Gray from Epiphany," Jones said. "He ran a great race, and he really pushed me early on and got me on a good pace."

Gray, who finished state runner-up last year, ran step-for-step with Jones for the first half of the race before eventually falling back to second place in 17:44.

"Our goal for Connor is to be running in the 16-minute range consistently by the end of the season," Wayne Christian head coach Brian Jones said. "Today was a good sign, especially since it is just the second meet of the season."

Spencer Foster (21:14), David Swets (22:48) and Levi Miller (23:00) rounded out the Eagles' team score of 63, which was good enough for third place.

Epiphany won the team event with 39 points and Faith Christian of Rocky Mount was second with 43 points. Oakwood finished fourth with 137 points. Wayne Country Day and Cape Fear Christian did not have enough runners to register a team score.

Jaxton Warren led Wayne Country Day with a ninth-place finish in 21:39.

On the girls' side, Epiphany finished with 38 points and Faith Christian scored 43 points. WCDS, Wayne Christian, Cape Fear Christian and Oakwood did not count in the team standings due to short-handed teams.

Faith's Mary McCall-Leyland finished first overall with a time of 24:25 seconds.

Lisa Peacock emerged the top runner for Wayne Country Day with a ninth-place time of 27:23.

Wayne Christian's Sarah Allen (29:35) and Georgia Parnell (29:36) finished 12th and 13th respectively.

The teams meet again Sept. 6 at Waynesborough Park.