09/20/12 — Coor, Collins keep steady pace in Carolina 1-A cross country meet

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Coor, Collins keep steady pace in Carolina 1-A cross country meet

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on September 20, 2012 1:49 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- Just keep the pace.

The simple mantra proved beneficial for a pair of sophomores Wednesday afternoon.

Spring Creek's Allen Coor and Goldsboro's Grayson Collins emerged the top boys' and girls' runner among Carolina 1-A Conference schools during a six-team meet at Mount Olive College. Coor crossed the line third overall in 17 minutes, 51 seconds, while Collins posted a first-place mark of 23:22.

Midway, which doesn't compete in a conference, participated in the meet and won the boys' team portion with 28 points.

Goldsboro and Princeton finished with 51 points each in conference action. The Cougars were awarded the top spot with the highest-finishing sixth-place runner. Spring Creek ended up third with 59 points, followed by Rosewood (66) and North Duplin (117).

On the girls' side, Rosewood defeated Princeton 24-31.

"We ran an excellent girls' race and everyone improved on their times compared to last week," first-year RHS head coach Chris DuBose said. "That was our goal for this week. They ran a smart race."

One year ago, Coor always let former Rosewood standout Nick Britt set the pace once the starter's gun sounded. Without Britt this season, Coor worked his strategy behind Midway's top two speedsters -- senior Caleb Sanders and sophomore Michael McLamb.

Coor was third after the first lap around the 3.1-mile course that curled around the soccer field, and took runners behind the baseball and softball complexes. He gained some time on McLamb during the second lap and was just one of three runners to finish below 18 minutes in overcast, cool and breezy conditions.

"We've talked a lot about pacing yourself this year because Allen doesn't have Nick in front this year," eighth-year Spring Creek head coach Mike Jones said. "It really helps for him to have those two Midway kids up there who are fast."

Goldsboro's Victor Prezbindowski claimed fourth in 18:33. The sophomore battled cramps throughout the race, and said that sheer determination and will prevented him from falling back in the pack on the flat course.

Princeton's Quinn Dougherty captured fourth in 18:39, while his twin brother, Lane, ended up ninth in 19:27. Teammate Matt Edwards finished in between the two with a sixth-place time of 18:42.

Rosewood junior Dylan Cuddington was 11th in 19:42. Fellow Eagles Dalton Farmer (19:53) and Brendan Trinidad (21:14) wound up 13th and 20th, respectively.

"The boys have improved dramatically from last week," DuBose said.

Collins defeated her nearest competitor, Rosewood's Kasie Elliott, by almost a minute on the girls' scene. The outstanding distance runner hardly looked tired once she crossed the finish line and had little trouble catching her breath as she walked through the chute.

A Wayne School of Engineering student, Collins runs five miles each morning before school and runs anywhere from five to seven miles during practice later in the day.

"We've worked on trying to keep her pace, set a goal of running a 22-minute race this time," GHS coach Randall Fields said. "She's doing better pacing herself, which was her big problem last year. She'd go burn herself out at the beginning of the race and not be able to keep up at the end."

Princeton's Abby Rubio was third in 24:22, followed by North Duplin's Samantha Wilkins (24:27), who took fourth. Rosewood's Charleigh Smith (24:50) was fifth.

Completing the top 10 were Rosewood's Ashley Duran (25:09), Goldsboro's Nicole Mehlatt (25:37), Princeton's Megan Evans (26:30), Rosewood's Kimberly Scott (26:45) and Midway's Maddie Pope (26:47).

The teams return to action next Wednesday at Princeton.