10/23/12 — Jones, Kennedy claim individual titles at Bill Kemp Invitational

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Jones, Kennedy claim individual titles at Bill Kemp Invitational

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on October 23, 2012 1:48 PM

Connor Jones sprinted out to an early lead and never looked back.

The Wayne Christian standout finished nearly one minute ahead of his nearest competition and finished first overall during the annual Bill Kemp Invitational on Monday afternoon.

Jones finished the course in 17 minutes and 43 seconds.

"Last year I could not run in this meet so I wanted to win it this year," Jones said. "This is our last race before the (independent schools) state championships on Friday so I wanted to run well."

Spring Creek's Allen Coor finished second overall in 18:36. Goldsboro's Victor Prezbindowski ran third and was followed by Jerry Huffman from Charles B. Aycock.

Dylan Cuddington from Rosewood rounded out the top five.

Eastern Wayne won the boys' team title with 56 points. The Warriors were led by Jeremy Murray's eighth-place finish. Wayne Christian finished second as a team with 66 points. C.B. Aycock finished with 83 points and Rosewood tallied 85 points.

In the girls' meet, it was a three-person race until the very end when Southern Wayne's Mollianne Kennedy broke away and crossed the finish line first. Kennedy ran the course in 23:16 and earned her first county championship.

Eastern Wayne's Alyssa Akers finished second in 23:26 and Goldsboro's Grayson Collins finished third in 23:29. Eastern Wayne's tandem of Morgan Exum and Cristella Rochel finished fourth and fifth, respectively.

The Warriors won the team competition with 27 points. Rosewood ran second with 38 points and Southern Wayne finished with 65 points.

"I think the best thing that happened to us was winning the Bo Run Invitational a couple of week ago," Eastern Wayne head coach Vince Beasley said. "I think that kind of got the girls focused and gave them a sense that they could win these bigger meets."

The 3-A teams from Wayne County will run in the 3-A East Regional on Saturday in Wilson. The 1-A squads will travel to the 1-A Mideast Regional in Raleigh the same day. Wayne Christian will run in the N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association 1-A state championships at Wake Med Soccer Park on Friday.