11/01/13 — Gators' Coor, Abbott to run together one last time

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Gators' Coor, Abbott to run together one last time

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on November 1, 2013 1:49 PM


SEVEN SPRINGS -- Spring Creek head coach Mike Jones chuckles when he watches Allen Coor and Gage Abbott compete during a cross country meet.

When one beats the other, a little animosity surfaces.

And the loser undoubtedly seeks redemption the next meet.

It's a friendly, intense competition that has paid dividends for both runners this season. They'll get one more shot at each other Saturday in the season-ending N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 1-A state championship meet at the Ivey M. Redmon Sports Complex in Kernersville.

"It's been a real bright spot of our season, it's been real entertaining watching those two," Jones said. "Three miles is kind of a daunting task, but those two really push each other and really want to get better. They've done an awesome job this year."

The starter's gun sounds at 10:30 a.m.

Joining the duo are Rosewood's tandem of Dalton Farmer and Ashley Duran, who is making her second championship meet appearance in the last three years. The girls' race is tentatively scheduled for 11:30 a.m.

Coor placed 52nd as a freshman and 54th as sophomore in the 2011 and 2012 state meets, respectively. The junior claimed the Carolina 1-A Conference title just 17 days ago and followed that with a runner-up performance in the annual Bill Kemp Invitational.

"Allen, and I've said this before, I've struggled to find a way to get him tired at practice," Jones said. "He's a workhorse. You can push him and push him and push him, and he keeps going. He'll go home and run another four miles after practice."

Coor shaved half a minute off of his BKI time and crossed the finish line eighth in 17 minutes and 44 seconds during the Mideast Regional contested at WakeMed Soccer Park last Saturday.

Abbott placed 15th in 18:09.

"Gage has worked hard. He's gotten to his senior year and said 'oh man, if I really want to make a mark, I've got to do something'," Jones said. "He's had a friend who worked and ran with him during the summer. I'm really pleased with what Gage has done this season."

Duran claimed the Carolina 1-A Conference and BKI championships within a seven-day period. The senior posted a 10th-place time of 21:49 during the Mideast Regional, which was well below the 22:57 she ran at the BKI.

An improved runner and team leader, Duran has showed tremendous growth during this season.

"She's a solid runner who always shows up and gives her best," Weeks said of the senior. "I will miss her a lot next year and it will be hard to fill her shoes."

A natural runner with great endurance, Farmer took 18th at the regional. He emerged the Eagles' top performer throughout the season and Weeks is eager to see how the sophomore matures over the next two years.

"I'm looking forward to pushing him and seeing what he is capable of doing," Weeks said. "Dalton's biggest hurdle is himself. If he gives it all he has the next few years, he has a chance to do really well in conference, regionals and states."