North Carolina High School Athletic Association

Cross Country Championships Complete; Carrboro’s Morken Wins 3rd Straight Crown To Lead Jags


       KERNERSVILLE— Grace Morken of Carrboro won her third consecutive 2-A individual championship and she led her team to its fourth straight state crown in the North Carolina High School Athletic Association state cross country championships at Beeson Park on Saturday.

       Morken outdueled teammate Maysa Aruba, crossing the finish line in a time of 18:42.49 with a winning margin of just 0.19 second, as Carrboro placed four individuals in the top six.

       Carrboro rolled to victory with a brilliant 30 points to 96 for runner-up Waxhaw Cuthbertson, with North Lincoln third with 106.

       Carrboro was third in the 2-A men’s competition, with North Lincoln holding off Hillsborough Cedar Ridge for the crown. North Lincoln won its second straight team crown with 44 points, six ahead of Cedar Ridge, with Carrboro third at 106.

       A.J. Tucker of Cedar Ridge took top individual honors for the second straight year in a time of 15.53.03, over 16 seconds ahead of runner-up Andrew Fea of North Lincoln.

       In the 4-A women’s competition, Cary Green Hope earned its fourth consecutive state crown, tallying 83 points to hold off Charlotte Providence (101) and Raleigh Broughton (128).

       Junior Megan Sullivan of Broughton was the individual champion, winning in a time of 17:48.03, just over three seconds ahead of second-place Pegah Kamrani of East Chapel Hill.

       A Wake County school earned the men’s 4-A team title for a sixth straight year, as Raleigh Broughton ran to the title with an outstanding score of 41. The Caps had four runners in the top 12 and won the championship for the second straight year.

       Bakri Abushouk, a senior at Cary, was the individual champion in a time of 15:31.57, over 18 seconds ahead of Mount Tabor’s Dalton Nickel. William Roberson of Broughton was the Caps’ top runner, placing third.

             In the afternoon championship session, Raleigh Cardinal Gibbons and Kernersville Bishop McGuinness were double winners.

  Gibbons took both the men’s and women’s titles in the 3-A competition, while Bishop swept the team crowns in the 1-A classification.

Cardinal Gibbons and Chapel Hill had a great duel in the men’s race, with Gibbons scoring 42 points for a five-point edge over the Tigers. Weddington was third with 107.

Gibbons, which won for the men’s title for second straight year, had five of the top 12 runners in scoring positions but held off a great effort by Chapel Hill. Sophomore Tanis Baldwin of East Henderson was dominant, winning the individual title by more than 25 seconds in a time of 15:28.30.  John Crossley of West Carteret was second.

On the women’s side in 3-A, Gibbons and Chapel Hill were one-two, with the Crusaders winning their third straight title with 31 point to 74 for Chapel Hill. Waxhaw Marvin Ridge took third with 100 points.

Gibbons had a great performance, with five runners in the top 13 scoring positions and all seven finishing 28th or better, led by junior Mary Grace Doggett. Doggett took the individual crown in a time of 18:02.82, less than five seconds ahead of freshman Gibbons teammate Sophia Ebihara. Natalie Andrejchak of Concord Jay Robinson was third.

Senior Dylan Johnson of Hayesville was the 1-A men’s champion in a time of 15:59.93, just over 10 seconds ahead of Robbinsville’s Frank Cline. But the depth of the Bishop men— with five runners in the top 16 scoring spots– enabled the Villains to take the title.

Bishop had 49 points to 76 for Lake Norman Charter, with defending champ North Carolina School of Science and Math just back in third with 77 points.

Bishop is the sixth different school to win the NCHSAA men’s 1-A title in the last six years.

Sophomore Sophia Bhalla of Lincoln Charter traveled the course in 18:53.94 to win the 1-A women’s individual crown, almost 25 seconds ahead of freshman Hannah Zenker of Franklin Academy. The depth of the Bishop McGuinness team made a difference in the women’s race, too, with five runners in the top 20 scoring spots as Bishop recorded 58 points. Lincoln Charter was second with 83 and defending champ Lake Norman Charter placed third with 91 points.