CARY — The top four teams in the boys race at Saturday's NCHSAA 4-A Mideast Regional cross country championships were hardly a surprise, but the order in which they finished certainly was.
Green Hope edged Enloe, the No. 1-ranked team in the state coaches poll, 48-52 at SAS Soccer Park for the N.C. High School Athletic Association title. Broughton and Chapel Hill finished third and fourth, respectively, rounding out the four teams to qualify for next weekend's state championship race at Tanglewood Park in Clemmons.
"I'm terribly surprised," said Green Hope's Zak Roshdy, who finished fifth overall in 16 minutes, 20.91 seconds. "We came out and said, 'Let's see how close we are to Enloe and Broughton,' and then make our run at the state meet."
The Falcons, who are ranked third in the coaches poll, took places third, fifth, sixth, ninth and 25th. Doug Black recovered from a fall near the one-mile mark to finish third in 16:15.79.
Enloe placed two runners in the top 10 and scored with second-, eighth-, 13th-, 14th- and 15th-place finishes.
"If we can finish first next week, I think we can put this behind us and forget about it," Enloe coach Nick Mangum said. "But this is a tough one to swallow. Hopefully, next week, this will light a fire under us."
Chapel Hill junior Taylor Gilland won his second straight regional title. Gilland finished the race in 15:44.75, nearly three seconds ahead of Enloe's Nick Graw.
"We ran side by side the whole last mile, and the last quarter mile, half mile, it was straight uphill," said Gilland, who is also the reigning 4-A state champion. "I just pushed up the hill and gradually got a lead on him. But [Graw] ran a great race. I'm excited for a battle with him at states."
Chapel Hill accumulated 53 points and won the girls race for the third straight year. The Tigers were paced by Madison Stark, who finished third overall in 19:17.92.
"They're getting better and better, and hopefully it'll continue for one more week," said Chapel Hill coach Ron Olsen, whose team has won the past two 4-A state titles. "If it does, maybe we can get up on the stage next week."
Chapel Hill placed three runners in the top 10 -- Stark, Molly Spencer (fifth, 19:33.86) and Christine Whitley (eighth, 19:45.67) -- and scored 15th- and 22nd-place finishes.
East Chapel Hill (84 points), Cary (102) and Green Hope (135) also qualified as teams for the state championship race.
Durham Jordan's Michelle Lutz won the race in 18:36.18, 17 seconds ahead of Apex's Andie Cozzarelli.
"I knew Andie was a really good runner, and I knew she was going to stick with me and beat me maybe," Lutz said. "I think I pulled away around two miles. I'm really happy that I won it my senior year."