BERMUDA RUN — One trained, they all trained. One ran, they all ran. One won they all won. One cried ... you get the picture.
Chapel Hill's girls cross country team continued its tradition of sisterhood and team success Saturday, winning its third straight NCHSAA 4-A girls cross country team championship at Tanglewood on Saturday afternoon.
The Tigers had five of the top-30 point-scoring runners in the race, led by senior Madison Stark, and totaled 85 points to the 123 posted by Charlotte Myers Park.
"It's so moving every year," Stark said after wiping away a few tears of joy she shared with her teammates after the final team scores were announced. "There's so much unity and love on this team. The closeness we feel as a team is what makes it so special."
Stark finished with a time of 19:24.27, to take fourth place.
"I thought it was pretty good race on my part," Stark said. "Sometimes we find it helpful to run together as a group but on a day like today you've just got to go out and do your best."
Freshman Christine Whitley finished 15th for the Tigers, while Emily Adams and Anna Adams were 35th and 36th, respectively.
The team championship is the eighth overall for Chapel Hill.
North Mecklenburg junior Kimberly Spano picked up her second straight individual state championship. Spano won in 18:59.35, 11 seconds ahead of Apex senior Andie Cozzarelli (19:10.80), who took home runner-up honors for a second straight year as well.
Durham Jordan's Michelle Lutz finished in the top 10 for the second straight year, coming in eighth at 19:43.17.
Fayetteville Terry Sanford was third with 133 points. Cary was fourth, Green Hope eighth and East Chapel Hill ninth.
Leading the way for Cary were freshman Jenna Christenson in 13th and senior Kristen Azarelo in 16th. Green Hope's Shannon Cox finished 19th.