Caps runners earn spot in national meet

Staff WriterDecember 2, 2008 

Runners from the Broughton boys cross country team finished second in the Nike Cross Country Nationals Southeast Regional meet Saturday.

Their finish earned the runners an all-expenses-paid trip to Portland, Ore., for Saturday's national championship.

The second-place finish also fulfilled one of the goals the Broughton team set at the beginning of the year.

"The team always sets their own goals, and this year they set a goal of finishing their season in the Oregon," Broughton coach Dave Christian said.

N.C. High School Athletic Association rules require teams to disband after the state championship meet, so the Broughton runners are competing as the Capital Distance Club of Broughton.

Christian cannot coach the team also because of NCHSAA rules, therefore his wife, Jennifer Christian, is the official coach.

"I am a very interested spectator," Dave Christian said.

Broughton has won the 2007 and the 2008 NCHSAA 4-A cross country championships.

"Their success is a testament to their willingness to work had," Christian said. "I tell the team that I will train them according to their goals. They set a very high goal."

The top five finishers were scored in the meet, which attracted teams from 12 states.

Jamestown, Va., won the team title with 115 points, and Broughton was second with 155.

Christian said running the WakeMed Soccer Park course in Cary was a plus for the Raleigh team.

"The last 800 meters is all uphill," Christian said. "It is a really tough was to finish a race. I think our guys' determination to pick off runners from other states in that final half mile was crucial for us."

Blake Askin led Capital with a 10th-place finish in 15:37. He was followed by Reidy Jones (33rd, 16:06), Deaton Jones (37th, 16:10), Burk Staub (44th, 16:19) and Pierre Malherbe (63th, 16:31).

The Western Cary boys club team, which has Green Hope High runners, finished 13th. The Western Cary girls were 11th.

The country is divided into nine regions with two teams from each regional advancing to nationals. Four at-large teams complete the 22-team field.

The boys race is scheduled for Saturday at 3 p.m. at the Portland Meadows Cross Country club.

The team will stay at Nike's Tiger Woods complex.

SOO QUALIFIES FOR FOOT LOCKER NATIONALS: Adrianne Soo, a senior at Durham Academy, qualified for the Foot Locker Cross Country Championships by finishing 10th in the South Regional Cross Country Meet at Charlotte's McAlpine Park on Saturday.

The Foot Locker Cross Country Championships are Dec. 13 in San Diego.

Soo ran a 17:39 in rainy and muddy conditions. She was 20th after a mile, 13th after two miles and was 12th with 600 meters left, Durham Academy coach Dennis Cullen said.

She passed two runners in the closing meters to earn her berth in the national meet.

The top 10 finishers advanced.

North Mecklenburg's Kim Spano, a three-time NCHSAA 4-A champion, finished eighth.

No girl from North Carolina had qualified since 2002, when Durham Jordan's Kate Merrill qualified.

Soo, a Duke recruit, has won three straight N.C. Independent School Athletic Association state titles.

tim.stevens@newsobserver.com or 919-829-8910

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