CARY — The Broughton boys’ cross country team worked as a unit Tuesday as it swept the top five spots in the Cap Eight 4A championship.
Junior Will Roberson was at the front of that pack, earning conference champion honors with a time of 15 minutes, 59.6 seconds at WakeMed Soccer Park.
John Dalton Rohr, Asher Smith Rose, Jeremy Brown and Allen Lawrence rounded out the top group, separated by less than 10 seconds.
“The whole time our coach has told us to stay in a pack and work off each other,” Roberson said. “As long as we can run a fast time as a group, we’ll be OK.”
Capitals coach Dave Christian said the performance was a step in the right direction with Lawrence, a senior captain, stepping up and finishing high with the team’s consistently solid group of four.
“It’s always more comfortable to do anything in a pack,” Christian said. “There are times when I’ll take the reins off my top runners, but today wasn’t that time. Today was all about the team.”
Millbrook’s boys finished second with three runners in the top 10 for a team score of 51. Leesville Road finished third with 75.
In the girls’ race, Broughton junior Megan Sullivan took the championship with a time of 18:40.5, but it was Millbrook’s team that came out on top with a score of 32.
The Wildcats were anchored by freshman Emily Pettis, who finished in 18:53.8.
Pettis, who met her goal of running a sub-19:00 time, said she was sure to stick with Sullivan as best she could throughout the race.
“Megan started sprinting, and I just thought I need to stay in my second place. I was thinking of doing it for the team,” Pettis said. “People were telling me I could win it, but I got second and I couldn’t have been happier. I’m so proud of my team.”
Broughton finished with 35 points and Leesville Road came in third with 94.
“Our girls showed a tremendous amount of heart today,” said Millbrook coach Brian Schneidewind. “Broughton is always tough, so it’s great for us to even be in the same race as them. This really was a true team effort.”
Even though Broughton didn’t repeat as conference champion, Sullivan said she and her teammates will work toward a better performance on the same course for the NCHSAA Mideast Regional meet on Oct. 27.
“(This meet) allowed me to see where I was in my training, and it’s a good way to start out, so I feel confident going forward,” Sullivan said. “I hope this doesn’t get our team down. I think this should be a stepping stone to regionals.”
Christian said this time of year is what it’s all about as both Broughton teams look forward to regionals and states, and the boys try to defend their state championship.
“We work so hard all year for three races, and they’re here,” he said.