CARY — Among the litany of goals Cary’s Bakri Abushouk hopes to accomplish in his running career is to crack the 15-minute mark in a high school cross country race.
The Imps senior will have one final race to do it. Abushouk crushed the field in 15:11 at Saturday’s NCHSAA 4A Mideast Regional at WakeMed Soccer Park, a dominant run that placed him 31 seconds ahead of the field. It’s also a run he hopes to replicate, minus a dozen or so seconds, next weekend when he’ll be in the running for his first individual state championship at Kernersville’s Beeson Park.
“Next week, there are not a lot of hills. Here, there’s a lot of hills, and it was windy,” Abushouk said. “I’m going to try for it next week.”
Abushouk shot out of the gate and ran the first mile in a blistering 4:28, the fastest time ever run over the first mile on the course at WakeMed Soccer Park, Cary coach Jerry Dotson said. That kind of start, coupled with having someone to run with at the front of the pack, figures to give Abushouk a shot achieving both goals next weekend.
While Abushouk ran away in the individual race, so too did Broughton in the team pursuit. The Capitals placed five runners in the top 16 and clinched the regional title with 41 points. Cary was second with 90 points. Millbrook (102) and East Chapel Hill (124) rounded out the top four teams, which will all advance to the state championships.
William Roberson paced the Capitals with a second-place finish in 15:42. Asher Smith-Rose (15:54) and John Dalton Rohr (15:55) placed fourth and fifth, respectively. Jeremy Brown was 14th in 16:11, and Allen Lawrence rounded out the Caps’ scoring with a 16th-place finish in 16:21.
That quintet emerges from the regional as the favorite for the 4-A state championship, which the Caps have also won the past three years.
Individual qualifiers include Jordan’s Nikolaus Kreiling (seventh, 15:55) and Daniel Beamer (ninth, 16:03), Fuquay-Varina’s Parker Lee (10th, 16:04), Apex’s Mihret Coulter (12th, 16:08) and Panther Creek’s Josh Vermette (15th, 16:15).
Green Hope’s girls were similarly dominant in their race, placing five runners in the top 13 to claim the regional title with 44 points.
Maura McDonnell placed second in 18:10 to lead the Falcons, while Kristen Lospinoso (18:54) finished in sixth. The pack of Allie Worsdale (19:27), Theresa Enright (19:28) and Kayla Hall (19:29) placed 11th, 12th and 13th, respectively.
Broughton (56), Millbrook (113) and East Chapel Hill (133) will join the Falcons in Kernersville for the state championships as the top four regional place-winners.
Broughton’s Megan Sullivan won the girls’ race in 18:07. Though she finished ahead of the pack, she didn’t get there until the final 400 meters.