High schools

Wesley Frazier wins Nike regional cross country title

tstevens@newsobserver.comNovember 29, 2012 

Wesley Frazier doesn’t participate in high school cross country at her school, but showed last week that she is one of the nation’s best runners.

The Ravenscroft junior won the Nike Cross Nationals Southeast Regionals at the WakeMed Soccer Complex on Saturday by running a 17:17. She faced many of the top runners in the southern United States and won by eight seconds.

“I was satisfied with the time, really the finish,” Frazier said. “I just wanted to qualify. I always go out too fast on that course and I did it again Saturday and paid for it in the last half mile, but my fitness is good.”

Frazier is ranked No. 9 in the country by MileSplit, but had competed in only one competition this fall, travelling to Eugene, Ore., in September for the Dellinger Invitational.

She enjoyed the atmosphere at the Nike regionals.

“This is really a team-oriented event so for an individual it ranks very high on the fun meter, but the team atmosphere still allows you to experience cross country as a ‘we’ rather than a ‘me,’ which is what cross country is really all about.”

The regional championship qualified Frazier to compete in the Nike Cross Nationals this week in Oregon.

The top five finishers qualified for the nationals and East Chapel Hill’s Pegah Kamrani was sixth in the girls race (17:47). Mary Grace Doggett of Cardinal Gibbons (17:56.5) was 11th and Gibbons teammate Sophie Ebihara (18:06.8) was 17th. Mo McDonnell of Green Hope (18:19) was 20th.

The only North Carolina boy to qualify was Ben Huffman of Charlotte Providence Day, who was fifth. Broughton’s Will Roberson (15:36) was 12th.

The top four teams also qualified and the Green Hope girls were sixth and the Cardinal Gibbons girls were seventh. The Broughton boys finished ninth.

Foot Locker Regional: N.C. High School Athletic Association 4A champion Bakri Abushouk of Cary finished 11th in the Foot Locker Southeast Regional at Charlotte’s McAlpine Greenway on Saturday to barely miss qualifying for the Foot Locker cross country nationals by one second. The top 10 finishers advance to San Diego and Abushouk missed qualifying by one second.

He is ranked No. 14 in the country by MileSplit.

No North Carolina runner qualified for the boys or girls Foot Locker Nationals.

Smothers resigns baseball job: Chad Smothers, the head football and baseball coach at Leesville Road, has resigned his baseball position, but will remain as head football coach.

“As much as I love both I didn’t feel that I could adequately serve the baseball kids and football kids,” Smothers said. “With the recruiting and off-season programs that need to be in place, I was basically trying to do two full-time jobs.

“I have been a head baseball coach for 15 of the 19 years I have been coaching and I coached both sports for 19 seasons. I’m sure I will miss baseball when it starts up. This will be the first season I haven’t had a baseball practice to go to since I was 6 years old.”

Smothers had a 113-66 baseball coaching record at Leesville.

Signings: South Johnston senior Sarah McEntire signed a National Letter of Intent to ride for the equestrian team at Texas A&M.

Fuquay-Varina senior Ashley Lindsay signed with Lees-McRae College to play softball.

Darian Mack, a 5-foot-11 junior volleyball player at Wakefield, committed to Kentucky last week. Mack is a member of The News & Observer’s All-Metro squad.

All-America pick: Former Durham Hillside tight end Josh McNeil has been chosen to play in the Under Armour All-America Game on Jan. 4 in St. Petersburg, Fla. He played at New Berlin (N.Y.) Milford Academy this season.

The 6-foot-6, 250-pound McNeil is committed to Alabama.

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