Determined to do better than they did last year, the Chapel Hill 4x1-mile girls relay of senior Anna Passanante, junior Clare McNamara, senior Marija Crook and sophomore Katherine Dokholyan finished in 10th place nationally at the New Balance Indoor national championships.
The four set a school record of 21:14.79, the best time to date for a N.C. High School Athletics Association public school.
They weren’t far off the overall North Carolina record. Ironically enough, the Tigers traveled more than 500 miles March 12 to The Armory in the heart of New York to see one of their oldest North Carolina 3A rivals – Cardinal Gibbons, now in the 4A classification – set the N.C. record with a time of 21:03.5 to take ninth place in the nationals.
LaSalle Academy won the event with a time of 20:11.37.
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Chapel Hill coach Joan Nesbit Mabe knew the Tigers were happy with their finish, especially after they were seeded in a slow heat near the bottom of the field.
“They were really disappointed after finishing near the bottom last year in their first trip to the national,” she said. “They were determined to redeem themselves – and they did.
“I was so happy to see them be able to get back up there and get another crack at it.”
Passannante, who led off the relay, also earned a fifth place nationally with a 2:14.21 in the Emerging Elite 800 meters, while Dokhoylan was 23rd in the Emerging Elite 2,000 meters (11:05.52).
W.E. Warnock, firstname.lastname@example.org