Cary Academy’s girls got the performance they expected, while Durham Academy’s boys got more than they anticipated in the Triangle Independent Schools Athletic Conference championships at WakeMed Park on Thursday.
CA, the defending N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association 3A girls champs who might repeat next week, scored a conference-record 17 points, well ahead of Ravenscroft’s 62. It was the second straight year Cary Academy won the TISAC and the second year Sarah Bodmer (18:51.90) won the individual race.
Durham Academy broke up a six-year TISAC title streak by the Chargers’ boys teams, winning 26-34. Cary Academy’s Coleman Mitchell (15:49.10) crushed the field for the individual win.
DA coach Costen Irons was humble in victory, pointing out two injuries that hurt Cary Academy’s chances.
“They had two of their best guys out. We can’t compete with that team if they don’t have Chase Coley and Tommy Bright,” DA coach Costen Irons said. “We knew they might not be healthy, and then when we got here we saw them in walking boots.”
He added: “But our kids still had an opportunity and they ran well.”
Cary Academy dominated as it was expected to do, placing seven runners in the top nine and five in the top six. Only Ravenscroft’s Elise Playe (fourth) and North Raleigh Christian’s Kate Mears (seventh) and Christa Dutton (10th) interrupted the Chargers’ parade in the top 10.
Bodmer is a two-time defending NCISAA 3A champ, but this is just her second TISAC crown. She can make it three in a row next week.
“I think it’ll be more tapered next week and I’ll feel more comfortable and my legs will feel a lot better,” Bodmer said. “The training will pay off next week.”
The Chargers’ top seven were all under 21 minutes, which puts them in great position next week at Hagan-Stone Park near Greensboro. Athina Zodl was runner-up, Ava Lathan third, Lia Lathan fifth, Emily Lane sixth, Hannah George eighth and Suki Bristol ninth.
“We’re focusing on pack-running and reforming the pack,” said Bodmer, an Air Force recruit. “We struggled a bit today but we can definitely make it up by states.”
Even with injuries to two of Cary Academy’s best, Durham Academy wouldn’t have been in position to win without big days from senior Nijel Hunt and freshman Mac Hays. Both runners dropped more than a minute each off their previous bests this year.
“Nijel, he dropped a minute and 15 seconds,” Irons said. “Those two really allowed us to compete.”
DA’s Ethan Goldman was runner-up, Neil Mosca third, Mark Alkins fourth, Jack Anderson eighth and Hunt ninth. Hays, 11th, helped push the pace.
“DA is a quality team, we give them all the respect in the world on their win today,” CA coach Conrad Hall said. “We’re going to hold our heads high and come back hard next week and see what we can do. We think we can absolutely be in the running for a state championship next week.”
The loss was a chance for Cary Academy to refocus before next week’s wide-open state competition. Dylan Lamphier was fifth, Justin Chen sixth and Abe Weinstein 10th.
“You’ve got to put it in perspective; we can’t win everything. It’s kind of tough, I’ve been on varsity since seventh grade and never lost (the TISAC) and, with a full roster, this is the best team we’ve ever had,” Mitchell said. “I can’t deny I’m pretty mad about it, but you’ve just got to move on.”
Much like Bodmer, Mitchell now has as many cross country titles in the TISAC he does for the state. Last year, Mitchell was edged by NRCA’s Miller Meares for the conference title but Mitchell came back strong to win the state crown.
Ravenscroft’s Brett Haensel was seventh to break into all-conference (top-nine) honors.
1. Cary Academy 34
2. Ravenscroft 76
3. Wake Christian 114
4. North Raleigh Christian N/A
1. Cary Academy 17
2. Ravenscroft 62
3. Durham Academy 84
4. North Raleigh Christian 93
5. Saint Mary’s 116
6. Wake Christian 183