High School Sports

Cap-8 cross country conference preview: Area XC teams ranked

By Jessika Morgan

jmorgan@newsobserver.com

Both Broughton’s, Leesville Road’s and Millbrook’s cross country teams were ranked among the Top 30 schools on NCRunners this year.

The Broughton’s boys’ half carried the highest preseason rank among Cap-8 schools with No. 2. The Leesville girls were spotted at No. 4, while the Millbrook girls came in at No. 28.

The Green Hope girls, the defending N.C. High School Athletic Association 4A champion, is is at the top of preseason countdown on ncrunners.com and on a six-year title streak.

GIRLS

No. 11 Broughton will return five runners from last year's group that fought for final spots, including Savannah Jones (18:56.80). Margaret Chapman and Isabel Perry were among the Top 100 this preseason.

No. 4 Leesville (19.15.94) brings back Nevada Mareno (18:07.20) She has a chance at being one of the top runners in 4A if she can return to her 2013 times. She was the indoor mile champion last winter. Leesville has its top runners coming back, including four seniors. The Pride are returning a top-ranked 1600 team that includes G’Jasmyne Butler, Noor Hasan, Audrey Hemming, Sydney Winchel and Hannah Willard.

No. 27 Sanderson (20:36.92) will feature a quintet of runners that posted a 13-minute 3200-meter time during the track season and will be lead by four seniors – three in the Top 5. Catherine Allen, Lauren Ammons, Elizabeth Coletti, Laura Gerlach, Erin Mares, Elizabeth McSoley and Katie Olson will anchor Leesville Road.

No. 28 Millbrook (20:34.32) lost its top runner, but two of its seniors are projected to be among the Top 6 this season. Maya Celetti, Anna DePolla, Kaylie Hinckley, Rachel Navarro, Emily Petersen, Gabby Sturla and Samantha Storey are preparing for 2015. Celettia and Navarro each broke the 20-minute mark.

BOYS

No. 2 Broughton (15:53.96) will look similar to last year’s 4A title team and return No. 1 runner Jeremy Brown, who leads the second-best returning runner by 34 seconds based on last year’s times. The Capitals lost two of their top four runners to graduation. Jeremy Brown, Ryan Brown, Andrew Brooks, Lanier Derbyshire, Justin Dorner-Thomas, Stuart Holmes and Robert Simmons will compete as Broughton attempts a fifth consecutive championship.

No. 17 Millbrook (17:10.34) hadfour seniors in the state meet last fall and is expected to have younger runners this season, such as Tucker Cera and Luke Gostling. Gostling can break 17 minutes. Jack Banask, Jacob Irving, Evan Hendricks, Monte Harris, Evan Hendricks, and Joey Rivenbark will compete for the Wildcats this year.

No. 24 Leesville Road (17:11.96) has return all seven runners, including five seniors, in Eric Artrip, Andrew Galamb, Nathan Gamble, Sean Nicol, Cabel Petty and Joey and Josh Quesenberry.

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