NCHSAA 1A, 3A Cross Country Championships Story


KERNERSVILLE– Raleigh Cardinal Gibbons and Kernersville Bishop McGuinness were double winners in the North Carolina High School Athletic Association state cross country championships at Beeson Park in Saturday’s afternoon session.

Gibbons took both the men’s and women’s titles in the 3-A competition, while Bishop swept the team crowns in the 1-A classification.
Cardinal Gibbons and Chapel Hill had a great duel in the men’s race, with Gibbons scoring 42 points for a five-point edge over the Tigers. Weddington was third with 107.

Gibbons, which won for the men’s title for second straight year, had five of the top 12 runners in scoring positions but held off a great effort by Chapel Hill. Sophomore Tanis Baldwin of East Henderson was dominant, winning the individual title by more than 25 seconds in a time of 15:28.30. John Crossley of West Carteret was second.

On the women’s side in 3-A, Gibbons and Chapel Hill were one-two, with the Crusaders winning their third straight title with 31 points to 74 for Chapel Hill. Waxhaw Marvin Ridge took third with 100 points.

Gibbons had a great performance, with five runners in the top 13 scoring positions and all seven finishing 28th or better, led by junior Mary Grace Doggett. Doggett took the individual crown in a time of 18:02.82, less than five seconds ahead of freshman Gibbons teammate Sophia Ebihara. Natalie Andrejchak of Concord Jay Robinson was third.

Senior Dylan Johnson of Hayesville was the 1-A men’s champion in a time of 15:59.93, just over 10 seconds ahead of Robbinsville’s Frank Cline. But the depth of the Bishop men– with five runners in the top 16 scoring spots– enabled the Villains to take the team title.

Bishop had 49 points to 76 for Lake Norman Charter, with defending champ North Carolina School of Science and Math just back in third with 77 points.
Bishop is the sixth different school to win the NCHSAA men’s 1-A title in the last six years.

Sophomore Sophia Bhalla of Lincoln Charter traveled the Beeson Park course in 18:53.94 to win the 1-A women’s individual crown, almost 25 seconds ahead of freshman Hannah Zenker of Franklin Academy. The depth of the Bishop McGuinness team made a difference in the women’s race, too, with five runners in the top 20 scoring spots as Bishop recorded 58 points. Lincoln Charter was second with 83 and defending champ Lake Norman Charter placed third with 91 points.

The 2-A and 4-A championships were held earlier on Saturday.