Schustrom, Pinecrest Win Patriot Run
As the time for the regional and state cross country meets draws closer, Pinecrest runner Lexie Schustrom is determined to keep training hard.
In Saturday morning's Patriot Run Cross Country Meet, the senior set a new Elk's Club 5-kilometer course record of 20:25. The Patriot girls came in first in the varsity team competition while Cardinal Gibbons finished first in the boys' race.
Ashley Brock of the Patriot girls was second in 21:47 and Deanna Hardesty of Enloe was third with a time of 21:60.
"I'm content," Schustrom said when asked how she felt about her performance over the rugged, demanding course. "I just want to work hard up through regionals and states. If we can just keep working hard in practice and get some more races in without tapering off, I think it will really pay off."
In the closest battle among the leaders, Brittney Stevens of Union Pines (22:31) edged the Patriots' Haley Germain (22:32) by one second for the fourth spot. Alexa Zoellner (23:09), Fay Chu (23:17) and Caitlin Walsh (23:54) grabbed the sixth, seventh and eighth places, respectively.
Also for the Patriots, ranked 10th in the Class 4A N.C. Runners Coaches poll, Katana Lemelin (24:15), Hayden Rudd (24:16), Brittany Sayers (24:28), Madison Hart (25:00) and Lauren Bonville (25:27) were the 10th through 14th finishers in the field of 39 runners.
Pinecrest finished with 18 points to 44 for Enloe. Union Pines and Richmond Senior also competed but did not have the five runners required to post a team result.
Cardinal Gibbons, the third ranked 3A boys' team, was first with 27 points, followed by Enloe (40), Pinecrest (72) and Union Pines (89).
Sean Magee (17:06) and Mark Sullivan (17:30) of Cardinal Gibbons took the top two spots. Will McCoy of Union Pines was third (18:20). The first three Pinecrest finishers were Nathan Frederique, 11th (18:59), Graham Hawes, 12th (19:02) and Craig Baggett, 14th (19:12). Joseph Morris, 16th (19:21), was the second runner to cross the finish line for Union Pines.
Tyler Clark (18:44) and Conner Kelly (19:31) of Pinecrest finished 1-2 in the boys junior varsity race. William Proulx, a home school student, and Matthew Harmondy of West Pine Middle School were the top two finishers in the 2,500-meter middle school competition that included 41 contestants.
Schustrom, who will shoot for her second conference title next Tuesday on the same course, is in the process of exploring her college options. Two weekends ago, she took a quick western trip that included visits to Gonzaga University and the University of Montana. She lived in Spokane before moving here with her family four years ago. UNC and Columbia are a couple of the eastern schools she plans to visit.
The school record holder in the 5K, 3,200- and 1,600-meter runs, she regards the Patriot girls and herslf individually as contenders to win the regional meet at South View on Oct. 31.
"I think we've been underestimated as a team," she said. "If we can get everything together on that day, I think we'll definitely have a chance of winning."
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