Viking Harriers Hold Tri-Meet Today
Today marks the 3-A Cape Fear Valley Conference home opener for the Union Pines boys’ and girls’ cross country teams.
The meet begins in Cameron at 5 p.m. with the host Vikings running against Westover and Overhills in a tri-school league meet.
Union Pines boys’ team enters today’s event with a record of 2-0 in CFVC, thanks to the contributions of some young runners and the solid performance of Tre’ Egerton.
“All of our top-four or –five runners have really stepped up their game since preseason training and the results have shown that so far at our meets out on the course,” said Union Pines head coach Nat Carter. “Tre’ really shined to win the first league meet, then Ben White, Ira Vanpelt and Daniel Kaminski picked it up last week.”
White placed second for Union Pines with a time of 18:52 in the 5,000-meter race. He was followed closely by Vike teammates Vanpelt, Kaminski and Egerton, as Union Pines claimed places second through fifth.
Joey Dimaio rounded out the Vikings top five last week with a ninth-place showing. As a result, Union Pines won the meet in Spring Lake with a score of 23. Overhills placed second at 44, while Southern Lee rounded out the top three with 81 points.
“As freshmen, Ben and Dan (Kaminski) have stepped right up and burst onto the scene for us,” said Carter. “So they have come right in, given us solid times up top and have made us deeper as a unit — so they have exceeded my expectations.”
“Meanwhile, Tre’ is a true leader for this team. He is not as vocal, as some of our previous leaders have been, but as far as work ethic goes, he is top notch. I can tell Tre’ what we are going to do or need to have happen and he gets it done. So he has done a great job embracing that leadership role so far.”
The Viking boys are the three-time defending CFVC champions and have captured 10 league titles over the past 12 seasons.
“To come to Union Pines at 2-0 for our home opener is a good feeling,” added Carter.
Union Pines’ girls have placed second both times out in CFVC competition this season. Viking freshman Abby Verchick won the race with a time of 20:16, besting second-place Emily Vance, the 2010 CFVC individual champion from Overhills, by 79 seconds.
Overhills claimed the top spot as a team with a winning score of 31, to take their second league win of the season. The Vikes finished a close second, with 43 points.
Erin Metcalf — another freshman — was the second runner to finish for Union Pines. She claimed seventh place, while Viking junior Tyler Ross placed 10th. As of now, Carter admitted that Overhills is solid at the top spot, but he does believe by the time the conference championship rolls around that his girls will be able to contend for the crown.
“Abby has just been running super for us — she is something special,” said Carter. “She is just a natural that can really go.
“Overhills has depth and experience, but by the end of the conference season I am looking for us to be competitive (with them). Erin has really come on strong as a freshman and has room to improve even more.
“Also, senior Alyssa Radel has really been working hard. She told me she was going to truly work at it this season and she has been true to that promise.”
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