Panthers shine at regional cross country meet|Boys take first, girls earn second

Published 2:21 am Sunday, November 1, 2009

By Staff
Staff Reports
YEATESVILLE — The Northside Panthers were scary good on Halloween. Coach Charlie Woolard watched his runners carve up the competition during Saturday’s N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 1-A Eastern Regional cross country meet. The Northside boys won the regional championship and the girls finished runner-up, as both advanced to the state meet.
“The Northside Panthers started the seasons with a strong returning team of boys,” Woolard said. “They have continued to improve and developed a style of running that is hard for any opposing team to overcome — running as a pack. Today the boys’ times were tight (20:46, 20:48 and 20:57), proving tough for anyone to push them out of the running for the top honors. They worked hard this season and have earned a few bragging rights. But, starting on Monday, the competition ahead will begin to sink in for this group and the work will begin all over for the Panthers as they head for the state meet.
“The Lady Panthers have been a fun group to coach this season (with) lots of ups and downs and new faces on the team. However, those new faces provided promises for the future on the girls squad. Hayley Jones has just begun to discover the art of running, but somehow managed to stick close behind senior Ashley Ratcliffe all season. The girls have managed to pull together at the end and today their efforts paid off with an opportunity to head back to Tanglewood next weekend.”
Joining Northside’s boys, won the regional with 62 points, at the state meet will be Gates County (67), Dixon (75) and Kipp Pride (92). Missing the cut were Pamlico (112), Manteo (125) and Bear Grass (131).
Senior Bryant Fletcher paced the Panthers, finishing fourth overall in 19 minutes, five seconds.
He was followed in by Northside teammates senior Alex Cutler (12th, 20:46), senior Doug Wagg (13th, 20:48), senior Jonathan Dupree (14th, 20:57) and junior Codie Carawan (24th, 21:58). Also running but not factoring in the scoring were junior Robbie Edwards (31st, 23:04) and freshman Ray Alonso (47th, 26:37).
Advancing as individual runners were Williamston’s Stephen Silverthorne (fifth, 19:24), Manteo’s Avery Stone (sixth, 20:02), Bear Grass’ Foster Peaks (seventh, 20:19), Bear Grass’ Brandon Dunlow (eighth, 20:27) and Manteo’s Josh Buchanan (11th, 20:38).
Corey Davis of Gates County was the individual champion, as he finished in 18:22 seconds.
Dixon won the girls championship with 29 points, and Northside was second with 55 points. They will be joined at state by Manteo (60) and Lejeune (71).
Senior Ashley Ratcliffe paced Northside by finishing seventh in 25:13. Freshman Hayley Jones (eighth, 25:14), sophomore Paige Dickinson (14th, 26:31), senior Katie Bowen (17th, 26:42) and freshman Kate Sillitoe (20th, 27:30) followed in Ratcliffe. Also running but not figuring in the final score were sophomore Samantha Beirne (30th, 30:18) and junior Hannah Bowen (31st, 30:41).
Advancing as individual runners were Northampton-East’s Jomecka Deloatch (third, 23:16), Bear Grass’ Taylor Downs (10th, 25:53), Williamston’s Janiece Neilsen (13th, 26:23), Williamston’s Simone Brown (22nd, 27:57) and Gates County’s Ashley Brown (24th, 29:05).
Lejeune’s McKenzie Hallstrom was the individual regional champions after crossing first in 22:40.
Those runners who finished in the top seven earned All-East honors. The next three (eight through ten) received honorable mention.
Prior to Saturday’s competition, Northside honored its seniors: Rebekah Bonney, Katie Bowen, Alex Cutler, Jonathan Dupree, Bryant Fletcher, Elizabeth Harris, Ashley Ratcliffe and Doug Wagg.
“Northside athletes, parents and boosters club displayed first rate hospitality to our guests today,” Woolard said. “Several staff members went above and beyond this week in making this a successful meet (Mr. Ted Melton, Major Mike Corbett, Mrs. Louise Beirne and Mrs. Daphne Cullom). Mr. and Mrs. Ray Harris (Boosters Club) gave 110 percent total supports towards the athletes and visitors.”
Next Saturday’s 1A state meet at Tanglewood Park, located in Winston-Salem, will begin at 10 a.m. for the boys race, and 11 a.m. for the girls race.