Panthers have solid showing at state meet|Northside’s Fletcher, Bear Grass’ Downs are top area finishers

Published 3:31 am Sunday, November 8, 2009

By Staff
Staff Reports
WINSTON-SALEM — The Northside Panthers had a strong showing at Saturday’s N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 1-A state cross country meet, held at Tanglewood Park.
The Northside boys finished in 12th place with 355 points.
Senior Bryant Fletcher led the Northside boys, and was the top area runner, as he finished 60th overall in 19 minutes, 03.08 seconds. There were 128 runners who competed in the state meet.
Williamston senior Stephen Silverthorne placed 61st, one spot behind Fletcher, in 19:08.15.
Foster Peaks, a junior at Bear Grass, was 63rd (19:11.33). His teammate, senior Brandon Dunlow, took 84th (20:13.55).
Senior Alex Cutler was the second Northside runner to cross the finish line, taking 88th (20:23.25). Senior Doug Wagg was 93rd (20:32.71), junior Codie Carawan was 98th (20:43.25) and senior Jonathan Dupree was 102nd (20:56.57) for the Panthers.
Also running for the Panthers, but not figuring in the final results, were junior Robbie Edwards (123rd, 23:43.30) and freshman Ray Alonso (128th, 26:02.15).
Matus Kriska of Mount Airy was the individual state champion, finishing in 16:34.13.
Gray Stone Day won the team championship with 65 points. Hayesville (72) took second, followed by Robbinsville (86), N.C. School of Science and Math (104), Hendersonville (117), Lake Norman Charter (164), Bishop McGuinness (171), South Stanly (172), Raleigh Charter (281), Thomas Jefferson Classica (293), Gates County (347), Northside, North Duplin (361), Kipp Pride (388), Dixon (394) and Princeton (398).
The Lady Panthers finished in 13th place with 362 points.
Ashley Ratcliffe, a senior, paced Northside as she finished 77th overall in 25:07.74.
Taylor Downs, a Bear Grass junior, was the top area finisher. Downs placed 75th out of 129 runners in a time of 25:02.89.
Freshman Hayley Jones was the second Lady Panther to cross the finish line, taking 81st in 25:19.55. Sophomore Paige Dickinson was right behind Jones, finishing 82nd (25:24.78). Senior Katie Bowen was 86th (25:35.42) and freshman Kate Sillitoe was 103rd (27:18.06) for the Lady Panthers.
Also running for Northside, but not factoring in the final results, were junior Orianna Phillips (117th, 28:26.16) and junior Hannah Bowen (121st, 29:48.38).
Williamston junior Janiece Neilsen finished 95th (26:34.01) and teammate Simone Brown, a freshman, took 106th (27:31.06).
East Wilkes junior Carol Blankenship dominated the field to win the individual championship, winning by over a full minute in 18:59.30.
Robbinsville captured the team title with 62 points. Hendersonville (77) took second, followed by N.C. School of Science and Math (111), Bishop McGuinness (132), Gray Stone Day (136), Lake Norman Charter (141), Swain County (210), West Wilkes (240), Dixon (242), Murphy (254), Raleigh Charter (282), Lejeune (360), Northside, Manteo (369), Pender (379) and Princeton (455).