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The Girls Race
Ava Dobson of St. Joseph's is the top ranked runner going into the meet with a 18:25 personal best set last weekend at the Fight Like Wyatt Invitational. Dobson previously played soccer (Watch interview). Riverside's Jessie Crowley (second at Fight Like Wyatt), with experience of the Milliken course and leading the Warriors (the team favorite) will be in the front pack. North Carolina's Alexis McDonnell and Bella Zimmerman (Hough) kicked off their junior years with massive personal bests at the Providence Invitational last weekend running 18:52 and 19:10. Both never broke 20 minutes until last week.
Don't count out Ava Findlay (Brevard, N.C.) who has a cross country best of 18:55 and was fourth at the NCHSAA Class AA State Championships last fall. Findlay led her Brevard teammates to a fifth place finish over a stacked field at the WNC Carnival last weekend.
Riverside girls are the team favorites. North Carolina's Charlotte Catholic and Hough come into the season ranked 16th and 22nd in NCRunners Flo50 Preseason Girls Team Rankings and will be looking to upset South Carolina's finest Riverside.
The Boys Race
Will this be the race between North and South Carolina? South Carolina's Noah White (Eastside), Wynn Johnson (Dorman), and Kade Gosnell (Boiling Springs) have all run under 16:30 this year. Johnson missed last season due to injury. Haven Honeycutt (Asheville) will make his season debut and comes in with a personal best of 15:55. Honeycutt proved on the track that he's much better than his best and comes in ranked sixth in North Carolina's preseason XC rankings. He was the NCHSAA Class AAAA 1600 State Champion and Bojangles Classic 3200 Champion running personal bests of 4:19 and 9:18.
The team title is up for grabs between several teams. Riverside boys have not competed their top runners this season.
6:30 p.m. Collegiate Women no limit
7:10 p.m. Collegiate Men no limit
8 a.m. International Girls limit 14
8:30 a.m. International Boys limit 14
9 a.m. Championship Girls limit 10
9:30 a.m. Championship Boys limit 10
10 a.m. Junior Varsity Girls no limit
10:30 a.m. Junior Varsity Boys no limit
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NCRunners editor Jason Creasy contributed to this preview.