Published: Oct 29, 2011 10:04 PM
Modified: Nov 02, 2011 12:06 AM
CARY - The two strong favorites in the N.C. High School Athletic Association 4A Mideast cross country regional did not disappoint. Neither did two of its marquee individuals.
But one thing was certain on Saturday. The real finish line for those top teams and runners wasn't at WakeMed Park in Cary.
The focus is on how they do in next week's state 4A meet at Beeson Park in Kernersville.
Green Hope's girls, the two-time defending 4A champs, and Broughton's boys came away with regional team titles.
The Falcons placed five runners in the top nine, led by third-place Erica Amatori (18:22).
Broughton's top runner was Mideast champ Sam Roberson (15:43), who defeated runner-up Bakri Abushouk of Cary by 16 seconds.
The Caps' 55 points were well ahead of East Chapel Hill's runner-up score of 120.
"My plan was just to go out at the mile mark and don't relent, keep pushing," Roberson said. "We won conference and regionals, but our real goal is state."
Millbrook's Samantha George (17:48) won the girls race. After finishing second in last year's 4A championships, the senior modeled her running style in a way that would keep her fresh for next week.
"I just wanted to stay with the leaders and the pack, not trying to kill it too much, try to save myself for states next week," George said. "But I was feeling really good halfway in, so I decided to pick it up a little and it just took it from there."
The top four teams and the top five individuals who were not on those teams advance to state competition. Apex -- which beat out Panther Creek by two points -- was one of those qualifying girls teams.
On the boys side, a sixth-place tiebreaker gave Cary third place after tying Panther Creek. Both of those teams advance to states.
Panther Creek's Rebekah Greengrass (second, 18:12) and Dana Cox, as well as Athens Drive's Brianne Boldrin and Middle Creek's Emilee Hensel advanced as individual girls runners.