Published: Nov 30, 2011 02:00 AM
Modified: Nov 30, 2011 02:15 AM
The impressive senior season for Cary Academy's Thomas Graham continued on Saturday.
Graham qualified for the Foot Locker National Cross Country Championships by placing fifth at the south regional, held at Charlotte's McAlpine Park.
Since the beginning of the year, one of Graham's goals was to break the 15-minute mark at the event. He did just that, finishing the 5K course in 14:52.
The meet featured state champions from 14 southeastern states, as well as champions from Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The top 10 boys and girls qualifiers will compete at nationals Dec. 10 in San Diego.
"It was faster than expected," Graham told the Charlotte Observer. "I was surprised at how comfortable I felt through the first mile and a half."
Graham was leading the pack at the two-mile mark.
Panther Creek senior Jacob Sears finished in 18th place with a time of 15:21.Green Hope girls:
The Green Hope girls cross country team had to go under a pseudonym, but they still did their Falcons name proud on Saturday.
Running at WakeMed Park, the Green Hope team - competing as Western Wake XC Club because of a rule preventing N.C. schools from being in national competitions - finished fourth in the Nike Nationals Southeast Regional on Saturday.
Green Hope will not return to national competition - only the top two teams from the event received that honor.
Falcons senior Erica Amatori led the team by finishing 10th in a time of 18:20.
Cardinal Gibbons, running as the Diocese of Raleigh XC Club, finished fifth.Gardner to Impact:
The North American Soccer League officially lost one of its members last week when the Montreal Impact held their expansion draft as members of Major League Soccer. The former rivals of the RailHawks were able to select players from other teams who were left unprotected by their current clubs. That included former RailHawks player Josh Gardner, who was with Carolina for many of those bitter Impact games.
Gardner, who has played mostly left back in his MLS career, was taken by the Impact with their seventh pick of the draft.Williams' triple-double:
Playing at Wilson Hunt Nov. 21, Green Hope junior Ashley Williams had a triple-double with 11 points, 12 steals and 10 assists.
The season-opening triple-double is the sixth in school history. The first five belong to teammate Kristen Gaffney, who rattled off all five during her sophomore season.Suggs to Pack:
Fuquay-Varina junior Garrett Suggs is known for the 15 interceptions he's accumulated on the football field these past two seasons. But he's also known as a two-year starter for the Bengals' baseball team.
And the latter is why he has already committed to play at N.C. State for baseball. The left-handed centerfielder/pitcher has helped the Bengals to the playoffs in each of the past two seasons.
He joins Bengals teammate Addison Braswell, a senior, as a future member of the Wolfpack baseball team.All-state soccer:
Perhaps it was almost fitting that only one player from Green Hope, the 4A state champs, made the N.C. Soccer Coaches Association 2011 all-state team.
The teams, which are broken into five categories based on classification, recognize individual achievement. But the Falcons were as balanced of a group as one could hope for.
Junior defensive midfielder Kellen Foster was the only Falcons selection. He joined Fuquay seniors Adrian Gonzales and Andrew Sotak, as well as Apex senior Alex Herbst, on the 4A team.
Cardinal Gibbons, which won the 3A title, had three selections: junior Yanni Hackem, sophomore Adi Taiwo and senior Tyler Zimmerman.
Cary Academy senior forward Ryan Kaufman made the list for NCISAA teams.