Published: Aug 20, 2012 06:21 PM
Modified: Aug 20, 2012 06:23 PM
CARY - The BaySix cross country kickoff’s origins date back about 20 years ago as a way to introduce the younger Wake County runners to the less-intimidating varsity setting by breaking up the boys and girls’ races into separate groups for grades 9-10 and 11-12.
But Saturday’s 3K race at WakeMed Park, which featured 602 runners, may have provided more than that.
Strong performances by Broughton’s and Cary’s boys in both age ranges indicated they will be powerful 4A teams in region and state competitions.
Cary’s Bakri Abushouk ran a blistering pace, winning the 11-12 grade race in 9:01.3.
The senior was followed behind by his teammate and cousin, Abel Tecle (9:16.6) and four of the next five finishers were Broughton runners, many who ran on last year’s 4A championship team. Broughton’s Jeremy Brown won the 9-10 boys’ race, and the Capitals placed three in the top five.
“On the boys’ side, I thought that we showed some really good strength,” Broughton coach Dave Christian said. “It’s very early, but we wanted to come out and compare ourselves against some of the local schools and see where we stand. I was thoroughly impressed with Cary High School. They’ve obviously had a quality summer and coach (Jerry) Dotson does a fantastic job of getting those guys ready throughout the season.”
Abushouk and Tecle said that they sometimes train on distances even shorter than 3K to help train for the rest of the season’s more standardized races.
“It gets us ready for the 5K. It give us more speed for it,” Tecle said.
The girls’ senior race was without many top runners from three-time 4A champ Green Hope, which had taken first and second in Friday’s Wilson Fike Relays, a different kickoff event where a team of five runners go 2,500 meters each. The Green Hope boys also missed their top runners after finishing second and third.
But Broughton’s Megan Sullivan (10:40.9) made the most of that opportunity, edging Cardinal Gibbons’ Mary Grace Doggett (10:51.6).
“I had a lot of help from Mary Grace, without her no way I would’ve ran that,” Sullivan, a junior, said.
The 9-10 grade boys’ winner was Broughton’s Jeremy Brown, while Cardinal Gibbons’ Sophie Ebihara won the 9-10 grade girls’.
There were no team scores kept at the event.