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Central boys win sixth straight cross country conference title

Central Davidson has had quite a legacy in cross country, with the Spartan boys winning the last five Central Carolina Conference championships before realignment took them to the 3-A ranks beginning in 2013.

Moving up, so far, hasn’t slowed down the Spartans.

Central’s boys won the Mid-Piedmont Conference championship on Wednesday at Hagan-Stone Park in Greensboro with the Spartans’ Derek Chavis taking male runner of the year honors and Carl Wagstaff bringing home coach of the year honors.

“This was a season of change,” Wagstaff said. “But I think our kids handled it as well as they possibly could.”

The Spartans finished with 42 points, followed by Ledford (46), Asheboro (75), Southwestern Randolph (125), Western Guilford (126), North Forsyth (147) and Southern Guilford (154).

Chavis won in a time of 16:24.16, 26 seconds ahead of teammate Alex Crook. Also placing in the top 12 for Central and earning all-MPC honors was Dakota Freeman in ninth place.

“Derek has set the school record multiple times in the last couple of years,” Wagstaff said. “He ran a 16:13 last year at the state and a 16-flat two weeks ago at Hagan-Stone. I think if we can get someone to run with him, we can get him down in the 15s.”

The Spartan boys have now won six consecutive conference championships.

Ledford’s Thomas James was third, Luke Penry was seventh, Robert Scott was 10th and Cam Fichthorn was 12th.

Asheboro won the girls’ meet with 59 points, followed by Ledford (68), Western Guilford (80), Southwestern Randolph (95), Central Davidson (105), Southern Guilford (128) and North Forsyth (155).

The Spartan girls had won the last two CCC championships.

Central’s Ali Bowen won the meet and was named women’s runner of the year.

“We joke around that Ali’s the honey badger of our team,” Wagstaff said. “She’s fearless. When we do our speed work, she runs with the guys because she doesn’t like running behind anybody. She’s a warrior and never quits.”

Olivia Bruff (6th) and Kersen Leonard (12th) also made the top 12 for the Spartans.

Emily Boger paced Ledford with a third-place finish, Tally Gross was seventh and Savannah Hedgecock was 11th.

Next up for Central is the 3-A Midwest regional meet on Oct. 26 at McAlpine Park in Charlotte.