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West's Wynn takes third in cross country 2-A state meet; team fifth


West Davidson's Callie Wynn (left) is edged out for second place right before the fimish line by Mount Pleasant's Brittany Stanley in the 2-A cross country state championship meet at the Ivey Redmon Sports Complex in Kernersville. (Photo by Mike Duprez/The Dispatch)


 




KERNERSVILLE | West Davidson’s girls cross country team has enjoyed a year of firsts.

The Dragons came up just short of keeping that run going Saturday.

Callie Wynn finished third, and the Dragons placed fifth as a team at the 2-A girls championship meet at Beeson Park in Kernersville. After winning the Davidson County and Central Carolina Conference championships, as well as the regional title a week ago, Wynn and her teammates came into the state meet with high hopes.

But Carrboro's Maysa Araba started the 3.1-mile race like she was shot out of a cannon, and held on to win with a time of 18:03.66. Wynn (18:21.23) headed down the home stretch with a slight lead over Mount Pleasant’s Brittany Stanley, but she was not able to hold her off for second place.

Even so, after winning the 3,200 at the state championship track meet in the spring, Wynn was pleased with the stretch she’s enjoyed. “It’s a great way to finish here,” she said. “Last year I passed out on the line here, so it’s an improvement from that.

“I had an iron deficiency last year, and I didn’t find out until after the race.”

East Lincoln won the team title with 70 points, edging Croatan and defending champion Carrboro (73), Smoky Mountain (157) and West (182).

West’s Laura Payne finished 41st, Patience Hunt was 59th, Casey Crisp was 69th, Jasmine Benitez 70th, and Anna Rose Sink 100th.

Despite losing for the first time all season in the team standings, West coach Lynn Ludwig could not have been any prouder. “We’re good, no matter how today turns out,” she said. “Best season ever.

“These girls, they work their butts off at practice, they’re pushing each other. They’ve learned to stay together in races, in a pack. They just work well together.”

Araba clearly didn’t want to run in a pack. She built a sizeable lead before the half-mile mark, with the next five runners packed together more than 100 feet back. Wynn thought if she were patient enough, Araba would drop back to her. “I knew based on the times coming in, that my two biggest competitors were Maysa and Helen Morken,” she said. “They’re both from Carrboro, so they’re purple, so the orange wasn’t right.”

Ludwig thought the same thing. “When I saw her come around at the mile mark, I thought there’s no way she can maintain that pace,” Ludwig said. “This is not a 2-mile race, it’s 3.1.

“I wasn’t surprised to see her drop back some. I knew she was gonna have a fight.”

But Araba had enough in the tank to cruise to the finish line with a 20-second cushion. That left Wynn in a fight with Stanley, who trailed slightly closing in the final 100 meters. Stanley kicked it into high gear, and she had just enough to nip Wynn at the finish line.

 

Jason Queen can be reached at 249-3981, ext. 220, or Jason.queen@the-dispatch.com.