It didn’t take long for Scotland first-year Cross Country coach Greg Wrape to discover who the Scots’ toughest competition would be this year.
After she finished first in the season-opening meet against Lumberton and Purnell Swett with a time of 23:57, Scotland senior runner Shyanne Pate followed that with a time of 24:36 when her team traveled to Pinecrest this past Tuesday. On one of the most difficult cross country courses in the state, Pate’s time would be good for 8th place overall, but the top seven girls’ times on this day belonged to the Patriots.
“Pinecrest seems to be the dominate team,” Wrape said. “And though they may have showed that against us, our times from last year to now improved across the board. I think we can really compete this year even though we’re fairly young.”
As the team currently stands, the boys cross country team has no seniors on it’s roster, while Jonissa Monley joins Pate as one of two seniors on the girls squad. Scotland’s 2012 cross country team is comprised of 17 runners in all.
With that said, the Fighting Scots have already legitimized Wrape’s confidence in them by posting impressive results in their first two meets.
September 5th marked the Scotland’s season-opening cross country meet, as the Scots traveled to Lumberton and competed against the Pirates and Purnell Swett. Against the two conference rivals, Scotland’s boys squad finished first overall while the girls finished second.
With a time of 18:30, John Holloway posted the fastest time in the opening meet, and was followed closely behind by teammates Logan Ward (18:35) and Kendall Romaine (18:37) to give the Scots the top three times on the day.
But then came the Pinecrest meet, and the imposing course that resulted in a slight drop-off in times for Wrape’s runners.
“Their course is ridiculous,” Wrape said. “I walked the first loop with my runners, and it’s very uphill and extremely difficult to navigate. But it’s also a welcome challenge early in the season for this team.”
The boy’s team had five runners place in the top 14 on Tuesday afternoon, led again by Holloway who finished fourth place overall with a time of 19:17. The performance was good enough to secure the second place finish for the Fighting Scots, whose girl’s team also finished second overall with strong times posted by Pate and Monley.
Sct for September 18th, Scotland will host the next cross country meet on their schedule at St. Andrews with a tentative start time of 5:00 p.m.