The LRHS cross country team going into regionals 

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The LRHS men’s cross country team on the line before their 5k race at the Great American XC Festival on October 7, 2023. The team finished with an average time of 16:28. 

On Saturday, October 28, both the men’s and women’s LRHS cross country teams will compete in the NCHSAA 4A East Regionals cross country meet. 

The race will be at the Wakemed Soccer Park cross country course in Cary. The course is a 5k, roughly 3.1 miles long, and will determine which teams will make it to the final race of the cross country season: the NCHSAA 4A State Championship. 

The regional meet will allow the top twenty-five percent of teams in the region to advance to the states in Kernersville on November 4. Based on the entries for the meet, it’s likely that while six men’s teams will advance, only five women’s teams will. 

Going into the meet, the men’s team is ranked third in the region. With an overall average time of 16:08, the team is heading in  as one of the favorites to advance on to states. Ahead of them in the region is Broughton, their conference rival, and Hoggard, located in Wilmington. 

On the other hand, the women’s team is ranked fourth heading into regionals. With only five teams advancing to states on the women’s side, the team is going to have to fight hard to defend their current ranking and advance to the state championship. Sitting with an average time of 19:33, they’ll have to compete with Laney and Athens Drive in order to continue on to states. 

“I’m excited to see how everyone as a team does,” said Zoë Etheridge, senior and captain of the cross country team. “We’re all faster than we’ve ever been, stronger than we’ve ever been, and a whole bunch of girls broke 20:00 [minutes] for the first time at Cap 6.”

Last cross country season, Etheridge was the only member of the LRHS women’s cross country team to advance to states. The entire team did not continue to states, as they finished sixth place and only five teams advanced. But, Etheridge had the opportunity to compete individually as one of the top twenty-five finishers in the race whose team did not make the cut. 

“States alone was very lonely…,” said Etheridge. “But this year, we all really want it, [Coach] Gamble wants us to want it, and that’s what matters when it comes to states — who wants it more.”

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