Blue Devil Runners Start Strong At WNC XC Carnival - Brevard, NC


August 28, 2017

Courtesy Photo

Will Coye was the top runner for Brevard at the WNC Cross Country Carnival. Coye posted a personal best time of 17:12 to finish fourth overall.

No shortage of fast teams showed up at Jackson Park on Saturday for the 37th annual Western North Carolina Cross Country Carnival.

In the championship race there was powerhouse Cuthbertson, ranked No. 2 in the entire state (all classifications).

State champion teams Carolina Day (NCISAA 2A) and Cary Academy (NCISSA 3A) were there, as was top South Carolina team Dorman and regional powerhouse T.C. Roberson.

Another state champion team in the field: Brevard.

The Blue Devils ran like they belonged among such elite company, placing fifth in the loaded field, one spot above Carolina Day and just 4 and 6 points behind T.C. Roberson and Cary Academy, respectively.

Twenty-two teams competed in the championship division, with another 30 or so in the other divisions.

As expected, the Blue Devils were led by senior Ava Findlay. She placed ninth overall in 20:22.

Findlay was followed in rapid succession by Lillie Siniard (21:28), Alyssa Lefler (21:49), Madeline Dierauf (21:59), and Anna Schrader (22:14).

Freshman Anderson McKibbon ran a solid sixth for Brevard in 23:16, with Dominique Karesh (23:39) and Cassidee Cali (24:57) rounding out the performers.

"Our depth was definitely on display today," said head coach Phil Latter. "We were missing three members of our state championship team from yesterday, not including recent graduate Eliza Witherspoon, and we were still able to compete well against a loaded field. We had girls taking 2 to 3 minutes off their times from last year. It's that improvement that gives me a lot of confidence moving forward."

Will Coye was no less impressive leading the boys team on Saturday.

He opened his season with a massive personal best of 17:12, placing fourth overall in the invitational race.

His time was almost 45 seconds better than his fastest time last year. In doing so, he inherited the mantle from 9-time state champion Noah Graham as Brevard's top male runner.

"It's an honor to be recognized as Brevard's top runner," said Latter. "Lots of great young runners have come through this program, with Noah and Andrew Robinson the most recent examples. I think Will has a chance to have a legacy that's just as amazing as theirs were."

Coye should have some help this year as Dylan Sasser ran 18:45 for 29th place.

Freshmen Isiah Lefler (21:15) and DaCota Dysinger (22:54) were the next two across the line, with senior Noah Housman running a solid 23:34 to round out the field. Overall, Brevard placed 18th out of 30 teams.

"That finish is deceptive," said Latter. "We were missing 4 out of our top 6 kids due to standardized testing and other commitments. When we all toe the line on the same day, I have a feeling we're going to surprise a lot of other programs."

Brevard returns to action Saturday at the Eye Opener Invitational in Spartanburg, S.C.


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