The Transylvania Times -

Lady Blue Devils Take First Place At Watermelon Run


September 9, 2019

Employing a controlled start, a strong middle, and a powerful finish, the Brevard girls’ cross-country team came out victorious at the 14-team Watermelon Run last Thursday.

With the mercury bubbling up to 90 degrees in Sylva – and precious little shade on the course – the Lady Devils employed a smart strategy of laying off the early pace set by a pack of eight runners from schools throughout the Western part of the state.

By the mile mark, the group of Madeline Dierauf, Lucy Murray, Emma Coye, and Isabelle Lefler had moved into the top 15, with Erin Huter and Summer Dysinger close behind.

That strategy would continue to pay off as the ladies moved up even more in the second mile.

Crossing a narrow bridge into the big field during the third mile, it was clear Brevard was going to win the team title.

The question was who would move up and how large the margin would be.

Sensing an opportunity, Dierauf and Murray made a sustained push over the last kilometer, moving into second and third place, respectively.

They would hold those places across the line, with Dierauf (21:21) finishing just 12 seconds behind race winner Sydney Bolyard of Tri-Cities Early College, and Murray just eight more seconds back in 21:29.

Behind that duo, Brevard flashed its depth with Lefler (22:40), Coye (22:49), and Dysinger (23:07) finishing ninth, 10th, and 11th, respectively. Huter (23:39 – 16th) and Hannah Janowitz (27:43 – 57th) finished soon thereafter, capping a great day by the Blue Devils.

That depth was reflected in the final score, as Brevard tallied just 35 points.

Tuscola (80), Hendersonville (83), Hayesville (114), and Smoky Mountain (151) rounded out the top five.

“That might have been the best executed race I’ve seen in a few years,” said head coach Philip Latter. “Everyone worked together to make sure we got the job done in tough conditions.”

The boys’ team ran a similarly strong race, as Abdi Green and Knox Witherspoon moved in unison early on to get good positioning. Green ended up in the top 10 at the mile and the top five after two.

He would move as high as fourth place, a position he would hold to the finish with a season’s best time of 17:53, followed quickly by Witherspoon in eighth (18:37).

With Brevard’s No. 3 runner out, several athletes tried to fill the void.

Dylan Studt did that the best, running 19:41 for 16th place, with DaCota Dysinger close behind in 20:06 (25th).

Alex Sweet used a big kick to move up into 27th place to finish the scorers (20:15). That was good enough to earn third place (80 points), just behind Hayesville (62) and North Henderson (65), but ahead of conference rivals Hendersonville (113), Smoky Mountain (162), and Pisgah (176).

“We flashed a lot of potential today,” added Latter. “Abdi and Knox have made major jumps since last fall and our depth is coalescing quickly. When we are back at full strength, I think we are going to be a very tough team to challenge at any given race.”


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