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Hughes wins state cross country title

First Flight’s Zach Hughes was the individual first place finisher in Saturday’s NCHSAA 2A state cross country championships. The event was held at Ivey Redmon Sports Complex in Kernersville. His first place finish helped lead his team to a second place team finish.

Pulling ahead with a home stretch kick, Hughes finished the 5,000 meter race with time of 16:00.79. He was just one step ahead of North Lincoln’s Jason Thomson in second place at 16:01.27.

cross country

First Flight junior Zach Hughes (right) pulled ahead of North Lincoln’s Jason Thomson in Saturday’s NCHSAA 2A state cross country championships with a home stretch kick to win the individual 5,000 meter state championship race with time of 16:00.79. First Flight boys finished second as a team. Eddie Braxton photo

Team scoring results, however, were the exact opposite. North Lincoln, with 36 points, was first and First Flight was second with 74.

With four runners among the top 10 finishers, North Lincoln runners finished with an average time of 16:29.96. Hughes was the only First Flight runner among the top 10 finishers. Overall the Nighthawks were about 31 seconds slower with an average time of 17:01.84.

cross country

First Flight junior Zach Hughes was in the middle of the pack during the early part of Saturday’s NCHSAA 2A state cross country championships at Ivey Redmon Sports Complex in Kernersville. Hughes finished the race in first place overall, which helped the Nighthawks finish second in the state final team standings. Eddie Braxton photo

This was the fourth boys cross country state championship for North Lincoln. It was also the second year in a row the Knights edged out First Flight for the state cross country team championship. In 2017 North Lincoln finished 11 points ahead of First Flight.

Girls 2A competition saw Madison Pugh run a 20:16.50 for 17th place to help First Flight girls finish 11th and Currituck County’s Hailee Reinke finished 47th with a time of 21:27.23 to lead the Knights to a 17th place team finish.

cross country

Running at Saturday’s NCHSAA 2A girls state cross country championships, First Flight’s Summer Banning finished in 80th place with a time of 22:35.07. In 2A girls competition, First Flight girls finished 11th in the team standings. Eddie Braxton photo

In 1A competition, the Manteo girls team placed 15th overall. Libby Robertson was the leading Redskins runner, finishing 68th with a time of 23:23.51.

Also running in Saturday’s state competitions as individuals, Currituck County’s Laitin Gibson finished 134th in the 2A boys race with a time of 19:29.84 while in the 1A boys event Cape Hatteras sophomore Shanklin Austin covered his distance in 19:51.70 for 85th place.

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