First Flight runners score invitational wins
Published 7:03 am Thursday, September 19, 2019
After being hampered by Hurricane Dorian, the 2019 cross country season finally kicked into full swing last week. While many Outer Banks residents were cleaning up storm debris, the First Flight harriers were cleaning up on the track.
Winning the opening Northeastern Coastal Conference boys meet in Elizabeth City on Sep. 11, the Nighthawks then visited Williamsburg, Va. on Saturday for two more cross country wins.
Picking up where the Nighthawks left off last season, senior speedster Zach Hughes finished first overall with a time of 14:34, followed by teammates Tyler Sylvia, Joseph Davidson, Max Bowlin and Warner Campbell in the next four scoring places.
With points awarded corresponding to the place each of the first five runners finished, the lower a team’s score, the better the team finishes. By finishing in places one through five, the Nighthawks won the Northeastern meet with a perfect and unbeatable 15 point score.
Currituck County sophomore Bryson Green, finishing 11th overall, was the top runner for the Knights with a time of 21:34.
Team scores for the boys race show First Flight first with 15 points and Currituck County second with 61 points. Hertford County and host Northeastern each finished with 90 points in a tie for third place.
In the girls race, with only two full teams competing, it was Madison Pugh out front. Her winning time of 24:02 led First Flight to a team championship with an impressive 17 points. Currituck County was second with 44 points. Hailee Reinke, timed at 24:46, was the first Currituck Knight to finish.
Three days later, runners were in action again at Williamsburg, where First Flight notched two additional wins at the William and Mary High School Cross Country Invitational championship.
Although point totals released by William and Mary and the scores posted on milesplit.com differ slightly, both results show First Flight the overall winner in the varsity boys meet and First Flight tied for first with Maggie Walker in the girls B Team race.
William and Mary scores show First Flight boys the overall winner with 66 points to second place Glen Allen’s 73 and Maggie Walker in third with 130. Scores posted on milesplit.com have First Flight in first with 63 points and Glen Allen High School second with 69.
Cruising along at a 5:18 mile pace, Hughes finished first overall in the boys race covering the 5,000 meter distance with a time of 16:26.82. His time was almost seven seconds ahead of Preston High School’s Bryce Young and fast enough to place him at 841 on a milesplit.com ranking of all seniors in the nation.
Nighthawks following Hughes to the W&M finish line included (6) Tyler Sylvia 16:48.17, (7) Joseph Davidson 16:51.02, (20) Warner Campbell 17:33.48, (32) Max Bowlin 17:52.23, (45) Henry Stecher 18:21.82, (51) Aidan May 18:32.19, (105) Trent Sylvia 19:33.47, (118) Max Stabely 19:50.15 and (145) Sean Stultz 20:24.72.
In the varsity competition, First Flight girls tied for first place with Maggie Walker at 42 or 43 points each, depending which set of scores are viewed.
Madison Pugh was again the leading First Flight runner, finishing second overall with a time of 22:15.4. Hailey Smith (Lancaster HS) was the individual first place finisher at 21:28.7.
Nighthawks following Pugh to the Williamsburg finish line were (8) Emma Byard 23:26.4, (9) Maggie McNinch 23:26.8, (10) Lily Snow 23:27.1, (19) Maddy Wagner 24:48.6, (21) Tatum Dermatas 24:52.8 and (48) Paulina Goping 26:36.5
First Flight runners will be back in action September 21 between 9 and 11 a.m. when they host the Run and Sun Invitational cross country meet at First Flight High School on Veterans Drive in Kill Devil Hills.