Castellaw captures school’s individual first Men’s Championship
By D.N. PENNELL, Jr.
It was an historic day for the Alexander Central Cross Country Team at the NW 3A/4A Conference Championships held Wednesday evening, October 17, at Watauga High School in Boone.
ACHS placed second in the men’s and women’s team standings for the best ever combined finish for the school. In addition, ACHS senior Cooper Castellaw captured first place in the men’s championship race and four members of the Cougar Men’s Team earned All-Conference honors.
According to Coach Joe Cornwell, Castellaw is the first individual men’s champion in ACHS history. Cornwell also noted that four men on the All-Conference Team is a first for the Cougars.
Castellaw was first overall in the race, while Logan Ellis came home 11th overall for the Cougars. Seth Warren and Carter Patterson finished 12th and 13th respectively to earn All-NWC honors. Senior Jacob Campbell was the fifth time recorded for the Cougar men with his 21st place finish.
Watauga won the men’s team total, followed by Alexander Central, St. Stephens, and Hickory.
ACHS PAIR EARNS ALL NWC IN WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP
Following the men’s race, the women runners took center stage. Like the men, the Alexander Central Women posted a solid performance, earning a runner-up finish in the team standings.
Watauga’s Sophia Ritter captured the league title, finishing more than a minute a head of the second place finisher. Watauga won the team crown as Pioneer runners claimed the first seven finishing spots.
Alexander’s Camella Church was the first non-Watauga runner to the line with an eighth place individual finish. She was followed closely by Lady Cougar Kaylin Dyson in 13th. Church and Dyson earned All-League honors for the Cougars.
Rounding out the top five times for ACHS was Rylie Rhyne (20th), Sara Heath (22nd), and Caroline Deal (30th).
Watauga placed first overall for the women, followed by ACHS, Hickory, Freedom, and St. Stephens.
The ACHS runners will move on to the NCHSAA 3A West Regional Championship on Saturday, October 27, at McAlpine Park in Charlotte. The Regional Championship will be hosted by Marvin Ridge High School is scheduled to begin with the 3A West Men’s race at 10 am. The 3A West Women’s Regional race is scheduled for 11:30 am.