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WENDELL — Rolesville High School’s girls and boys cross country teams got their inaugural season underway when they competed Saturday in the Wendell Park Early Bird Meet.
“This was a great start to our season,” said Rolesville High School cross country coach Michael Grether.
“Twenty-four days ago we had six people show up to day one of practice with little summer running under their belts and huffed and puffed their way through a one-mile time trial,” Grether added.
Today, the Rams have a combined 15 runners on the girls and boys teams and eight of those finished a 5K race for the first time.
At the Wendell Park course, four runners from Rolesville High ran faster one-mile splits in the race than they ran the first time trial during a practice run.
The Rams’ Alyssa Ryan, Madison Taylor, Victoria Despres and Cailey McGinn beat their practice time.
“Even more impressive was the show of support from those who were not running in today’s race,” Grether said. “I am so proud to be their coach.”
Despres, a sophomore, and Alex Dickhoff, another sophomore, set inaugural Rolesville High School records for a 5K.
In the girl’s competition, Despres ran the race in 26:22.98 while Dickhoff crossed the finish line in 22:07.93.
The Rams’ Stephen Strong ended the run in 22:14.79 while teammate Matthew Mims had a time of 22:26.14.
Southview High won the boys race followed by West Johnston and Garner.
Rolesville’s girls placed 11th and Pinecrest, Southview and West Johnston capped the top three finishes in the girls race.
Jessi Bryson of Rolesville and Taylor also completed the course in less than 30 minutes at 27:55.48 and 29:43.40, respectively.
McGinn’s time was 30:05.91 and Ryan came in 31:18.42.
“It was both exciting and an honor to be able to lead our team to and through their first race,” Grether said.
“We have had amazing support from the staff and athletic department,” he added. “The athletes are working very hard and feel both the privilege and responsibility that comes with being an inaugural Rolesville athlete.”