Cross Country Brings Home Two Conference Titles
Apex continued its conference domination, adding two more South Wake Athletic Conference titles to those already won by the women’s tennis and volleyball teams this past week. Both the men’s and women’s cross country teams won the SWAC Conference Championship at WakeMed Soccer Park on Tuesday. This was the first time since 1995 that both teams brought home two conference titles on the same day.
In cross country, a conference championship is won in a single, winner-take-all meet, a different format from other sports where the championships are won based on a series of games against conference opponents. Points are assigned to each of a team’s top five finishers, depending on where they place. Similarly to golf, the goal is to have as few points as possible. This high-stakes meet is one of the key parts of the cross country season and is always a main goal for both teams.
The men’s team kicked off the victorious day with a dominating win over Apex Friendship, the 2017 conference champions, winning with an impressive twenty-two points to Friendship’s forty-two. Apex also landed an impressive six runners on the All-Conference team including: Jacob Vehslage, Scott Kennedy, Andrew Edney, Austin Dewey, Emmett Lynch, and Simon Griggs. This excellent team-showing bodes well for the cougars heading into the 4A Mideast Regional meet where they will compete for one of four coveted spots to move forward to the state meet.
Following the men’s race, the women lined up hoping to defend their 2017 conference title. With pre-race rankings landing the Cougars in second behind Apex Friendship, the race was expected to be a tight battle among multiple teams. Through an excellent team performance, the cougars came out on top, finishing with forty-seven points to Friendship’s sixty-one. Leading the women on the All-Conference team was Ali Roberts, Brenna Dolan, Celina Gaudioso, Abby Farrell, and Lindsay Hayden. Just like the men, this performance sets a great tone heading into postseason as the women will too be in a tight battle at the 4A Regional next Saturday.
The accolades for Apex didn’t stop there. Apex also took the team win in both the men’s and women’s JV races. The boys were led by a first-place finish from Mason Tilly, while Kendall Brockman took the win on the girls side. Head Coach Roy Cooper also received the well-deserved honor of Men’s Coach of the Year. Thanks to the leadership of Coach Cooper and his assistants, Coach Megan O’Donnell, and Coach Katie McDowell, Apex was represented well across the board. While the conference meet marks the end of the season for much of the team, performances all over the course contributed big time to the team titles that were brought back to Apex.
Come out and support both cross country teams at the 4A Mideast Regional on Saturday, October 27th! The men’s race starts at 9:30 a.m., and the women’s race starts at 10:30 a.m.
Awesome article, Lindsay!