Scott wins in record time. Hill kicks it in for the victory.
|Aurora Scott and Kathy Kroeger each bested the 20 year old McAlpine-Greenway Park record. Scott won with a new course record 16:26 en route to qualifying for her third national finals. She was 9th last year. Ryan Hill, 15th in the South Regional a year ago, did not take the lead until the third mile.|
Charlotte, N.C., November 25, 2006 – Ryan Hill of Hickory, N.C., and Aurora Scott of Portsmouth, Va., won the Foot Locker Cross Country Championships (FLCCC) South Regional at McAlpine Creek Park in Charlotte, N.C., today.
In the boys’ race, the lead runners started strong at a sub-five minute mile pace. At the 1.5-mile marker, Girma Mecheso, a junior from Lawrenceville, Ga., separated from the pack to take a commanding lead. By the two-mile mark, Ryan Hill (Hickory, N.C.), Ben Hubers (Marietta, Ga.), and Griffith Graves (Abingdon, Va.) slowly started to gain ground on Mecheso to finally catch him with 200 meters remaining. Hill, a junior at Hickory High School, grabbed the win with a time of 14:46. Hubers, a senior at McEachern High School, finished second in 14:51, and Graves, a junior at Abingdon High School, placed third in 14:55. Mecheso, a pre-race favorite, finished fourth in 14:57.
The girls’ race started lightning fast, with the front runners passing the first mile marker at 5:14. By the second mile, Kathy Kroeger of Franklin, Tenn., and Aurora Scott, a home-schooled junior, broke free from the pack to remain 30 seconds ahead of the rest of the runners. With less than a mile remaining, Scott took off and never looked back. In an incredibly fast race, Scott smashed the 20-year-old course record of 16:45, held by Erin Keogh in 1986. Scott finished in 16:26, with Kroeger, a sophomore at Independence High School, also breaking the 20-year-old course record, finishing in 16:32. Emilie Amaro, a junior at Cypress Bay High School in Cooper City, Fla., placed third in 17:15.
Hill is a newcomer to the FLCCC race, while Scott is a three-time national qualifier. She placed third in last year’s South Regional race and ninth in the 2005 National Finals. The top ten boys and the top ten girls of the seeded races qualified to compete against runners from the Midwest, West, and Northeast regional meets in the Foot Locker Cross Country Championships National Finals, which takes place Saturday, Dec. 9 at Balboa Park in San Diego, Calif.