Mahaley Cronk

Mahaley Cronk nears the finish line at the NCHSAA 2A Midwest Regional in Dobson, N.C., where she would ultimately place first overall.

DOBSON — Ashe County was represented well at the NCHSAA 2A Midwest Regional Saturday, Nov. 2, with the Running Huskies’ girls team placing fifth overall in the championship at Fisher River Park.

With their placement, the Lady Running Huskies will travel to Kernersville to compete in the NCHSAA 2A State Championship Saturday, Nov. 9, at Ivey Redmon Park. Coach Shane Greene said he was really happy with the team’s performance overall.

“The Regionals, we kind of treat that like our State Championship because we stand a better chance of performing higher there than we do at the State,” Greene said. “It feels like a bigger meet than State, in a way. State is kind of like icing on the cake.”

Out of 125 runners, Ashe County’s Mahaley Cronk placed first, finishing with a personal best for the season at a brisk 20:38.18. Cronk was followed by Malorie Eller in 20th place, Abigail McClure in 43rd place and Zoe Schell in 49th place. Between Cronk and Schell’s finishes, only around three minutes had taken place.

Greene said that despite Schell being sick during the meet, she finished the race and placed fourth for the team.

“A lot of people would have just stopped,” Greene said, “but she finished it out.”

Along with Cronk, many of the other runners for the team either set or came close to setting a new personal record, Greene said.

“They stepped up,” Greene said. “It was just enough. We were one point in front of sixth place and two points in front of seventh place. Fortunately, I didn’t know that until after it was all over.”

Overall, the team scored 164 points, trailing behind Atkins High School, who scored 158 points, and followed by Central Academy of Technology with 165 points.

For the boys team, Greene said it was unfortunate because the Regional Championship was supposed to include enough teams to allow six teams to qualify for the State Championship. Instead, only five teams could qualify.

Overall, the boys team placed seventh in the championship, and five out of seven runners set a personal best. The team was two points away from placing sixth, holding an overall score of 212 points.

“I’m really happy with their performance too,” Greene said.

The NCHSAA 2A State Championship will take place at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9, at Ivey Redmon Park.

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