The 19th edition of the United Way Invitational at Southside Park in Newton saw some new blood rise to the top, while one runner continued her dominance at the event.
Repeating as winner in the girls’ competition was T.C. Roberson’s Brooke Gordon.
Last year, Gordon ran a 17:55.63. She improved upon that time by a few seconds this year, completing the 5K race in a time of 17:51.34.
“I was really just trying to come away with a personal record,” Gordon said. “I just wanted to run my race and do as well as I could. I worked with my support system to keep myself going and get another win this year. I was very happy that I was able to be consistent this year and get another personal record.”
Gordon’s performance, along with the rest of her team, guided Roberson to its fourth-straight team championship at the event.
North Lincoln, which was led by third-place finisher Allie Castro, came in second place. North Buncombe, Providence Day and A.L. Brown rounded out the top-five.
Fred T. Foard’s girls team came in sixth place. The Lady Tigers were led by Kaitlyn Rayfield, who came in 10th place individually with a time of 19:39.80.
An injury to defending champion Cole Rains, of T.C. Roberson, ensured there would be a new champion on the boys’ side of the competition.
Stepping out from the pack was Asheville School’s Ben Fiedler, who followed up a 12th place finish in last year’s event with a first-place run.
“I was really happy,” said Fiedler of his performance on Wednesday. “I wanted to place in the top three. I went for first. I was really happy with how I did.”
Despite Fiedler’s performance, Asheville School did not finish in the top 10 in team competition.
Taking top honors among boy’s teams was Providence Day, who was led by second-place finisher Ben Huffman.
T.C. Roberson, North Lincoln, East Rowan, Carson, North Buncombe, Watauga, A.L. Brown and Mooresville rounded out the top nine teams.
Leading county teams was Fred T. Foard in 10th place.
The course hosts the Catawba Valley Athletic Conference’s meet on Monday at 4:30 p.m.