Bobby Mintz went for a fairly brief run on Thursday afternoon, September 2, a jaunt of a mere 3.1 miles. Of course, the cross-country runner from Cary Christian School covered that distance in only 16:05.06 to set a new record for high schoolers as he won the 3rd annual Cavalier Kickoff Classic cross-country race at the Black Mountain campus of Montreat College.
In fact, more than 600 runners from over 30 high schools (including Asheville Christian Academy, A.C. Reynolds High, and Asheville High) participated in the event hosted by Head Cross-Country Coach Jose Larios and a staff from Montreat College on a day that saw record numbers enter the race - and records fall.
Mintz's remarkable winning time edged out boys' runner-up Scott Morgan of Calvary Baptist Day School, who ran 16:09.24, and third-place finisher Thomas Graham of Cary Academy, whose time of 16:11.01 would have won last year but earned only third this season.
Larios noted that all three of those harriers beat the old high school record of 16:21.10 set last year.
Providence Day School won the boy's team title while local participants Asheville Christian Academy placed tenth out of 33 teams.
On the girl's side, this was a day dominated by Charlotte Latin School's cross-country team. The Hawks from Charlotte Latin, winners of three consecutive North Carolina Independent Schools state championships at the 3-A level, saw five of their seven girl runners finish in the top ten (in 3rd, 5th, 7th, 8th, and 9th) as they swept to a commanding victory with a team score of 32, far outpacing second-place West Henderson's 139 total.
Charlotte Latin School cross-country coach Mike Weiss was pleased with the results and with the event: "There was a genuine spirit of welcoming from the Montreat College community. We enjoyed the beautiful campus and the mountain backdrop, and the course is a classic lay-out: it's a challenging, interesting place to compete."
Doreen Laggeman of Forsyth County Day School won the girls' classification with a fast time of 20:02.48, while Asheville Christian Academy's Whitney Thornburg raced to second in 20:31.41.
For Montreat College, this race made for an exciting day, and good practice. On Friday, October
29, Larios will see many of these same teams return to Black Mountain as Montreat College hosts the North Carolina Independent Schools Athletic Association state championship race.