The North Lincoln Knights cross-country team placed well against tough competition at the Weddington Invitational on Saturday.
The North Lincoln boys, the defending 2A state champions, finished second overall behind Weddington High School while the North Lincoln girls took third behind Providence and Cuthbertson. Ryan Shannon finished second overall in the boys race with a time of 16:23 and Allie Castro took the top spot in the girls race with a time of 19:08.
“We knew Weddington was going to be a hometown favorite,” North Lincoln coach Matt Reep said. “It’s their course and they’re a really good running school. We knew it would be tough for our guys.”
The North Lincoln girls were battling what Reep called “an old rival” in 2A Cuthbertson. The two teams competed against one another in the 2011 state meet, with Cuthbertson finishing in fifth place. Cuthbertson edged North Lincoln by one one-hundredths of a second to finish in second place at Saturday’s meet.
“We know now where we stack up against them if we see them again in the state meet,” Reep said.
Shannon’s time in the boys race was a personal best and was nearly 40 seconds faster than his ninth-overall finish at the 2011 state meet. Chris Boyle and Andrew Fea rounded out the Knights’ top-20 finishers in the boys race.
“Shannon ran the best race he possibly could have run,” Reep said. “He ran a very smart race. When I watched him do it I didn’t realize he was going that fast until the last mile.”
Castro’s finish on Saturday was a full 20 seconds faster than her seventh-overall finish at the 2011 state meet.
“She came out and pretty much took control of the race about a mile into it and never looked back,” Reep said. “She probably could have run 20 seconds faster if she’d had someone chasing her.”