Pair of Eastern distance standouts compete in state championships

Eastern Alamance High sophomore Laila Anderson qualified for the NCHSAA 3A state cross country championships, which was held this past weekend at the 3.1 mile course at the Ivey Redmon Complex in Kernersville. Anderson placed 36th in the race with a run of 19 minutes, 44.74 seconds, which placed among the top 25 percent of all runners in the championship field. 

Eastern Alamance High distance runners Andrew Parker and Laila Anderson competed on Saturday at the NCHSAA State Cross Country Championships, which were held in Kernersville at the Ivey Redmon Sports Complex. 

Anderson, a tenth grader, finished among the top 25 percent of the field in the women’s race. Anderson recorded a time of 19 minutes, 44.74 seconds, which placed 36th overall out of 158 total runners. Anderson will have two more opportunities to compete in the state finals in the coming years and improve her times even more. The NCHSAA women’s 3A state champion is Jonna Strange of North Iredell High, who clocked a time of 17 minutes, 57.85 seconds. 

Parker placed 80th out of 195 runners in the men’s state championship race, as the freshman negotiated the 3.1 mile course at the Ivey Redmon Sports Complex in 17 minutes, 30.21 seconds. The state championship was won by senior Avery Cannon of Watauga High School in Boone, who came in with a time of 15 minutes, 39.00 seconds. 

Parker placed fifth among the freshmen competing in the race. With three more opportunities to compete in the NCHSAA state finals in 2020, 2021, and 2022, Parker has a chance to make a significant rise up the leaderboard in the coming years.