EAHS women's runners place first in All-County tuneup event

Eastern Alamance sophomore women's cross country runner Laila Anderson, who qualified for the NCHSAA 3A state championships this past spring in the 1,600 and 3,200 meter distance races, came in first on Wednesday at the Alamance All-County Warmup Race, which was held at Lake Cammack in Burlington. Anderson outlasted 40 other runners, negotiating the 3.1 mile cross country track at Lake Cammack in 22 minutes, 41.38 seconds. Anderson defeated her next-closest competitor by more than 38 seconds. Thanks to Anderson, and other strong performances by Eagles such an Anneke Brouwer, Grace Dobson, Adrianna Glancy, and Josie Gonzalez, EAHS won the women's team competition at Wednesday's event. 

Eastern Alamance’s cross country squads were the hosts on Wednesday afternoon for an event called the Alamance County Warmup, which was held at the 3.1 mile track at Lake Cammack in Burlington. Amidst the picturesque setting at the lake, the EAHS male and female runners got their first opportunity of the new school year to run in a competitive setting against other teams. 

A total of ten local schools participated in the Alamance County Warmup, with Eastern Alamance joined at the event by runners from Alamance Christian School, Bradford Academy, Clover Garden School, Hawbridge School, River Mill Academy, Southern Alamance, The Burlington School, Western Alamance, and Williams. 

Eastern was represented by eight female runners in the 56-entry women’s race, including Laila Anderson, Anneke Brouwer, Grace Dobson, Adrianna Glancy, Josie Gonzalez, Gracyn Justice, Isabella Miller, and Chloe Strong. A total of 41 runners wound up actually running in the event. 

Anderson, who qualified for the NCHSAA 3A state championships last spring in the 1,600 meter and 3,200 meter races as a ninth grader, is looking to emerge as one of the best distance runners in the region this fall as a sophomore. She picked up right from where she left off last season at Wednesday’s event, placing first overall among all female runners with a time of 22 minutes, 41.38 seconds. Anderson outlasted second place finisher Kaitlyn Gomez, a senior from Mebane’s Bradford Academy, by more than 38 seconds, as she raced her way alone to the finish line. 

Anneke Brouwer was the next Eagle to make her way in, finishing eighth overall out of 41 runners with a time of 26 minutes, 52.73 seconds. Next in for the Eagles was sophomore Grace Dobson, who placed 12th with a time of 27 minutes, 58.22 seconds. Adrianna Glancy, a freshman, was the fourth EAHS female runner to crack the top 20, as she came in 18th overall in her first varsity competition as an Eagle with a time of 29 minutes, 31.87 seconds. 

Other EAHS runners who completed the race included sophomore Josie Gonzalez, who placed 25th with a time of 31 minutes, 12.57 seconds, junior Isabella Miller, who placed 26th with a time of 31 minutes, 23.32 seconds, freshman Gracyn Justice, who placed 33rd with a run of 33 minutes, 55.83 seconds, and senior Chloe Strong, who placed 41st with a run of 43 minutes, 6.20 seconds. 

Thanks to the strong performances of Anderson, Brouwer, Dobson, Glancy, and Gonzalez, Eastern won the team portion of the Warmup, producing an average time of 27 minutes, 39.36 seconds among its top five runners. Southern Alamance placed second with an average time of 28 minutes, 41.67 seconds, while River Mill Academy placed third with an average time of 29 minutes, 2.39 seconds.

A total of 85 male runners participated in the men’s race, including 13 from Eastern Alamance - Ivan Castillo, Alex Catalano, Ryan Catalano, Jahdiel Dinarte, Kaden Gibbs, Kendall Goins, Cullen Justice, Gavin Lee, Bricy Munoz, Andrew Parker, Brian Ortiz-Perez, Benny Salvatore, and Ezechiel Yao. 

Eastern’s best time in the men’s race was posted by freshman Andrew Parker, who came in fourth place overall with a time of 20 minutes, 4.73 seconds. Senior Jahdiel Dinarte also cracked the top ten overall, finishing six with a run of 20 minutes, 29.05 seconds. 

Another EAHS senior, Alex Catalano, made the top 20 with a 16th place time of 22 minutes, 57.68 seconds, while a pack of Eagles, including senior Ryan Catalano (26th - 23 minutes, 52.93 seconds), junior Ivan Castillo (27th - 23 minutes, 56.04 seconds), junior Cullen Justice (30th - 24 minutes, 6 seconds), freshman Benny Salvatore (32nd - 24 minutes, 16.17 seconds), and senior Gavin Lee (36th - 24 minutes, 44.84 seconds), all finished in the top 40. 

Other times put in by Eagles runners included a 45th place run by junior Brian Ortiz Perez (25 minutes, 59.89 seconds), a 50th place run by sophomore Kaden Gibbs (26 minutes, 45.09 seconds), a 68th place run by junior Kendall Goins (29 minutes, 12.69 second), a 74th place run by Ezechiel Yao (29 minutes, 51.42 seconds), and a 79th place run by senior Bricy Munoz (41 minutes, 27 seconds). 

As a team, the Eagles placed fourth overall out of seven participated men’s teams at the Warmup. 

Eastern will next participate in the Alamance All-County Cross Country Championship, which is set for September 10 at 4:00 p.m. at Cedar Rock Park. At the end of the competition, Alamance-Burlington School System Superintendent Dr. Bruce Benson, an avid runner, will be crowning team champions in both the men’s and women’s divisions, with each winner earning bragging rights for owning the new Superintendent's Cup award for the entire year. Dr. Benson will serve as the official starter for the event.