First Cross Country Race Gives Teams A Benchmark
Both the Shaw Bears and Lady Bears participated in the Adidas Seahawk Invitational held at UNC-Wilmington Friday and while the performances weren't stellar, they do give both teams times to shoot for and areas for improvement.
According to Head Coach William Montague, known as Coach Q by most at Shaw, the teams ran "okay," and continue to prepare for the rest of the season.
The top three finishers on the women's side were Kiara Arrington (left) with a time of 18:37.92, Tairra Gaines at 18:44.74, and Shareka Mitchell at 19:39.17
Montague said, "Shareka's performance came as something of a surprise to me, but she's got great competitive spirit and it came out at this meet."
Montague said he hopes to focus on the second group of finishers - Sammara Green (19:54.25), Chloe Frame (20:36.38), Moneauqe Baker (20:52.13), and Ashley Ligon (21:29.70).
The women's team, missing Andrea Taylor due to clearance issues, did not run as well as Montague had hoped. He cites a lack of conditioning and training during the offseason as one of the main hindrances to the team's performance thus far.
Montague got something of a surprise on the men's side as well – with a freshman taking the top time for the Bears. With top performers Lawrence Lewis and Michael Coldwell out due to injuries, freshman Darius Berry (right) set the pace for the Bears.
Berry came in with a time of 20:17.15, followed by Willie Stanley at 22:57.47, Carrington Jones at 23:47.77, and Craig Perkins at 24:03.59. Perkins came as a "pleasant surprise" to Coach Q who looks forward to seeing his production improve during the season.
With this first competition out of the way, Coach Q and the Bears and Lady Bears now look forward to a race close to home and on familiar pathways as they compete in the Reebok Cross Country Invitational that will be held at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary at 5:00 p.m. on Friday.
Coach Q said of the upcoming event, "I expect much improved performances from both teams." He expects to have all three runners that missed the Seahawk Invitational back for Friday's race.
Story by De'Shon A. Jenkins