Western North Carolina cross-country was never the same after 2010.
That’s when Carolina Day’s Trevor Sleight and Roberson’s Brooke Gordon began pushing their way to front of the pack in just about every important race.
And they never left.
The seniors are the Citizen-Times All-WNC Runners of the Year for the third consecutive season.
Gordon is one of just four girls in NCHSAA history to earn all-state recognition for four consecutive years. Her average time the last four years for 3.1-mile races was 18 minutes, 39.50 seconds with a personal-record of 18:09.
“Looking back on it, the things that Brooke did for us were just remarkable,” Rams coach Dave Culp said.
“She was the only senior in our top-seven runners, but it’s going to be awfully hard to replace her. Brooke really took on the role as a leader, not only with her races, but her workouts, too.”
Gordon was the 4-A Western Regional and Mountain Athletic Conference champion. At the latter meet, she set a course record at Montreat College (18:51.88) for high school and college athletes.
Gordon only ran two races in her career where her time was more than 19 minutes.
Sleight was just as consistent.
He placed third at the private school state meet as a sophomore before winning the NCISAA championship the past two seasons. Sleight also won the Carolinas Athletic Association meet (four) and Buncombe County meets (three) multiple times.
His personal-record was 15:16.
“I think I had a pretty good year,” Sleight said.
“I really appreciate everything my coach (Mark Driscoll) did for me. The season had a slow start, but everything really came together in the last month.”
As far as college goes, Culp said Gordon is leaning toward Lipscomb (Tenn.), while Sleight is still reviewing his options.
“I’d say that (recruiting) is nerve-racking,” Sleight said. “But it’s also exciting and I’m going to take my time with it.”