Orange’s Schmid wins 3A Regional Men’s Cross Country title; Dyreng finishes 5th for Cedar Ridge women
Gabriel Schmid has won many races this cross country season by going the extra mile in training.
On Saturday in the 3A Mideast Regionals, he went the extra tenth-of-a-mile and still won.
Competing at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, Schmid won the men’s individual 3A Mideast Regional Championship on Saturday, a year after finishing fourth in the same event.
The Orange men’s team, who won the regional championship in 2021, finished second in the team standings with 72 points. Durham School of the Arts took the regional title totaling 58 points.
Cedar Ridge, led by senior Roman Morrell finishing fifth overall, came in sixth with 172 points.
The Cedar Ridge women’s team finished fifth in the team standings. Sophomore Naomi Dyreng came in fifth overall in the individual women’s standings while fellow sophomore Abigail Klaitman finished seventh.
Orange’s Grace Pell was the top individual women’s finisher for the Lady Panthers at 23rd.
Schmid’s victory came a year after his former teammate, Spencer Hampton, finished runner-up in the men’s regional race behind Carrboro’s Quinn Baker.
It was Schmid’s fourth win of the 2022 season, his seventh top-five finish and the first Orange runner to win a regional championship at the 3A level.
Schmid knows the course at WakeMed Soccer Park very well. It’s where he won the Early Bird Challenge on August 20, the first race of the season.
That’s why it was a surprise to him when the course appeared to have added a few more turns he wasn’t familiar with on Saturday afternoon. As he went around the trail, the marshals directed him toward a fork. Schmid took a right.
It turned out to be the wrong turn. Schmid went a full tenth-of-a-mile before he realized he was supposed to have taken a left.
“I swear they changed it,” Schmid said.
Fortunately, Schmid was able to correct himself, catch back up and cross the finish line 36 seconds ahead of Northwood’s Christian Glick. Schmid had a time of 15:59.38. Click finished second at 16:35.87.
Last week, Schmid captured the Central Carolina Conference championship at Lake Cammack Cross Country Course in Burlington. The Orange men’s team won the conference championship.
Last spring, Schmid took the regional championship in the 3,200 meters in outdoor track and field at Franklington High School, as well as a 3rd place result in the 1,600 meters. He went on to finish 2nd in the 3,200 meters at the NCHSAA 3A State Championships at North Carolina A&T University in Greensboro.
Schmid led a group of young Orange runners to the runner-up team finish. Junior Alden Cathey finished 13th (17:11.72); freshman Lucas Van Mater came in 14th (17:12.50); sophomore Peter Musser was 18th (17:29.09); freshman Myles Jarman came in 28th (18:04.01); sophomore Cyrus Neal was 35th (18:19.03); and Aiden Viola was 44th (18:55.73). For the second straight year, Orange qualified as a team for the 3A State Championships at the Ivey Redmon Sports Complex in Kernersville next Saturday.
Morrell, who has five wins and ten top-five finishes this season, will advance to the 3A State Championships, as well. Red Wolves freshman Ryan Matthews finished 26th at 17:51.88. Cedar Ridge sophomore Edgar Ibarra came in 41st (18:50.93), while freshman Michael O’Melia crossed the finish live 52nd. (19:07.04).
In the women’s race, Dyreng’s fifth-place finish came in her first-ever appearance at the regionals. She finished second on the CCC Championships last week in Burlington. This season, Dyreng has three top-five finishes.
Klaitman, also competing in her first regional race, finished seventh at 21:15.01.
Orange’s women’s team, which finished second in the CCC Championships, had Pell lead their pack at 22:36.85. Orange junior Kassi Scarantino finished 34th (23:11.84). Freshman Evelyn Gover came in 35th (23:12.17)