Cedar Ridge Cross Country

Cedar Ridge Red Wolf of the Week: Naomi Dyreng

This week’s Cedar Ridge Red Wolf of the Week is sophomore cross country runner Naomi Dyreng. This season, Dyreng was the top qualifier for Cedar Ridge in the 3A State Cross Country Championships, held on November 5 at the Ivey Redmon Sports Complex in Kernersville. Dyreng finished 23rd in the 3A State Championships. Last season, Dyreng played tennis, but opted to focus on cross country this fall. She finished 2nd in the Central Carolina Conference championships at Lake Cammack Cross Country Course in Burlington on October 19. Dyreng had another runner-up finish during a conference meet on August 31. The Cedar Ridge women’s cross country team narrowly missed qualifying as a team for the state championships by only eight points. At the Mideast Regional championships, Dyreng finished 5th individually. Cedar Ridge finished 5th in the Mideast Region with 152 points, while Eastern Alamance came in fourth with 144. Next season, Dyreng hopes to lead Cedar Ridge to qualify as a team in the state championships. Dyreng is also a member of the Cedar Ridge band, where she plays French horn. Dyreng will focus on track and field season this spring. 

Cedar Ridge Red Wolf of the Week: Roman Morrell

This week’s Cedar Ridge Red Wolf of the Week is senior cross country runner Roman Morrell. Already this season, Morrell has two first-place finishes. On August 27, Morrell won the Ronald Horton Cross Country Classic at Northwood High School, beating out 19 other competitors. On September 13, Morrell finished first in a twi-meet against Walter Williams and Northwood. It propelled the Red Wolves team to a victory. Morrell are to North Carolina from New Hampshire. Last year, he ran in the 3A State Championships in Kernersville, where he came in 26th. Morrell had a top-10 finish in the 2021 3A Mideast Regionals, where he finished ninth. In addition to cross country, Morrell also competed in the 800, 1,600 and 3,200 meters in outdoor track & field, where he qualified for the Mideast Regionals. Earlier this year, Morrell finished 2nd in the Early Bird Challenge at WakeMed Soccer Park in a field that included 178 other runners. Last Saturday, Morrell finished 2nd in the 38th annual Greensboro Cross Country Invitational at Hagan Stone Park in Pleasant Garden. 

Odds and Sods: Morrell, Dyreng win for Cedar Ridge Cross Country at Northwood

Cross Country: The Cedar Ridge men’s and women’s cross country teams were both victorious in its first tri-meet of the season at Northwood, one of the most storied courses in North Carolina.

In the men’s race, the first six runners to cross the finish line were Red Wolves. Senior Roman Morrell earned his second victory of the season, finishing first with a time of 19:07.89. Freshman Ryan Matthews finished second at 19:25.10. Another Cedar Ridge freshman, Michael O’Melia, finished third at 20:45.24. Sophomore Edgar Ibarra (4th), senior Jacob Miller (5th), and freshman Henry Alexander (6th) paved the way for the Red Wolves to finish first as a team with 15 points. Walter Williams came in second with 45 points while Northwood finished third at 70 points.

Cedar Ridge’s Naomi Dyreng claimed her first-ever win in the women’s race. Dyreng finished first among a field of 31 runners with at time of 22:50.61. Red Wolves sophomore Abigail Klaitman came in second at 23:04.35. As a team, the Red Wolves finished with 25 points. Northwood came in second with 59, Walter Williams had 64 and Western Alamance came in fourth at 89 points.

Cedar Ridge freshman Peyton Decker finished sixth while sophomore Anna Peterson finished seventh. Red Wolves freshman Rebecca Fullwood came in 9th (27:11.79) while senior Sarah Fenwick finished tenth.

Women’s Tennis: Orange 7, Northwood 2: The Orange women’s tennis team remain in second place in the Central Carolina Conference after a victory over Northwood on Tuesday at Orange High Tennis Courts.

Erin Sollars had two wins on the night. She claimed her match at #1 singles 6-2, 6-2. Later in the day, Sollars teamed with her younger sister Erin to win at #1 doubles 8-1. The Lady Panthers’ Makayla Davis and Sydney Rogers also had two wins on the day. Davis won her match at #3 singles 6-2, 6-0. At #2 doubles, Davis teamed with Rogers at #2 doubles for an 8-6 win.

Rogers won her singles match 6-1, 6-0.

Orange’s Madelyn Horn won at #6 singles 6-2, 6-2. At #3 doubles, the Lady Panther tandem of Isabel Jones and Katelyn Van Mater prevailed 8-0.

Orange is now 7-2 overall. They will host Riverside on Wednesday.

Cedar Ridge 5, Eastern Alamance 1: In a match shortened by rain, the Cedar Ridge women’s tennis team improved to 5-3 overall with a victory over the Eagles in Hillsborough. Junior Cameron Mayhew, the younger sister of Central Carolina Conference Men’s Player of the Year Josh Mayhew, won at #2 singles 6-0, 6-0. Sophomore Ella Caltabiano won at #3 singles 6-1, 6-0. At #4 singles, Cedar Ridge junior Catherine Ballenger prevailed 6-0, 6-0. Cedar Ridge juniors Annabeth Lundberg and Raven Mowles-Aring both won their matches at #5 and #6 singles, respectively.

Cedar Ridge had a match against Eno River Academy last week. The Red Wolves were winning all of the singles matches before rain came down and forced the match to be canceled.

Men’s Soccer: Cedar Ridge 8, Eastern Guilford 0: Chris Mendez earned the second hat trick of his career as the Red Wolves rolled to a victory over the Wildcats on September 1. Evan Marty added two goals for Cedar Ridge, which improved to 2-3-1. Junior Iliah Babchenko, Landon Williams and Soloman Hernandez also scored goals for the Red Wolves. Babchenko added two assists, while Rudy Fuentes, Tristan Loguidice and Mendez added assists.

Erik Galunas, a freshman goalkeeper, had a clean sheet for Cedar Ridge.

After the victory over Eastern Guilford, Cedar Ridge had a 10-0 win over Person in its Central Carolina Conference opener. Tonight, the Red Wolves will travel to crosstown rival Orange for the opening leg of the Hillsborough Derby.

The Magnificent Seven: A Homecoming Unlike Any Other

Allow me to sound old for a moment.

I’m not sure some of the younger people who read this can relate to a world where newspapers covered high school sports in Orange and Durham County extensively. And not just football. If a local athlete did something prominent in wrestling, soccer, basketball or baseball, they would find themselves in bright, bold colors on the front page. Every Saturday was like that on the Durham Herald-Sun.

Usually, on Saturdays, that cover would go to Northern Durham football and with good reason. The Knights were every bit the dynasty locally as the Alabama Crimson Tide are nationally. In 1990, Northern was in the midst of winning its seventh consecutive conference championship. They would win another eleven in a row before the Riverside Pirates ended the dynasty in 2002.

But on one special night in October 1990, Orange football grabbed the elusive Herald-Sun front page. Orange defeated Person in Roxboro and they did it decisively. Scott Satterfield, now the head coach at Louisville, was the Panther quarterback. Damon Scott, who would go on to become an I-AA All-American running back at Appalachian State, scored a touchdown. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a school more unified that week. Dr. Stephen Halkiotis was the principal and, just between you and I, I think he liked by class of 1991. In that group was a future Louisville football coach, a future Durham County District Attorney, a successful car dealership owner, a state championship women’s basketball coach in Georgia, several brave individuals who have served this country during some dire hours. And me.

The pep rally that Friday afternoon was intense, festive and loud. Janet Jackson’s “Black Cat,” had just been released and adopted as a natural anthem for the Panthers (Rhythm Nation was such a good album, it was the soundtrack of practically my entire stay in high school). Dr. H cut a pro wrestling interview over the microphone that would have made Ric Flair proud, or perhaps envious. The entire momentum fed over to Roxboro that Friday against a Person team that had just defeated Northern Durham in famed Durham County Stadium the week prior.

It was Northern’s only conference loss of the 1990s.

So as Person returns to Auman Stadium on Friday night as a conference opponent, those memories have stuck with me this week. It is the Class of 1991’s 30th anniversary. Nowadays, these milestones arrive with bittersweet emotions. As I prepare to do play-by-play for the first Orange-Person conference game in 21 years, I hope some members of my class will be inside Auman Stadium on Friday.

So, we’ve gotten away from what this column is supposed to do, which is to honor the current athletes at Orange and Cedar Ridge. Let’s focus on this week’s honorees for the Magnificent 7.

Spencer Hampton: After winning the 3,200 meters 3A Mideast Regional Championship last June, Hampton started his cross country season with a victory in his first Central Carolina Conference meet of the season. He finished first in a meet that included Cedar Ridge, Northwood, Eastern Alamance and Western Alamance with a time of 17:37.03.

Avery Miller: Had a team-high eleven kills and 23 digs (tied with Sadye Porter for team-high honors) as Orange defeated Williams 3-1 on Tuesday in Burlington. Miller’s eleven kills tied for season-high. She also had eleven kills against Eastern Alamance on September 21. Her 23 digs was a season-high.

Enzo Bruhns: Scored a goal for the Orange men’s soccer team in a 4-2 victory over Eastern Alamance on September 29. Bruhns also had a tying goal against Northwood on September 27 in a game that would up going to overtime. The Chargers prevailed 4-2 in extra time.

Tea Jones: Won her #4 singles match over Cedar Ridge 6-2, 6-3 as the Panthers defeated the Red Wolves. Jones later teamed with Jinkie Andrews to win at #3 doubles 8-4.

Chloe Patz: The Cedar Ridge women’s tennis team became the first team in the Central Carolina Conference to defeat Northwood last week. The Red Wolves prevailed 5-4 in a match where action lingered well into the night, climaxing with the #3 doubles match to determine the entire shooting match. Senior Chloe Patz won at #2 singles 1-6, 6-2 and 7-6, winning the tiebreaker 10-8. On Wednesday, Patz teamed with sophomore Cameron Mayhew to win at #1 doubles against Orange 8-1.

Cameron Lanier: It was another big week for the Cedar Ridge volleyball team, which captured three matches over the course of four days to take command of the Central Carolina Conference race. On Monday, the Red Wolves defeated Jordan 3-1 at Red Wolves Gymnasium. Lanier finished with ten kills. It was her eighth double-digit kill game of the season. Cedar Ridge would go on to CCC wins over Northwood and at Orange. Lanier had another double-digit kill game against the Lady Panthers as the Red Wolves completed its first two-game season sweep of its crosstown rival since 2015.

Roman Morrell: The Cedar Ridge men’s cross country participated in its first Central Carolina Conference meet at Northwood High School in Pittsboro last week. Roman Morrell finished fifth for the Red Wolves with a time of 18:00.90. Morrell, a junior, was the highest placer for the Red Wolves.

Orange’s Hampton wins cross country meet at Northwood

The cross country course at Northwood High School is one of the premier sites in the state. It has hosted conference and regional championships.

Only two months after nearly winning a state championship in track & field, Orange’s Spencer Hampton continued a stellar start to the fall season in Pittsboro.

On Monday, Hampton finished first in a Central Carolina Conference meet that also included Cedar Ridge, Northwood, Eastern Alamance and Western Alamance. Hampton had the top time of the day at 17:37.03, pacing a pack of 64 runners.

Hampton’s finished led Orange to come in 2nd in the team standings with 47 points. Northwood, which had four of the top seven runners, finished first with 23 points.

Orange’s Abezu Delvecchia was the only other Panther in the top 10, coming in 9th at 19:00.62.

Cedar Ridge came in fourth in the team standings with 98 points. Junior Roman Morrell came in fourth overall for the Red Wolves with a time of 18:00.90.

On September 10, Hampton finished 2nd in the Friday Night Lights Festival at the Ivey Redmon Sports Complex in Kernersville among 238 runners in the men’s invitational race. In June, Hampton led most of the race in the 3,200 meters at the 3A State Track & Field Championships at North Carolina A&T University. He finished 2nd behind Williams

In the Friday Night Lights Festival, Orange’s Gabriel Schmid finished 11th, crossing the finishing line at 16:43.60.

In the Northwood meet, Cyrus Neal came in 11th, while Schmid finished 21. Freshman Aiden Viola, sophomore lien Cathey, seniors Gabriel Jamison and Ethan Horton, Josiah McCoy and Jospeh Bernardo all finished in the top 50 for Orange.

For Cedar Ridge, Grayson Weisenfeld, sophomore Ethan Benner, Ryan Rakouskas, freshman Ryan Capps, junior John Stephenson, freshman Shea Spiller, and senior Mason Meyer all had top-50 finishes.

In the women’s race at Northwood, the top finisher from a local school was Orange junior Sophia Schultz, who crossed the finish line at 24:38.01.

The Cedar Ridge women’s team finished third among six teams. The Red Wolves had four runners finish in the top 20, including junior Sarah Fenwick, who came in 15th. Senior Sarah Tucker, who has competed in cross country and track & field at Cedar Ridge since she was a freshman, came in 17th.

Cedar Ridge’s Caroline Fowlkes, who qualified for the 3A State Track & Field Championships in the pole vault as a freshman, finished 21st.

Freshman Celine Galla came in 22nd, while Serena Summers and Georgia Roney finished 25th and 27th, respectively.

The Orange women’s team came in 5th in the overall standings. Abby Hengsterman, Harper Trost, Maggie Saunders, Avery Hengsterman, and Margaret Hales all had top 40 finishes for the Panthers. Junior Kate Barger also crossed the finish line for Orange.

In the Friday Night Lights Festival, freshman Caroline Cathey was the top Orange finisher on the women’s team with a time of 23:11.00. She finished 123rd out of 210 runners. Kassi Scarantino, Schultz, Saunders, and Hales also ran for Orange in Kernersville.

Cathey’s time in Kernersville was the top time by a female Orange runner so far in the young season.

Cedar Ridge senior Jay Cole talks winning at West Point on the Eno

The Cedar Ridge men’s Ross country team won its season-opening meet at West Point on the Eno. The Red Wolves topped the standings ahead of Northern Durham and Southern Durham. Red Wolves senior Jay Cole won a sprint to the finish line to earn first place overall. He finished with a time of 21:02. Cedar Ridge’s Harrison Park finished third with a time of 21:33. Cole, like all the other competitors, had to get used to running with a mask on during chilly temperatures in late autumn. Usually, cross country season starts in mid-August during the hazy final days of summer. Cole and the rest of the Cedar Ridge men’s cross country team will look ahead to the 3A Mideast Regional meet in January.

Cedar Ridge senior Jill Myler discusses win at West Point on the Eno

The Cedar Ridge women’s cross country team finished 1st at the West Point on the Eno race to open its abbreviated season. Senior Jill Myler ran the hilly course at a time of 21 minutes, 39 seconds, crossing the finish line first against teams from Northern Durham and Southern Durham. Despite not being at Cedar Ridge for in-person classes because of the pandemic, Myler finds herself busy. She is a member of Cedar Ridge’s International Baccalaureate program and helps tutor elementary school students in Hillsborough. Also at West Point on the Eno, Cedar Ridge’s Zoe Wade finished third, while Sarah Tucker came in 5th. Caroline Fowlkes, who qualified for the 3A state championships in the pole vault as a freshman in spring of 2019, and Georgia Roney also finished in the top 8.

Cedar Ridge’s XC Morrell finishes top 40 in state meet; Red Wolves Lockwood named Big 8 Coach of the Year

The Cedar Ridge women’s cross country team was the only local representatives at the North Carolina High School Athletic Association’s 3A State Championship meet at Ivey Redmon Sports Complex in Kernersville on November 2.

Unlike last year, the Cedar Ridge women didn’t qualify as a team. Instead, three Red Wolf runners reached the state meet based on their individual finishes at the Mideast Regional Championships at Northwood High School on October 26.

Junior Anne Morrell finishes with the fastest time among Cedar Ridge runners with a time of 19:41.50, good enough for 35th place. Last year, Morrell ran the same course at 20:11.33.

The other two Cedar Ridge runners also improved from their times at the Redmon Complex from 2018.

Sophomore Zoe Wade came in 74th at 20:35.61. Last year, Wade finished 101st with a time of 21:37.10.

Wade’s classmate, Ruby Lapham, finished 84th with a time of 20:50.28. In 2018, Lapham came in 113th at 21:50.78.

All three runners had personal bests times.

The state championships completed a grueling postseason stretch that started with the Big 8 Conference Championships, which was held on October 19 at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary. Morrell finished tenth in the Big 8 Championships, the highest among runners outside of Chapel Hill.

Morrell won a sprint to the finish line to edge East Chapel Hill’s Sara Oren for a spot in top ten. Senior Allison Musty finished 15th and joined Morrell on the All-Big 8 Conference team.

“Allison had a great race,” said Cedar Ridge women’s coach Paul Lockwood. “This was her type of race. The weather’s cooler. It’s nice out. You can’t always have nice weather. Anne had a great day and ran really well.”

In addition, Lockwood was voted as the Big 8 Women’s Cross Country Coach of the Year. Lockwood, who is in his second year, led the Cedar Ridge women to three dual match victories this year. Cedar Ridge also captured the Greensboro Cross Country Invitational race at Hagan State Park on September 28.

“It all goes back to the kids,” Lockwood said. “If I can’t have them, I don’t have anything. They’re awesome. I enjoy being around them. They work hard and I enjoy being around that.”

In addition to Morrell and Musty, Wade finished 16th at 20:36.60. Right behind her was teammate Ariadna Solis, who finished 17th. Junior Jill Myler came in 18th.

The top Orange finisher in the women’s race was junior Ava Zinn, who crossed the finish line 28th with a time of 21:56.70.

In the men’s race, Cedar Ridge senior Noah Draughon finished 17th with a time of 17:47.30. The Red Wolves Drew Gillespie came in 28th at 18:12.80.

Orange senior Bennett Flemming finished 24th at 18:09.50.

At the Mideast Regionals, the Cedar Ridge women’s team finished 5th among 15 teams. Morrell came in 12th at 20:16.14. Last year at the regionals, Morrell finished 19th at 20:26.21. Wade came in 24th, while Musty finished 28th.

Orange’s Zinn came in 49th at 22:43.13. Senior Hailey Bullard, in her final race, finished 58th.

In the men’s race, Orange’s Flemming was the highest finisher among Hillsborough runners, finishing 32nd.

Levi Draughon came in 34th for Cedar Ridge. Noah Draughon finished 42nd.

The Magnificent 7: Fall back and spring up

The fall sports season will officially end in Hillsborough on Saturday—unless Orange football can make the state playoffs.

The possibility of that appears remote, at best, as of Wednesday night. Orange’s current MaxPreps ranking is #69. Assuming that Orange beats Chapel Hill on Friday night, three of Orange’s five wins will have come against teams ranked in the bottom ten of 3A football, according to MaxPreps.

The Cedar Ridge men’s soccer team narrowly missed the state playoffs. The field of 64 was announced on Monday morning. Cedar Ridge was on the bubble, but missed out after losing to Southern Durham in the season finale.

Cedar Ridge ended the season 7-12-1, 5-9 in the Big 8 Conference.

The Cedar Ridge women’s cross country team has a good showing in the 3A Mideast Regionals at Northwood High School in Pittsboro. While Cedar Ridge didn’t qualify for the state championships as a team, like last year, there are several individual Red Wolves who will participate in the states on Saturday at Ivey Redmon Park in Kernersville.

Here is this week’s Magnificent 7, which will be the next-to-last edition for the fall sports season. We’ll begin focusing on winter sports next week.

Anne Morrell: Finished 12th at the 3A Mideast Regional Cross Country Championships at Northwood High. Morrell, a junior, qualified for the state championships for the third year in a row with a time of 20:16.4.

Zoe Wade: Finished 24th at the Mideast Regional Championships. Crossed the finish line at 21:05.84. Wade also qualified for the 3A State Championships. A sophomore, Wade will have participated in the state championships each of her first two years at Cedar Ridge.

Desi Raspberry: Cedar Ridge junior wide receiver had three receptions for 69 yards, including a 55-yard touchdown pass from William Berger against crosstown rival Orange on Friday night. Raspberry had the most yards from scrimmage for the Red Wolves.

Elliott Woods: Had 87 rushing yards and two touchdowns for Orange in a victory over Cedar Ridge at Red Wolves Stadium. Woods also had two tackles. Coming into the game, Woods led Orange in receptions and tackles. He was named this week’s Orange Panther of the Week.

Omarion Lewis: A sophomore, Lewis had a career-high 173 yards rushing against Cedar Ridge. Lewis added two touchdowns. He now leads the team in rushing yards and touchdowns this season, even though he missed the season-opener against R.J. Reynolds because it appeared he would spend this season on the junior varsity team.

Joseph Kiger: Led Orange in receiving with a career-high five receptions for 62 yards and a touchdown. On defense, Kiger led the team with six tackles. He also had ten rushing yards. Kiger also was the long snapper on extra points for kicker Nigel Slanker. He will play his final game in Hillsborough against Chapel Hill on Friday.

Bennett Fleming: The top finisher for the Orange men’s cross country team last week at the Mideast Regionals. Fleming came in 32nd with a time of 18:08.88. At the Big 8 Cross Country Championships at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, Fleming was also the top finisher for Orange.

Cedar Ridge Red Wolf of the Week: Levi Draughon

This week’s Cedar Ridge Red Wolf of the Week is men’s cross country runner Levi Draughon. At the Big 8 Cross Country Championships at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, Draughon was the highest placer among Cedar Ridge male runners with a time of 17:47.30. He finished 17th overall to qualify for the Mideast Regionals. On Saturday at the Regionals at Northwood High School in Pittsboro, Draughon finished 34th among 134 runners, again the highest among Cedar Ridge runners.  Cedar Ridge finished eighth among 20 teams at the Mideast Regionals. Draughon is only a sophomore and still has plenty of years left to compete as he prepares for indoor track & field season for Cedar Ridge.