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Cross Country Teams Have Successful Season

The 2011 boys and girls cross country teams had one of the most successful seasons in Piedmont cross country history as both teams qualified for the NCHSAA State Meet held on Saturday, November 5.  Several team members were named to the All-County Team, All-Conference Team, and All-Regional Teams.  In addition, Coach Josh Montenaro was named the Rocky River 2A Coach of Year at the Conference Championships held October 18. 

The 2011 cross country season was the first time in over 17 years that the boys team made it to the State meet and over 20 years for the girls team. Seniors Alex Griffin, Spencer Middleton, Caleb Jirgal, and Joseph Small were assets to the boys team, while seniors Karina McAlister and Jessica Snow led the girls team. The Piedmont teams were consistently ranked in the top 10 according to North Carolina Runners poll throughout the season. 
On September 22, runners from both teams competed in the Union Country Cross Country Championship.  All-County Team honors went to the top 14 finishers and freshman Michaela Larrison was named to this team by finishing 12th overall with a time of 21:57. On October 18, both the boys and girls teams traveled to the Rocky River 1A/2A Conference Championship, where All-Conference Team honors went to the top 10 finishers. Michaela Larrison finished 4th overall with a time of 21:31, while teammates Karina McAlister finished 5th, Nikkita Elminowski finished 6th, and Arden Hudson finished 8th. Senior Spencer Middleton finished 7th overall for the boys race with a time of 18:28. Coach Josh Montenaro was also named the Rocky River 2A Coach of the Year at this event. â€œIt was an honor to be named this because the coaches in the conference were the ones who voted. Most importantly, I thank the runners whom I coached this year. They are the ones who showed a lot of improvement and that is what made the season a memorable one.” According to parent Katrina Larrison, “Monty is an outstanding coach. He knows the athletes individually and therefore knows how to motivate each one to reach their goals. He has created a very positive training environment that balances rigorous workouts with fun team building exercises. This is what keeps the runners coming back for more and what enables them to qualify for competition at the state level.”
At the regional competition on October 29 at Cuthbertson High School, both the boys and girls teams qualified to advance to the State meet that was held in Kernersville on November 5. The boys team finished 3rd overall and the girls team finished 4th overall. Individual honors went to Michaela Larrison (6th overall) and Karina McAlister (8th overall). Both girls were named to the All-Region Team.
To conclude the stellar season, both teams competed at the NCHSAA State Meet on November 5. The boys team finished 10th place overall, while the girls team finished 11th place overall. According to Coach Montenaro, “We are only losing four seniors on the boys and two on the girls team so we should be able to compete and make a run at States again next season.”

Written by: Donna Helms, Web Editor
Posted: Nov 18, 2011 by Donna Helms

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