Welcome to the jungle


Bo Dalrymple, Online Editor

The RJ Reynolds boy’s cross country team traveled to South View High School in Fayetteville for the night time Jungle Run race. The boys both met and exceeded expectations as they battled 24 teams from Raleigh and other areas in eastern North Carolina.

Ahead of their 7:40pm start time the JV squad warmed up in a picturesque setting as the sun went down. 

“It’s one of the few night time races they get to run over the season,” Coach David Wainwright said. “It is also one of the more competitive invitationals where we get to see a lot of competition from across the state that we do not normally see during the season.”

The flat course looped a main practice field, passed baseball and softball fields and finally ended in a dramatic fashion inside the illuminated football stadium. 

“It is a really fast course and a lot of guys can come off of their summer training and run personal record times,” junior captain David Nicholson said.

The much anticipated varsity race began at 9:00pm, where many Demon runners had goals of racing better than they had in prior seasons. 

“The most important spots today are going to be for the varsity team between four and seven,” Nicholson said. “I mean, we’ve got the top three pretty solidified.”

Not only did the entire varsity team step up but the spots following the top three did especially well at filling the gap from injured runners and those who did not return from last year’s team. 

The top three consisted of Harrison Hickman, David Nicholson and Henry Phillips who finished 18, 28 and 51 respectively overall. All three finished with personal record times. 

Nicholson stressed the importance of this race to the next three Demon runners. They all finished in a close pack within five seconds of each other. The runners Ben Mueller, Rand Parrish and Matthew Boyd, respectively, made up the next group of the varsity runners. 

Mueller, Parrish and Boyd all finished with personal record times of more than 30 seconds, propelling Reynolds to a 6th place finish. 

In the absence of so many runners that did not return to the team this year, the next few Demons were forced to step into the varsity spotlight and quickly improve. The boys stepped up immensely from their past races and are looking towards their next race.