MOREHEAD CITY — The West Carteret girls cross country team has already won an impressive 16 straight 3A Coastal Conference championships.

The Patriots will look to make it 17 in a row this fall with five of their seven top runners back from last season.

The West girls team kept another impressive streak alive last year by earning their 12th consecutive top-10 state finish at the 3A meet by taking seventh.

The West boys team won the Coastal Conference last season before placing fourth in the regional and 16th in the state. It will largely be a rebuilding year for the Patriots with only two of the top seven returning.

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OCEAN — The Croatan boys and girls cross country teams are reloaded and back for a new season under first-year head coaches.

The boys team led by Andy Bulford, now in his third season with the program, will look to four pivotal underclassmen to build on last year’s 1A/2A Coastal 8 Conference championship, second-place finish in the east regional and sixth overall placement in the 2A state championship.

The Croatan girls team finished spectacularly last year, placing fifth in the state, first in the east region and first in the conference. Unfortunately, the program lost all of its top girls for 2019 and are in a rebuilding mode.

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BEAUFORT — The East Carteret cross country program is heading into its fourth season under head coach Catie Dulworth.

Headlined by senior Emy Cloutier’s second straight 1A east regional championship, the Mariners had a successful 2018 campaign, capped by the girls team’s fifth-place finish at the regional meet.

Four runners from last year’s squad are returning this fall. While the program’s boys team will not be as strong as the girls, the Mariners have a handful of cross country runners this season, five thus far, which is enough for a team score.

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GREENSBORO — Braxton Plisko didn’t enjoy a typical summer. The rising West Carteret junior worked full time and attended track and field practice every evening.

His atypical summer continued two weeks ago when he captured the first AAU Junior Olympic Games national championship in Havelock Heat Track Club history.

Plisko took home the gold medal in the 15-16 age group boys high jump with a personal-record 6-foot, 6.75-inch leap at North Carolina A&T State University’s BB&T Stadium.

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PELETIER — It took just shy of five hours to complete the rain-delayed Solid Rock Carriers 150 at Bobby Watson’s Carteret County Speedway on Sunday, but after two lengthy delays, Connor Hall hoisted the trophy and $10,000 check in the attrition-filled race.

Hall, 22, from Hampton, Va., took the lead on the opening lap of the Limited Late Model race, passing Chris Burns with a power move on the outside and dominated much of the race, only surrendering the lead for three laps shortly after the halfway break.  After the race, his second $10,000 victory in the past month and third career Carteret County Speedway win, Hall was ecstatic about his triumph but also relieved the arduous race, which spanned for 4 hours, 57 minutes, had finally reached its conclusion.

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(For complete stories of these briefs, see the newsstand and home delivery edition or the full online e-edition.)

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