Heard on the Street

TITLE: Trusst Donates Timing System to UNCW Track Team
PUBLICATION: Featured in Star News
DATE: September 11, 2010

Cooler weather gives runners a break at high

An overcast drizzle on Saturday morning put a damper on the start of a weekend for prospective beach-goers in Wilmington. But for nearly 2,000 runners at the Seahawk Invitiational cross-country meet at UNCW, it felt more like paradise.

"Last year it was smoking hot; around 90 degrees. The runners were burning up” said Hoggard boys coach Billy Mason. “The conditions were much better for the runners today.

The nearly 1,500 spectators packed along the UNCW rec fields didn’t seem to mind either.

“It’s nice to know that people are coming out to watch because, well, it’s just running,” said New Hanover junior Shelby Howell with a laugh.

“It’s a really exciting event. There are so many teams and so many people cheering you on. It feels good.”

Howell had the best finish of girls from area schools, taking 15th in the girls championship with a time of 19:22.

The Seahawk Invitational, an annual event, featured the best cross-country prep talent from across North Carolina and a few teams from out of state.

“We had nearly 60 high schools and over 1,700 athletes come out this year. It’s as big as it has ever been,” said Layne Schwier, UNCW’s coach, who’s been organizing the event for eight years.

“Most of our big high schools made it out again this year, and we had a bunch of small schools like the smaller Christian schools come out,” Schwier said.

“Everything from schools with around 100 kids to schools with over 2,000 came out.”

And with new sponsorship support from Leland-based company Trusst Builders, the event ran even smoother than in years past.

“The president of Trusst, Shawn Horton, is a UNCW alum and he helped us out with a new timing system,” Schwier said. “Before we were doing everything by hand and it was a bit of a pain. The new system was a big help and will only help us become a bigger and better event moving into the future.”

“I was really happy about it, Vaughn said with confidence. “After working so hard all year I knew I was going to get there eventually, so I can’t say I was surprised by it.”

 New Hanover took 14th place as a team in the boys’ championship, two spots behind rival Hoggard at 12th. Hoggard had a strong performance from junior Mason Boyles, who finished 16th with a time of 16:31. Ashley finished 26th. The Wildcats also took 14th in the girls’ championship, while Hoggard finished 22nd, Laney 24th, and Ashley 27th.

The storied cross-country program from Cary Green Hope also was extremely strong, taking first in both the boys’ and girls’ championships. Green Hope’s girls’ team is ranked in the top ten in the nation.

“Both our boys and girls ran very well,” said Jeb Vaughn, a former New Hanover student who is an assistant coach at Green Hope. “Taking first as a team in both championship events is extremely impressive.”