On Saturday, November 6, 2021 two sports from Chatham Charter School in Siler City competed in 1A state championships hosted by the North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA). The women’s tennis team, men’s cross country team, and a runner from the women’s cross country team made appearances in the state championships for the first time in school history. The cross country meet was held at Ivey M. Redmon Park in Kernersville. The tennis match was held at the Burlington Tennis Park.
“All the student-athletes, coaches, fans, and event organizers showed a lot of grit in braving cold temperatures and windy conditions this morning. Having this level of athletic success speaks to the commitment at every level of our school to the athletic program. We’re proud that all of our fall varsity sports teams made the state playoffs this year and are thrilled that these two sports made it to the championships,” said Knights Athletic Director Clint Fields.
Senior Brandon McKoy earned a fourth place finish in the men’s cross country meet with a time of 16 minutes and 57 seconds. He qualified all four years of his high school career for the state meet and earned All-State honors in 2020 and again in 2021. McKoy was also the top finisher in the 2021 East Regional race last Saturday.
Along with McKoy, other members of the Knights men’s cross country team who qualified to run in the state meet were Silas Christenbury, Caleb Kolb, Thomas O’Hara, Landon Rakes, Colton Todd, Julian Todero. Of the approximately 160 runners, Kolb finished 56th and Christenbury finished 66th. The others had solid results amid the challenging morning weather conditions.
Sophomore Meredith Reese qualified for the 1A state women’s meet as an individual runner and set a personal record with a time of 24 minutes and 13 seconds. The Knights men’s and women’s cross country teams were coached by LaShawn LaFranque and Tina Rakes.
The Knights women’s tennis team finished its season as state runner-up in 1A. The state championship pitted the fifth seed Knights against top-seeded Mt. Airy High School. The Knights lost 0-5, but Coach Eldridge noted how the team had solid success in several matches in spite of the loss. The eight members of the Knights women’s tennis team in the playoffs were Rebecca Brookshire, Lorelei Byrd, Emery Eldridge, Ashlyn Hart, Lillian Jones, Elphie Spillman, Emily Stecher, and Dana Szpunar. The team was coached by Kelly Eldridge and Larisa Spillman.