Weddington Cross Country Teams Loaded With Depth

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At A Glance

Weddington High School

Coach: Rick Spencer

Between The Lines: Weddington’s girls have 24 runners on the roster while the boys have 44 runners on the roster. … Seven Weddington girls return with state experience while the Weddington boys have four runners return that competed at the Class 3A State Cross Country Championships in 2016.

Weddington High School is hoping a combination of experience and depth will be a winning formula for the boys and girls cross country teams this season.

The Weddington girls have 24 runners on the roster and the Warriors return seven runners that ran in the Class 3A State Cross Country Championships last fall. Weddington finished in third place at the girls’ state meet a year ago.

The Weddington boys cross country team has 44 runners on the roster and four boys return from a team that finished as the Class 3A runner-up a year ago.

Weddington’s top girls returnees include three juniors — Sydney Burke, Sarah Bechtel and Alex Wall — and four sophomores — Nico Brown, Anna Davis, Anna Brown and Kathleen Abrams.

The Weddington boys are led by juniors Will Mazur, Kyle Durham and Stephen Larson and sophomore Jake Toomey.

Burke, Bechtel and Wall all finished in the top 20 while breaking the 20-minute mark at the state meet in 2016. Burke finished in 10th place in a time of 19:21.57 while Bechtel crossed in 13th place in a time of 19:29.63. Wall finished in 18th place in a time of 19:47.27.

Nico Brown was in 23rd place a year ago in a time of 20:02.91 while Davis crossed in 31st place in a time of 20:24.55. Anna Brown finished in 41st (20:41.11) while Abrams took 63rd (21:07.65) for the girls last fall.

Mazur is the top boys’ returnee after finishing in 31st place in a time of 16:54.24. Durham took 35th place (17:01.29), Toomey was in 48th place (17:12.90) and Larson finished in 57th place (17:18.80).

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Paul Nielsen
Nielsen was a sports writer for what is now the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for nearly 32 years before moving to North Carolina in February 2016. At the Democrat-Gazette, Nielsen's primary responsibility was beat coverage for Rogers High School. Rogers is a Class 7A school located in Northwest Arkansas.
Nielsen, a University of Arkansas graduate, covered the Northwest Arkansas Naturals Minor League Baseball team from 2008-2015. The Naturals are the Double-A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals.
Nielsen has experience covering University of Arkansas athletics, including NCAA Tournament basketball games and several football bowl games. He also covered amateur and professional golf tournaments in Northwest Arkansas.
Nielsen lives in Matthews with his wife, Susan. He can be reached at