On balance, it wasn’t a great season for Airport cross country.
But the Eagles did make some news at the Class 3A state championship meet last weekend at Sandhills Research Park thanks to all-state performances by senior Jamie Sires and freshman Megan Stahlberger.
Sires closed a solid four-year varsity career with his third-all-state season. He finished on a high note with the best state meet effort of his career – a seventh-place finish with a personal record time of 16:36.05.
Sires was 45th as a freshman, followed by all-state finishes in 2007 (15th, 16:47) and 2008 (8th, 16:41.01).
Stahlberger turned in a PR (18:50.92) on the way to a sixth-place finish to rate all-state recognition for the second year in a row. She was 15th in 2008 after placing a respectable 45th as a seventh-grade rookie in 2007.
Sires can make the claim as being at least the second most success runner in program history. The only other Airport harrier that comes close is Terry Baldwell, who remains the only state champion in program annals. Baldwin was the winner in the pioneer era of the sport, prevailing at the 1973 open-classification finals on the 2.5-mile course at Alice Drive Middle School.
Stahlberger is the most decorated girls runner in program history.
The Airport girls qualified as a team for the third year in a row, and finished 18th in the team standings. The Eagles boys squad, low on numbers, failed to qualify as a team for the first time since 2003.
Junior M.C, Driggers, sophomores Savannah Austin and Taylor Burkett and senior Mackenzie Areheart were the scoring runners behind Stahlberger.