Meets 2021's Winners
Alexandra Rupkalvis- South Brunswick High
Coach: Allison Brown
"Most notable among Allie's attributes is her ability to lead on her team. She demonstrated not only her dedication to improving her own skills, but her efforts at being a team leader and role model. Allie was not afraid to speak up during practice or a meet if it meant helping her team mates succeed. I witnessed time and time again, Allie working alongside her teammates throughout the season. In addition to her impressive academic successes and strong athletic leadership, Allie has a true heart of service... One of her greatest accomplishments was creating a nutrition and fitness program for disadvantaged youth called Healthy Habits. She partnered with the Boys and Girls Club and ran a camp that focused on the importance of nutritious food choices and daily exercise." Coach Brown
"It is truly an honor to be named the female recipient of the 2021 Wilmington Road Runners Scholarship. I greatly appreciate the generosity of the Wilmington Road Runners and your organization’s support of my education. This scholarship means so much to me because I have always been passionate about running. Running allows me to challenge myself, focus on my goals, and take time to think. It has taught me to be disciplined, manage my time, and work hard to achieve my goals. Over the past four years, my coaches and teammates at South Brunswick High School have instilled in me the importance of teamwork and an attitude to never give up when things get hard. They have taught me that I am mentally and physically strong and if I put my mind to something, I can accomplish it. I want to thank Coach Watkins, Coach Brown, and Coach Brock for mentoring me as a young runner and inspiring me to push myself and do my best. I would also like to thank my family for their love, support, and encouragement. In the fall, I will attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where I will major in nursing. Within the field of nursing, I would like to focus on becoming a neonatal nurse and specialize in caring for newborn infants. Ultimately, I would like to earn my Masters of Science in Nursing (MSN) and become a neonatal nurse practitioner. This scholarship will enable me to focus on my studies and achieve my goal of becoming a nurse. As a future Tar Heel, running will continue to be an important part of my life, and I look forward to participating in the running clubs and events offered on campus. I would like to thank the Wilmington Road Runners for all you do for the community, runners, and your support of local student-athletes." Alexandra
Isabella Bufalini- Laney High School
Coach: Sam Bobbitt
"Not many young athletes are as committed too running as Isabella. She really takes the bull by the horns when it comes to how she views life. She truly is a go getter. She maintains a 4.0 unweighted GPA and still finds time to volunteer in her community. She even created a fundraising club ( Project Run) to raise money for the team. I think a big quality she has is that she takes time to make sure the younger girls understand that they can achieve anything if they consistently work for it. She really showed the girls and boys how a runner should carry themselves at practice, in school and in the community." Coach Bobbitt
"I am beyond honored and blessed to be one of the recipients of the Wilmington Roadrunners Scholarship. I am thankful for this scholarship to help me pursue a degree in medicine. Thank you to Coach Bobbitt, Coach T, Without Limits, and Breakaway Fitness for teaching me vital life lessons, always believing in me, and helping me achieve my goal of running cross country and track at the University of Pittsburgh. Through the ups and downs of running, I have learned the true meanings of genuine friendship, leadership, teamwork, failure, honesty, grit, and the power of positivity. Running has helped shape me into the person that I am today, and I wouldn’t change a single moment from my high school career. Thank you to my parents for being my biggest supporters, teaching me to remain optimistic and resilient in times of uncertainty, and standing up for what I believe in, even if I am the only one standing. The most important life lessons learned from running are that there is always a way to attain a goal, it only takes a small group to create change, not everyone has your best interest, and you can’t control everything except your reaction. Through Project Run, my teammates and I have directly supported the community and Laney XC/Track, even during adverse times. I am proud of all my teammates and what we have accomplished together. I look forward to what the future holds for Project Run. Most importantly, thank you to the Wilmington Roadrunners for providing this scholarship opportunity and for supporting all runners in the Wilmington area." Bella
Zachary Knott-Hoggard High School
Coach: Billy Mason
"Zach has been a significant part of the Hoggard Cross Country and track teams since his freshman year. Showing the same traits he evidences in his academics, he is an extremely hard worker. Zach has been forced to deal with several injuries during his career. His resilience and dedication to rehabilitation allowed him to recover fully. Zach has a well earned reputation for honesty and personal integrity. He is diligent and dependable in his work. As a result of his dedication and leadership abilities, Zach was named one of the captains of the cross country team this year. His intervention with fellow runners often accomplished more than I could as a coach." Coach Mason
"I am very thankful that the Wilmington Road Runners provided me with this amazing opportunity. First, I would like to thank everyone who helped me become the runner I am today. I would like to thank Coach Mason, Coach Egger, Coach Rhonda, Coach Spell, and Coach Howell for all their hard work that they have put into making my teammates and I successful. I would also like to thank my parents for being there for me over these past few years that I have been running and my teammates for having my back. Being a member of Hoggard’s track and cross country programs has been an amazing journey with some amazing people and I am very excited to be continuing this journey at Belmont Abbey. I plan on majoring in Accounting and studying to become a CPA and so this scholarship means a lot to me. From hurricanes to global pandemics to injuries and burnouts, myself and my teammates have certainly experienced a few hardships over these past few years, but through it all we’ve been able to stay positive and work together to become the best cross country team Hoggard has ever seen, while also winning two consecutive conference titles for track, which I find is truly remarkable. I’m certainly going to miss this team and wish them nothing but the best going forward. Thanks again to the Wilmington Road Runners." Zach
Jackson Metty, North Brunswick High
Coaches: John Byers, Melissa Holden and Jerry and Debora Palazzo.
"Jackson has been a coach's dream in that he provides selfless leadership that makes him the perfect youth partner to an adult coaching staff. He consistently demonstrates an extraordinary work ethic and does so in a manner that invites his teammates to follow, rather than coming across as demanding. He is the embodiment of a servant leader and consistently demonstrates what it looks like to give one's all to this very difficult sport." Coach Byers
"I am beyond grateful for the opportunity to receive a scholarship from the Wilmington Road Runners Club. I will be attending UNC Charlotte to major in Nursing. This scholarship opportunity will help to relieve some of the stress that comes along with college and will allow me to worry a little less about student loans. I will be able to focus on my school work and even running when I get the chance. Running has been a big part of my life for the last 3 years and I want it to stay that way. Running has changed my life for the better. I have met so many great people along the way and become part of a bigger family. As long as my legs can move I want to continue running throughout my life and bring others into this great sport as well. I want to say a big thanks to not only Wilmington Roadrunners but also to my coaches: Coach Jerry, Coach Missy, Coach Debora, and Coach Byers. They have not only taught me how to be a great runner, but someone who is determined, a leader, and a hard worker. I also want to say thank you to my wonderful family, friends, girlfriend, and most importantly God who has gotten me to where I am now in life. Once again, I am beyond grateful for the opportunity to receive this scholarship and to Wilmington Roadrunners for all they do in the running community here in the Cape Fear region." Jackson
Meets 2020's Winners
STEPHANIE SIMMONS - TOPSAIL HIGH SCHOOL
Coaches: Coach Rogers, Dorn & Fran @ Topsail
"I am constantly in awe of the maturity that Stephanie shows in her role as a captain of the Topsail Cross Country team. On a daily basis, she exceeds the expectations we, as coaches, have for our captains. Stephanie is the kind of person who gives one hundred percent of her attention when conversing and it is by far the trait that makes her the leader she is. Stephanie is capable of making every member of our team feel like the most important runner, no matter how fast or slow he or she happens to be. It is amazing to see, before and after practice, when her best friends that are also seniors are talking amongst themselves, Stephanie is more often than not counseling the freshman runners or just asking how their day was. Stephanie’s personable and positive attitude has permeated our team’s culture and she will be sorely missed in the coming seasons. Ms. Simmons also shows a dedication and drive rarely seen. From academics to volunteer work, to her leadership in many clubs, Stephanie gives every pursuit her all." Coach Dorn
"I am so grateful and honored to be the female recipient of the Wilmington Roadrunners Scholarship for 2020. The generosity of Wilmington Road Runners in providing this scholarship will greatly help me and my family with the costs of attending the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where I hope to become an environmental attorney. Thank you to my coaches - Coach Rogers, Coach Dorn, and Coach Fran - for showing me that running means more than pushing through days when you feel as if your muscles are being stretched like cold taffy. Also, thank you to my family for being my biggest supporters, and my teammates, who are happier for others than they are for themselves. The mental strength, true happiness for others, and faith in yourself that this sport has taught me has become a way of life, which I know will guide my future endeavors. Wilmington Roadrunners continues to spread and encourage this positivity for all ages throughout the NC coastal area. However, one of the most important lessons running has taught me is that being a leader is not about being the best or the fastest, but how you portray yourself in a manner which encourages others to be kind and encouraging." Stephanie
Abel Zukerman - New Hanover High School
Coach: Coach Zinner @ NHHS
" When I took over as head coach, Abel approached me and stated that he wanted to take on an expanded leadership role on the team. I appointed him as one of the senior captains, which in retrospect was one of the best decisions that could have made for the team. He is natural leader; the type of person who leads by example both on and off the playing fields. Abel held his teammates accountable by holding himself accountable on a daily basis, especially when it came to staying diligent with the unsexy fundamentals of running such as strength, core, and stretching, that are vital to the sport. The team took numerous over night trips, and I could always count on Abel to be responsible for the welfare of his teammates in unfamiliar towns, hotels, restaurants, and cross country courses. All of which he did during the season while maintaining an active participation in the New Hanover’s marching band, Lyceum program, and National Honor Society Club. This young man, and exceptional student-athlete, embodies the qualities that the WRRC Scholarship seeks to promote." Coach Zinner
"I am really grateful to the Wilmington Roadrunners Club for this opportunity. Running has been my most significant and enduring passion in life, and I am honored to be recognized with this award by people who share my appreciation for the sport. I developed many of my greatest friendships through running, as I have come to know my own teammates and coaches, as well as other members of the running community, many of whom I have known since middle school, as a second family. Running has also enabled me to get where I am today by building confidence, competitiveness, and leadership skills useful in other areas of life. I hope to continue running for as long as I am able. I am excited to be attending the honors college at UNC Chapel Hill in the fall, and this scholarship will help with tuition and allow me to focus more on rigorous academics. I hope to pursue a career in law, possibly environmental, and this award will help me on that path. Thank you to Coaches Greg Zinner, Josh Adams, Justin Fischetti, Colin Hackman, and the coaches at Without Limits for all their guidance and support in inspiring me to become a passionate and competitive runner. Thank you to my family, who have always been helpful and supportive in athletics, academics, and everything else. Finally, I would like to thank the Wilmington Roadrunners Club for their thoughtfulness and generosity in providing this award and for all they do to support our running community." Abel
Coached By Ryan Hauck at Ashley.
" Emma is a distance runner on our track and field team . She is a dedicated hard working student athlete who has been a joy to coach and watch grow as an athlete, student, and person. She is also a member of my Honors service learning class during the day. This is where regular education students work next to students with disabilities within a physical education setting. She brings a positive energy to the class that brings a smile to all the students that she work with. She has been such a pleasure to work with this year and I look forward to seeing her reach her goals." Coach Hauck.
"I am so honored and grateful that I have been recognized for this award! I am excited to be heading to UNC Chapel Hill this fall to pursue a career in the medical and healthcare fields. Your generous scholarship will certainly help with expenses. " Emma.
Coached by Craig Underwood and Billy Mason at Hoggard.
"Jeremiah is an exceptional student and person who has earned recognition for his academic achievements, his leadership on the athletic field, his commitment to others, and his service to the community. His cooperative spirit and flexible leadership style make him an outstanding leader who is destined for significant accomplishments in college and beyond." Coach Underwood.
"With all of the incredibly talented and wonderful students who applied this year, I am humbled that the Wilmington Road Runners selected me as this year's scholarship recipient. Without having to work a part-time job, I'll be able to focus more of my attention on my school work, as well as spend more time helping others. With my sincerest regards, I would like to thank Coach Mason and Coach Underwood, my family, and each contributing member of the Wilmington Road Runners Club for supporting me in the next phase of my education. Running has changed the way I see the world, opening my eyes to the beauty of pushing myself to my physical limits. Lastly, running with my teammates at Hoggard has taught me what genuine relationships look like and proven to me how servant leadership can be incorporated into every aspect of life." Jeremiah.
Meets 2018's Winners
Coached by Colin Hackman at Cape Fear Academy
"On every level Dani exemplifies the tenants of what we try to teach in our program: team before self, consistency and accountability. From as young as fourteen years old she would lead our practices, and off-season efforts. She held her teammates to her own high standard, and, through positive reinforcement, changed the culture of our program. Dani is the total package. She exemplifies all that is good about scholastic running". Coach Hackman
"It is an honor to receive this award because running has been such an important part of my life. I started running cross country on a whim in seventh grade and it completely changed my attitude towards sports and turned me into a lifelong athlete. Running taught me endurance, leadership, and the value of a supportive team. The Wilmington running community is very special to me because everyone is so friendly and supportive of one another and there's always a race going on. I am honored to be recognized for my years of running and I hope to continue running for a very long time."
Coached by Sam Bobbitt at Laney.
"Cameron is a really smart, considerate and passionate young man. He works to excel in everything he does. He has stayed the course of being a distance runner since his freshman year and has always striven to be the best he can be as a competitor and teamate. He stepped into the role of leader during his junior year without any persuasion or delegation from me. In the classroom he excels, and he volunteers in many school, church and community events." Coach Bobbitt.
"I feel honored to be receiving this scholarship from the WRRC. This scholarship is a contributing payment to my upcoming academic year at NC State University. I will be able to spend more time focusing on my education as well as continuing my passion for running instead of working extra hours to help pay off my tuition. I want to again thank my cross country and track coach, Samuel Bobbitt, for being a truly wise mentor. Along with many life lessons, he has taught me to love running and never give up on my dreams no matter how hard the race gets."