Lauren Pagans- Topsail High ($2500 AWARD)
Coach: William Dorn
"I am beyond honored and appreciative to receive the first place female award for the Wilmington Road Runners Scholarship! Cross Country has taught me discipline, not only making me physically stronger, but providing me with a stronger mentality. Running truly teaches one to strive in life. I am so thankful for the leadership, collaboration, and perseverance I have been provided with: all skills I will take with me throughout life. I want to thank Coach Dorn, as well as my previous coach, Coach Rogers for guiding me in my running journey, showing constant support and encouragement, and aiding me to reach my best in one of my greatest passions. I will be continuing my education at UNC Chapel Hill in the fall. There, I am excited to join the running club. Running without a doubt will continue to be a hobby I pursue in life; I will forever be grateful for this wonderful sport. Thank you again, Wilmington Road Runners Club for this amazing scholarship." Lauren Pagans
Molly Parker - Hoggard ($1000 Award)
Coach: Rhonda Schilawski
"I am extremely grateful to have been selected as one of the recipients of this year’s Wilmington Road Runners Scholarship. I would like to thank my teammates, past and present, for always motivating me and making training fun. Running wise, I have accomplished so much with my team over the past four years, but more importantly, I have formed friendships and made memories that will last me a lifetime. I am forever appreciative of the welcoming and loving team atmosphere created at Hoggard by our coaches. I want to thank my head coach who has believed in me throughout my entire running career, Coach Rhonda. Thank you for inspiring our team each day at practice, and for teaching me how to lead with grace, yet compete with grit. I want to thank Coach Wendy and both of the Coach Spells for always knowing how to put a smile on my face. I also want to thank Coach Howell and Coach Mason for the constant encouragement. Lastly, thank you to my close friends and family for the unconditional support over the course of my high school journey.
Next Fall, I will be joining the cross country and track teams at the University of South Carolina. I am excited to continue running competitively at the collegiate level, and I am also looking forward to majoring in public health as a student of the University of South Carolina Honors College. Following college, I hope to attend medical school and pursue a career in medicine. Once again, I would like to thank the Wilmington Road Runners for this scholarship and for providing opportunities to the student-athletes of our Cape Fear region." Molly Parker
Fraley Kelley ( Cape Fear Academy) $1000 Award
Coach: Billy Block
"I am incredibly grateful to be receiving the 2023 Wilmington Road Runners Scholarship. First and foremost I would like to thank my amazing head coach, Billy Block, not only for helping me become a plausible candidate for this award, but for being such a wonderful, important person in my life. He has supported me and encouraged me in every way possible, and I truly don't know where I would be without him.
This scholarship means so much more to me than a representation of my performance in track and cross country over the past four years. Running is one of the few sports in which your mental strength and endurance is the most important factor in your growth as an athlete. As someone who has struggled with both confidence and trusting myself, this aspect of running has transformed me as a person throughout high school. Some races, simply crossing the finish line was the best I could do that day. Other times, I was able to push myself through the exhaustion and set a new PR. It was always difficult for me to accept that in both of these races, I gave 100% of my effort, both mental and physical, and that was enough. I put so much pressure on my performance that in some ways, I slowed myself down. This fear of disappointment and weakness cost me many PRs, and even state championships.
Now, as a senior, I’ve finally worked to change my mindset. Looking back on these four years, the first thing I think of isn’t that one race where I cried through the finish line or came to a dead stop before the last hurdle. Instead, I remember the feeling I got when I finally reached my goal. I remember the impact my amazing, supportive team has had on my growth as a runner, and the impact I hope my leadership has had on their personal growth. I can now look back on my own growth as a person that the challenge of running has provided me with; from a shy, anxious high school freshman to a confident, independent, and optimistic college freshman.
To me, this award represents this personal growth I’ve seen in myself throughout my track and cross country career. I can’t wait to continue to run club in college, and I hope to continue to show others how impactful the sport truly is on one’s mental and physical health. Thank you all so much again for such an honorable award, it means so much to me!" Fraley Kelley
Bates Lancaster- Ashley High School ($2500 Award)
Coach: Peyton Chitty
"I would like to begin this by saying how grateful I am to be a recipient of the 2023 Wilmington Road Runners Scholarship. Running has always been such an important aspect of my life thus far, and I know that it will continue to be important for me in the future where I would like to focus on long distance runs. I will be pursuing further education at North Carolina State University, where I will be studying engineering. Receiving this scholarship means a lot to me because it will enable me to afford a college education more comfortably. I would like to thank all of my coaches who have supported me since I began running with the Cape Fear Flyers in 2013. Especially Coach Chitty, who supported me through the entire past ten years and has been incredibly involved in my athletic and academic success. I would also like to say a huge thank you to my teammates, who have become some of my closest friends. You all made even the most difficult workouts fun. I would also like to thank my parents for always supporting me and helping foster my love for the sport. Finally, I would like to thank the running community as a whole for the incredible positivity that I’ve experienced at every race. The running community in New Hanover County has always been so supportive of youth running and so generous with their time and advice. Thank you!" Bates Lancaster
Anders Jensen - Laney High ($1000 award)
Coach: Sam Bobbitt
"I am so honored to be a recipient of the Wilmington Road Runners Scholarship. Next year I will be attending NC State and pursuing a major in computer science. This scholarship will help with my college expenses. I sincerely would like to thank Coach Bobbitt for motivating me and always making sure I was the best person I could be. Honestly, I would not be where I am today if it was not for him. Also, I want to thank my family for supporting me and especially my mom and dad for being at most of my races and helping our team. My two older sisters were runners and set a great example for me. Over the last 4 years running has been a very important aspect of my life, and has taught me many different skills like leadership and dedication. I have made many great friends during this time and will stay in touch with them. I plan to continue to run over the next 4 years in the NC State Running Club. Once again, thank you so much to the Wilmington Road Runners, I really appreciate this scholarship." Anders Jensen
Henry Smith- West Brunswick High ($1000 Award)
“Being a Wilmington Road Runners Scholarship recipient has brought me an immense sense of gratitude and accomplishment. When the pandemic hit in 2020, I found solace in running just one mile a day. But as I continued to lace up my sneakers, I found myself increasing my mileage and discovering a new passion for the sport. Running has become a source of inspiration for me, instilling in me a desire for a lifetime of fitness.
As I prepare to attend NC State University, I am committed to pursuing my passion for running by joining the Club Cross Country and Triathlon Club. The valuable lessons I've learned through running, such as leadership, teamwork, and self-confidence, have shaped me into who I am today.
I am truly honored to have had the opportunity to run cross country and track under the guidance of Coach Caraway and Coach Rozen during my high school years. Their invaluable mentorship and unwavering support have been instrumental in my personal and physical growth. Additionally, it was an absolute honor to have served as the team captain. Inspiring others to run has become a true passion of mine.
I would like to thank the Wilmington Road Runners Club for their commitment to promoting running within our community and for awarding me this scholarship. I am determined to continue spreading my love for running and motivating others to pursue their own fitness journeys.” Henry Smith
Nicole Coursey- Topsail High ($1500 Award)
Coach: William Dorn
“It is truly an honor to be awarded the Wilmington Road Runner scholarship and I would like to thank everyone who reviewed my application for seeing the potential in me. These last 4 years of track have been quite the rollercoaster ride, with hurricanes, COVID, injuries, and the just the everyday ups and downs of life. I would like to thank my current coach, Coach Dorn, and my previous coaches, Coach Rogers and Coach Tish, for helping to push me to get faster every day. I would also like to thank all the friends I have made over the years through this team. When I first started track freshman year I had no idea what a strong community the Topsail track team was and I am so thankful I gave it a try. Lastly, I would like to thank my parents for coming to every track meet to watch and support me. Even when I would fail, they stood by me. In the future, I plan to continue running recreationally as I attend [blank] University to study Environmental Policy and Management. Ultimately, I would like to encourage anyone who is thinking of joining track to go for it! You never know the friends, fun, and opportunities that could come from it!" Nicole Coursey
“Nicky is also a wonderful person to know. She keeps a positive attitude at all times and has a kind word for everyone. Because of this, she is universally well regarded by both her peers and the faculty of Topsail High School. This is a major asset on the track team this year where I have been able to count on Nicky as a leader. She has a charisma that causes her peers to follow her and she is a natural leader.
Nicky has been a dedicated member of the Topsail Track and Field team since her freshman year, when she discovered hurdling and jumping. Her main events have been the 100 and 300 meter hurdles and the high jump. Ms. Coursey’s attention to detail and work ethic have established her as a consistent point scorer in these events, but more importantly she is able to teach and mentor her teammates in these events confidently. I know that if I have new high jumpers working on drills with Nicky, that they will executed properly, as if we had another coach with them. For this reason, she was an easy choice to be one of our team captains this year. She is also the type of athlete that always asks to do more at the end of practice. She is the type of athlete that makes coaching an easy job” Coach Dorn
Chelsea Echols-North Brunswick ($750 Winner)
First off I want to graciously thank the Wilmington Road Runners organization for this opportunity. Because running is such a big and important part of my life, it is such an honor to receive the Wilmington Road Runners scholarship. This blessing will help pay for my education and relieve some of the burden of paying for college. I plan to continue my education at UNC Chapel Hill, where I will study biology. I also plan to continue my love for running through an intramural running club in Chapel Hill. Running has been a very important aspect of my life for the last 4 years and has taught me many valuable lessons. Running has taught me about leadership, teamwork, discipline, and hard work. I’ve had to face many challenges throughout running in the last 4 years, but each challenge has allowed me to grow into the person I am today. It has allowed me to meet some amazing people and experience the best coaching. The best thing about this sport is I can continue to run after college and continue this lifestyle forever.I also want to give a big thank you to all my coaches, family, and teammates who have supportedme throughout my cross country and track seasons. Again, thank you to the Wilmington Road Runners for providing this wonderful opportunity. Chelsea Echols
“The best part about athletes such as Chelsea is how hard they are willing to work in and out of practice. Ice baths, proper nutrition, proper hydration, resting, stretching anything you throw at her to help her improve she is absolutely willing to do. Chelsea ran 4 years of Cross Country and Track and has improved greatly every year on the team. She is the epitome of a team player and fills in gaps that the team needs in order to perform well.
In addition to being a great athlete she has an incredible academic record as well as many hours of community service. Chelsea has been on the honor roll every semester in high school as well as pushing herself academically by adding college credits during her time here at North Brunswick. Chelsea has been an active member of not only the National Honor Society and Student Government Association she has taken it upon herself to become very involved with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and has led many huddles the past two semesters.
Chelsea is the epitome of community service, love for her church and community and displays a level of patriotism and service that many of her classmates/teammates should strive to emulate. I really enjoy watching the young adult that she is evolving into and I have every confidence that she will continue to serve the community in a positive light for decades to come. Coach Byers
Audrey Monahan- Laney High School ( $750 Winner)
"I am so honored and grateful to have been selected as a recipient of the 2022 Wilmington Road Runners Scholarship. I sincerely appreciate the Wilmington Road Runners’ generosity in providing this scholarship opportunity to help me and other student-athletes achieve our educational and career goals. I will be attending UNC Charlotte in the fall to pursue a degree in nursing. As running has been a huge passion of mine and will continue to be, earning this scholarship has made me feel proud of the stronger person I have become. I am very thankful for the people in my life that have helped get me to where I am today. I would like to thank Coach Bobbitt and Coach T for inspiring me to become the best runner I can be by teaching me to always believe in myself and that I can accomplish anything I set my mind to. I would also like to thank my family and teammates for their continuous encouragement and support. Throughout my time on the cross-country and track teams at Laney High School, I have learned how to persevere through the mental and physical challenges of running, the importance of teamwork, and the power of consistency. Over the past four years, I have made so many great friendships and memories that will always hold a special place in my heart. Running will always remain an important part of my life and I look forward to working toward achieving new personal goals in the future. Once again, I would like to thank the Wilmington Road Runners for providing this scholarship opportunity to local student-athletes. I appreciate all that you do for runners in the Cape Fear region." Audrey Monahan
Audrey is a four year runner who has put in eight seasons into the program. She is a quiet but driven young lady. She is dependable and kind hearted. She is one of my athletes I look to when I need someone to lead my girls and when I need to get information out to everyone. She loves to run and models this to all her teammates. This year, along with four other girls, she conquered her first half marathon. In the classroom, she is a straight A student who pushes herself by taking classes both at Laney and Cape Fear Community College.” Coach Bobbitt
Kieran Barclay- Cape Fear Academy ($1500 Award)
Coach: Billy Block
“I would like to start by saying what an incredible honor it is to be receiving the Wilmington Roadrunners Scholarship. I believe so deeply that running is a key part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle and so many kids can benefit from it the way I have. I want to thank my mom and dad for always believing in me and pushing me when I thought I’ve reached my breaking point. I want to thank Coach Block for providing me with a place to show off my talent in running and learn what it means to be a leader. I want to thank my teammates for always pushing me to be the best captain and person I can be. Lastly, I want to thank Cape Fear Academy for giving me a platform to perform and be held to a higher standard of excellence.
Being a part of this team over the past 6 years has played a large role in my development as a person. I met a lot of people and gained insight into how racing works and how to be motivated. I’ve failed a lot and learned from every failure to come back stronger. Because in reality, running is about pushing the limits of one’s personal fortitude. I intend to study Mechanical Engineering at East Carolina University and plan on working in the industry after graduation. While in college, I intend to keep running and increase my weekly mileage to be able to start running marathons. Later in life, I hope to return to Wilmington and teach at Cape Fear Academy and coach Cross Country” Kieran Barclay
“Kieran is another fantastic athlete on both the Cross Country & Track & Field teams. (18 min 5k; sub 50" 300m hurdles; sub 19" 110 meter hurdles). He's captained both teams since 8th grade. This year he is our "lead captain." He helps organize the entire team every day at practice. Kieran is the first to show up at practice and usually the last to leave.
Kieran is a long time member of the Young Life youth group, an accomplished actor and singer who appears regularly in CFA theater productions. He is also an exceptional student. He volunteers throughout the community (Habitat for Humanity, KRTN, etc).
Kieran is a sincere, genuine young man who truly cares for his friends, teammates and family. He's always willing to go the extra mile. I'm fortunate to have had the opportunity to coach him and get to know him” Coach Billy Block
Tanner Macpherson- Cape Fear Academy ($750 Award)
Coach: Billy Block
“I am extremely grateful to be one of the recipients of the Wilmington Roadrunners Scholarship. I will be attending UNC Chapel Hill next year to pursue a major in Computer Science and this scholarship will be extremely helpful in reducing some of the expenses of college. I want to give a shoutout to Coach Block for pushing me these past couple years, both in cross country and track. He's been extremely helpful and supportive of my efforts. I also want to say thank you to my parents who come to cheer for me in just about every meet I have, whether it's home or away. Ever since I can remember, running has been a huge part of my life and receiving this scholarship has been something I've hoped for since I learned about it my freshman year. I plan to continue running throughout college and beyond, as I can't imagine it not being a part of my life. It's taught me patience, commitment, leadership, and has been one of the biggest reasons I've gotten through these last few years. Once again, I want to say thank you to the Wilmington Roadrunners Organization for their generosity and the impact they make on student-athletes in the New Hanover County area.” Tanner Macpherson
“Tanner has been the top Cross Country runner on the CFA team since he was in 9th grade. He's been All-Conference since 8th grade and All-State twice. He's also one of our captains--for both Cross Country and Track & Field. Over the past two years he's really found his voice and become a strong leader of the team. Every member of the team looks up to Tanner.
Tanner is Class President at CFA. He's involved in a number of in-school activities--and is actively involved in the community. He volunteers for KRTN whenever he's needed.
I have been fortunate to coach Tanner at Cape Fear Academy since the Fall of 2019. As an athlete, Tanner is one of the best I’ve had the opportunity to coach, but he is even a finer young man. He’s a natural leader with an engaging personality. He’s gracious, polite, and a wonderful teammate.” Coach Block
Michael Cooke- Coastal Christian ($750 Winner)
“I am so incredibly grateful to accept the Wilmington Road Runners scholarship! Ever since I started running freshman year, I have always found a deep appreciation for what we must endure in order to succeed in this sport. Moreover, I have found so much joy in simply being a part of Wilmington's running community, as it is an encouraging environment unlike any other sport. This scholarship is going to help me continue to be a part of this awesome sport as I will be running for Covenant College next year, a dream school that might not have been possible without aid such as this. I would like to thank my parents for coming to every meet! I also need to thank my longtime coach Rainey Scrocco, my biggest fan Jackson Boyles, and the one who taught me to run in the first place, Aaron Kolk. Lastly, I would like to thank God because it is Him who blessed me with the ability to run and I am beyond honored to do it all for Him. Once again, thank you so much for this scholarship as it means a lot!” Michael Cooke
“If you have ever met Michael Cooke, you will remember. He radiates joy and happiness in everything he does, whether it is singing, running, supporting friends, or just talking with you. He is the most positive athlete I have ever coached, and he gives his all in everything he does; and…he does a lot!
Michael has participated on the Track and Cross Country team for all four years, serving as team captain and as part of the Coastal Athletics Leadership Team, where he helped develop core covenants by which the team strives.
Michael was instrumental in the Coastal Boys Cross Country team winning the NCISAA state championship this year. He helped Coach Jackson and me set the tone as far as expectations and effort, and always gave his all. Although he was unable to finish the 5K championship race Michael was the one who got us there. He was the one organizing weekend runs, helping keep attitudes positive, encouraging his teammates, and keeping it fun all year.” Coach Scrocco
Winners Gallery 2016-2022