Ashley’s Mason Boyles is back on top after suspension; New Hanover’s best female runner competes with the boys


WILMINGTON,NC (WWAY) — Nolan Tobey is the cross country coach at New Hanover High School. At the suggestion of her coach New Hanover senior Shelby Howell is running against the boys instead of the girls this season in cross country. “Running with the guys is more of a challenge, but on occasion I do run with the girls when we do workouts and everything,” Howell said. I will run with the girls at the conference meet though, along with the regionals and the state meet.”

Shelby Howell has been labeled the best female runner in the history of New Hanover High School. In fact she already has one state title. She won the 800 meter dash at 4-A state track meet as a junior.

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Thursday’s cross country meet also marked the return of Mason Boyles. As a sophomore Boyles attended Hoggard High School. He’s now at Ashley, but he was not eligible to run for Ashley as a junior. The NCHSAA suspended him for a year because Boyles lived in Ashley’s district during his tenure at Hoggard. His suspension just ended this week. He was the class of the field at Fort Fisher on Thursday. The Ashley senior beat his closest competitor by one minute and 40 seconds in the 5 kilometer race. “Last year I really couldn’t run,” Boyles said. “The year before that I had some health issues. This is kinda my last shot to win the state title.”

Boys – 1st place
Mason Boyles – Ashley 17:08 on a slow, challenging 5k course

Shelby Howell (female) finished in 23rd out of 83 runners that ran in the boys race – 20:15

Boys team results:

1. Ashley 27
2. New Bern 42
3. New Hanover 85
4. Coastal Christian 110
5. Cape Fear Academy 122

Girls – 1st place

Maddie Buren – Cape Fear Academy 22:29

Girls team results:

1. New Hanover 32
2. Cape Fear Academy 34
3. Ashley 73
4. New Bern 104
5. Coastal Christian 115