DAVIDSON – Davidson Day cross-country runner Melissa Zammitti ran away from the field to win a state championship.

She bested a field of 136 competitors by 27 seconds to win the N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association 2A championship Oct. 26. Most of them were high-school runners. Zammitti is in eighth grade.

Middle-schoolers are allowed to compete in varsity sports in NCISAA competition. She covered the 5,000-meter course in Cary in 19 minutes, 41 seconds.

“I was a little intimidated when I saw all the older runners,” Zammitti said. “I know when I get older, I’ll get stronger and faster, and my times will get better. This whole season I was looking forward to the state meet and preparing for it. My coaches told me I had a chance to win.”

It likely won’t be the last for Zammitti.

– Cliff