Graham, Frazier highlight XC national rankings

The buzz surrounding North Carolina cross country is on high, as two local runners begin the season well within the national spotlight and the DyeStat Elite Top 25.

On the boys side, Cary Academy's Thomas Graham checks in at No. 8 as he looks to win his fourth straight state title. Last year, the senior took 20th at the NXN Nationals and second in the 5K at the New Balance Outdoor Nationals, just behind St. Benedict's Prep Edward Cheserek, the nation's top runner. Graham has already started the 2011 campaign on the right foot, winning the Western North Carolina Carnival cross country championship in a course-record time of 15:12.07.

On the girls side, Wesley Frazier secured the top spot on the list after an impressive spring and summer. The Ravenscroft junior put on a show at the New Balance Outdoor Nationals, winning the 5K and mile while taking third in the two-mile event.

Brandon Parker covers North Carolina for ESPNHS magazine and ESPNHIGHSCHOOL.com. Follow him on Twitter @brandoncparker or email him at brandon.c.parker@espn.com.