Albemarle cross country sweeps Region 5D titles

Albemarle’s boys cross country team has gotten used to finishing tightly in a pack and wining a team title while perhaps not having a single runner take home the individual championship.


Thursday in the Region 5D championships, they still finished as a pack with five Albemarle runners crossing the finish line within a 1:06 of each other, but senior Will Mackenzie made sure the Patriots took home the individual championship too, winning a battle to the finish over Stafford’s Justin Polcha with Mackenzie’s 16:10.5 edging Polcha’s 16:11.2.


J.D. MacKnight followed shortly after Mackenzie with a time of 16:35.1 that was good for fourth place overall and Stephen Smith took fifth for the Patriots. Harris Naseh finished eighth and Jake Hartogensis took 11th to round out the scoring effort as Albemarle rolled to a team title by 30 points over runner-up Stafford. Brett Harris took 13th for Albemarle Miles Waterbury was 29th.


On the girls side, Albemarle took the region title with Arianna DeBoer setting the pace with an individual title in 19:00.5, winning by nearly 30 full seconds over second place Emma Wunderly of Mountain View.


Albemarle stacked up the win shortly after that with Patriot runners taking third, fourth, sixth and seventh to cap a dominant outing. Albemarle finished with 21 points in first place to Mountain View’s 58 points in the runner-up slot. Madelyne Zarzyski took third, Olivia St. Amand took fourth, Hanna Guyton took sixth and Madeline Koronebusch took seventh.


Albemarle’s Abby Murphy finished 14th and Beth Shifflett took 20th. If those two runner’s finishes had to have counted, Albemarle still would’ve won the region title.


The Patriots will now turn their attention to next Saturday’s state meet at Big Meadows where both will be gunning for state titles after locking up region championships.