Albemarle girls and boys cross country squads win Albemarle Invitational

Saturday at Panorama Farms couldn’t have gone much better for Ryann Helmers. She won the individual title, led Albemarle to a team title and  set a course record in the Albemarle Invitational, one of the area’s biggest cross country meets.


That’s just about as good as it gets. The senior’s 18:01.5 gives her the course record on the Patriots’ home course. She combined with the Patriots’ Natalie Li who took eighth, Beth Shifflett who took 11th, Arianna DeBoer who took 12th and Meme Zarzyski finished 16th.


Western Albemarle took second place as a team, with Zoe Clay’s runner-up finish, 19 seconds off Helmers’ record-setting pace, leading the way. Also for the Warriors, Alyssa Santoro-Adajian took 18th, Emily Winder took 27th, Caroline McGahren took 34th and Jenna Hill finished 51st.


Fluvanna’s Emily Smeds took fourth place individually  while teammate Saige Haney finished 26th. Goochland freshman Zella Warner took 29th. Kaylie Verbrugge was the top finisher for Covenant as the sophomore finished 39th. Maria Vizcaino of Monitcello took 44th and Javaneh Brown took was STAB’s top finisher in 46th.


As a team, Fluvanna took fourth.


On the boys side, Albemarle ran away with that title too. Harris Naseh, a sophomore, took ninth to lead the Patriots, with Mark Pellissier’s 12th place and Josh Fard’s 13th place finish coming in shortly thereafter. J.D. MacKnight ad Cutter Huston took 16th and 19th to round out the Patriots’ scoring.  That gave Albemarle a 65 as a team, easily outpacing runner-up Western Albemarle and third place Ocean Lakes. Ocean Lakes’ Brent Bailey won the  individual title.


Western Albemarle’s Joe Hawkes was the top local finisher for the boys as the sophomore took fifth with a time of 16:03.90. Jack Eliason of Western took tenth. Cyrus Rody-Ramazani snagged 32nd while Max Miller took 42nd and Will Koester took 59th to lift the Warriors to the runner-up finish.


Several other locals put together strong performances, like Fork Union’s Julian Yescas in 20th, Louisa’s Dillon Nelson taking 22nd, Woodberry Forest’s Riley Fletcher in 23rd and STAB’s Victor Ji took 29th. The Tigers finished ninth as a team while FUMA finished 17th and Louisa County took 20th.