Western Albemarle’s boys cross country team won its second 3A state title in three years Saturday, and this time it wasn’t close. The girls wrapped up their first title since 2004 and it couldn’t have been closer, necessitating a video review.
The Western girls edged second place Hidden Valley with 55 points to the Titans’ 56, with junior Jenna Hill’s 21st place finish providing the decisive points after race officials reviewed the tape. Zoe Clay led the way for the Warriors with a second place finish individually and Alysso Santoro-Adajian took a critical fifth place. The Warriors waited a short time from there, a little less than a minute, before Emily Winder took 13th, Caroline McGahren took 18th and Hill taking 21st, all within 19 seconds of one another. That was enough to hold off Hidden Valley, who scored runners from 8th to 17th in a pretty tight pack, within 25 seconds of one another.
The Western boys rolled to a championship with 47 points to runner-up Abingdon’s 101 points, a dominant outing by a group of young runners that seem destined to dominate for the next couple of years at least. Seven of Western’s runners finished in the top 30 and only two were seniors as individual runner-up Joe Hawkes, a sophomore and classmate JackEliason’s seventh place performance set the tone. With freshman Joseph Taylor finishing 13th and senior Will Koester taking 19th for the Warriors and sophomore Stuart Terrill taking 23rd, Western cruised. Senior Max Miller took 29th and Cyrus Rody-Ramazani took 27th. Those scores didn’t count, but the Warriors would’ve still won easily if they had had to count those as the final two or if Hawkes and Eliason’s finishes hadn’t counted, that’s how strong Western’s contingent was — they didn’t leave room for doubt.
Western wasn’t the only local squad making noise Saturday as the Fluvanna girls finished fourth in the state led by breakout freshman Emily Smeds who took seventh in the state individually. Senior Saige Haney took 24th, freshman Emily Beckman took 26th and sophomore Hattie Lintecum finshed 37th while Kristen Cabrera took 54th. Freshman Anja Vernatter and junior Brianna Parker took 62nd and 67th respectively in a strong performance.
William Monroe’s girls team, qualifying for the first time in more than 20 years for the state meet, took 10th as a team. Katie Reebals took 57th, Kelly Young finished 60th, Carly Miller took 71st, Ellie Andreson took 76th and Sarah Earle took 80th. Four of the Dragons’ seven runners on the state qualifying team are freshman, leaving vast room for improvement over the next few years for an already accomplished group.
Monticello had three runners qualify individually for the meet, with freshman Caroline Wilson taking 22nd, junior Maria Vizcaino taking 30th and freshman Samantha Lange taking 33rd.
On the boys side, William Monroe senior Justin Zimmerman took 53rd overall.
Goochland girls take seventh in 2A race
Thanks to a pack of young runners, Goochland’s girls cross country team took seventh as a team in the 2A state race, with freshman Zella Warner’s sixth place leading the way while sophomore Anna Kate Wirsing took 16th and freshman Grace Juran took 19th. Freshman Elizabeth Owens in 67th and sophomore Marisssa Schroder in 75th rounded out the effort with junior Maddie Muniz taking 78th.
Nelson County’s Mikaela Georgiou took 29th while teammates Rosie Gumm and Savannah Lawson took 61st and 65th overall.
Goochland’s boys finished 12th as a team, led by senior Austin Bruce finishing 5th overall individually. Junior Robert Franck took 65th, freshman Jackson Hoffler took 87th, John Williams took 89th and Kade Adamy took 90th.