The Brentsville girls came through in crunch time to overtake the favored Western Albemarle girls for the Region II team title behind the successful individual repeat by senior Allison Bartels who outran Loudoun County's Julie Strange for a five second 18:58 win. It was expected coming into the meet that the Brenstsville girls would be stronger up front against Western Albemarle with Allison Bartels and Morgan Price both capable of All-State finishes next week at Great Meadow, but Western Albemarle was expected to take over after that with their superior depth in the next three scoring places. Bartels and Price did their part as the junior Price had a strong individual race to place fourth ahead of several higher ranked runners.
Western Albemarle's first finisher was 18 seconds and five finishers after Price with Claire Johnson while teammates Katie Farina (11th, 20:03) and Emily Moffett (15th, 20:08) followed her in to give Western three All-Region individuals. Western Albemarle gained no ground on Brentsville in the #3 and #4 runner positions as Western's #3 finished one place ahead of Brentsville's #3, while Brentsville's #4 finished one place ahead of Western's #4. Down by 14 points through four runners,
Western Albemarle could only hope at least 14 runners would finish in between their #5 runner and Brentsville's #5 runner. They got half that number with seven runners and were able to close the gap but not enough to give Brentsville with 64 points their second straight Region II title and fourth title in the past five years (2009, 2008, 2006, 2005). The Western Albemarle girls fell just short of winning their first regional title since 2004 and will likely be the fourth ranked team in Group AA heading into next weekend's state meet race and still have a shot at finishing on podium with a top three finish.
The order and list of boys team qualifiers could not have been predicted by any knowledgeable expert on the region as the Skyline boys qualified for their first state meet ever led by freshmen Thomas Madden and from the Jefferson District, it will be the Monticello boys and not Western Albemarle who will move onto state competition as team.
The Western Albemarle boys were clearly not racing at full strength including having to sit out one of their top runners in Andrew Jennings, but failing to finish among the top four and move onto the state meet has to be disappointing for a squad which had hopes this season of being among the top three teams at the state meet.
Like the Brentsville girls, Potomac Falls boys are looking like a state meet podium squad in their repeat as Region II champions as a one second spread for their top three runners finishing among the top 15 sparked their charge. Alvaro Morales, one of the few returnees from last year's Region II champion squad, was the first finisher of the tight finishing top three for Coach Null in 10th place at 16:58 and teammates Nicholas Mogensen (12th, 16:59) and Juan Campos (13th, 16:59) were right there with him at the finish line.
Completing the team scoring for the Panthers with top 25 finishes were Patrick Wilson (21st, 17:25) and Christopher Johnson (24th, 17:31) to build a nice cushion for their first place team with a team score of 69 points and the runners-up from Skyline High School with 93 points.
Skyline is a great story in moving onto their first state meet in the school's relatively short existence. Skyline beat out several well established schools including Brentsville, their district's team champions John Handley, and Western Albemarle to take regional runner-up team honors on Tuesday at Panorama Farms. The team features one of the state's top freshmen runners this fall in Thomas Madden, who had already punched his ticket individually for the state meet with a sixth place finish of 16:50.
Skyline had a second underclassmen All-Region performer in Tyler Jones with his 9th place effort of 16:57. Their top seven only features one senior (#5 runner) and four underclassmen, so expect Skyline and Madden to be a force within Region II and Group AA for the next two years at least.
On paper at the start of the season, Monticello looked like a team who could potential break down Western Albemarle's dominance within the Jefferson District. From the results from the Ragged Mountain Cup at the start of September through the Jefferson District Meet in late October, it appeared Western Albemarle would remain on top as the dominant force in the district. The Monticello boys apparently had some late season plans. A berth in next week's state meet as they took the fourth and final spot with a team score of 152 points. John Handley was a close fifth place with 156 points, while Western Albemarle was a distant sixth place with 191 points.
Thomas Curtin of Loudoun County continued his breakthrough junior cross country season in winning the individual regional crown with a 16:08 performance at Panorama Farms, which is 17 places better and over a minute faster than his sophomore year regional race. Curtin had been defeated earlier in the season by Seamus O'Reilly of Warren County and O'Reilly was running stride for stride with Curtin for the first half of the race as John Handley's Thomas Delaney trailed both. Curtin, who ran well earlier in the season at Panorama Farms with a 15:48 performance at the Albemarle Invitational, put together another great run on the same course as he broke away from O'Reilly to win with a time of 16:08 on a unseasonably warm day, which slowed times and caused several runners to need medical assistance including eventual third place finisher O'Reilly (3rd, 16:39). With a heat exhausted O'Reilly struggling to finish, Northwestern District champion Thomas Delaney was able to move into second place with a time of 16:08, which is not far off his season best time.
Senior boys often dominate the list of top 15 All-Region performers, but only two 12th graders David Pugh of James Wood (5th) and Alvaro Morales of Potomac Falls (10th) can be found in the top 15 results, which bodes well for the Group AA region to be even more competitive and stronger next fall.
Below are the performances entered for the meet that met the national silver standard.
|5000 Meter Run||18:58.53||Allison Bartels||Brentsville District|
|5000 Meter Run||19:03.81||Julie Strange||Loudoun County|
|5000 Meter Run||19:15.46||Tammy Cheung||Millbrook|
|5000 Meter Run||19:34.54||Morgan Price||Brentsville District|
|5000 Meter Run||19:41.81||Christina Lee||Potomac Falls|
|5000 Meter Run||19:42.18||Natalie Wright||Potomac Falls|
|5000 Meter Run||16:08.92||Thomas Curtin||Loudoun County|
|5000 Meter Run||16:20.07||Thomas Delaney||John Handley|
2009 Region II
Boys Cross Country Team Champions
Boys Team Results
1. Potomac Falls 69 pts
2. Skyline 93 pts
3. Brentsville 122 pts
4. Monticello 152 pts
5. John Handley 156 pts
6. Western Albemarle 191 pts
7. Loudoun County 199 pts
8. James Wood 209 pts
9. Warren County 221 pts
10. Dominion 222 pts
11. Fauquier 228 pts
12. Freedom 238 pts
13. Louisa County 264 pts
14. Goochland 357 pts
2009 Region II
Girls Cross Country Team Champions
Girls Team Results
1. Brentsville 64 pts
2. Western Albemarle 71 pts
3. Potomac Falls 88 pts
4. Loudoun County 96 pts
5. Millbrook 125 pts
6. Briar Woods 188 pts
7. John Handley 197 pts
8. Fauquier 230 pts
9. Warren County 246 pts
10. Louisa County 263 pts
11. Sherando 272 pts
12. Monticello 305 pts
13. Fluvanna County 310 pts
14. Dominion 314 pts
2009 Region II
Boys Cross Country County Individual Champion
Thomas Curtin (Loudoun County)
Top 15 Boys Individual State Qualifiers
1. Tommy Curtin (Loudoun County) 16:08.92
2. Tom Delaney (John Handley) 16:20.07
3. Seamus O'Reilly (Warren County) 16:39.95
4. Ryan Farnan (Millbrook) 16:47.52
5. David Pugh (James Wood) 16:49.15
6. Thomas Madden (Skyline) 16:50.93
7. Chris Springer (Louisa County) 16:52.51
8. Thorpe Lichtenburg (Freedom) 16:53.31
9. Tyler Jones (Skyline) 16:57.04
10. Alvaro Morales (Potomac Falls) 16:58.51
11. Nathaniel Hermsmeier (Monticello) 16:59.09
12. Nicholas Mogensen (Potomac Falls) 16:59.60
13. Juan Campos (Potomac Falls) 16:59.93
14. Berham McDowell (Serhando) 17:00.26
15. Henry Giles (Western Albemarle) 17:05.67
2009 Region II
Girls Cross Country Individual Champion
Allison Bartels (Brentsville)
Individual State Qualifiers
1. Allison Bartels (Brentsville) 18:58.53
2. Julie Strange (Loudoun County) 19:03.81
3. Tammy Cheung (Millbrook) 19:15.46
4. Morgan Price (Brentsville) 19:34.54
5. Christina Lee (Potomac Falls) 19:41.81
6. Natalie Wright (Potomac Falls) 19:42.18
7. Crystal Nelson (Millbrook) 19:47.83
8. Kayla Gibbons (Warren County) 19:51.84
9. Claire Johnson (Western Albemarle) 19:52.84
10. Rachel Carson (James Wood) 19:56.13
11. Katie Farina (Western Albemarle) 20:03.24
12. Britani Myers (John Handley) 20:04.71
13. Becca Hinch (Loudoun County) 20:07.23
14. Emma Helsel (Fauquier) 20:08.20
15. Emily Moffett (Western Albemarle) 20:08.89