Hayfield senior Melissa Dewey headed into Saturday's race as the top ranked runner in the state and had yet to be defeated this fall. After taking her SAT's in the morning, she took care of business at Bull Run.
Featured in the seeded race with Dewey was Fauquier senior Sarah Bowman, a Group AA state champion two falls ago and the 800 meter AOC national champion as a junior. Bowman nor the SAT's turned out to not be Dewey's toughest test on Saturday. Her toughest test was the clock.
Bowman led Dewey and the field through the mile mark in a sizzling split of 5:22. Everyone paid the price from the fast first mile, but Dewey was the only one that did not fall apart from it. Dewey began to build a huge lead in the second mile as she hit two miles in 11:19. Dewey would then go onto cruise to win by nearly a full minute as she posted the state's fastest 5K time of the season by over 30 seconds with a time of 17:37. Her time is especially impressive when you consider she won Glory Days last year by time 58 seconds slower at 18:35. It would not be a ridiculous bet to make that if she runs like she did today at Foot Locker South Regionals in late November, she will be earning herself a plane ticket to Foot Locker Nationals in San Diego, California.
Bowman was able to hold onto a third place finish with her best time of the season with her 18:46 clocking.
The girls' team battle featured three of the best teams in the Southeast region with Virginia's own, Oakton and Lake Braddock, as well as Maryland's C. Milton Wright. However, Lake Braddock raced a runner down without top five runner Kelly Sherrard, who was out with sickness. With Sherrard out, the meet became a two way duel between Oakton and C. Milton Wright. Throughout the race, the two teams had runners from each team running matching up one another. Oakton was just barely able to hold off the challenge from across the Potomac as they won by a 4 point margin with a 63 point total. The Lady Cougars were once again led by Kayley Byrne, who posted a time of 19:06 for a sixth place finish. The rest of Oakton's top five were not too far behind Byrne as they had an amazing 30 second gap among their top five with Danielle Light (11th, 19:17), Allegra Smith (16th, 19:25), Carly Hudson (19th, 19:30), and Meredith Tighe (20th, 19:36).
The Lake Braddock girls put forth a solid showing without Sherrard as they finished third with 103 points. The Lady Bruins had three runners in the top twenty with Kelsey Snowden (12th, 19:19), Erin Klein (17th, 19:26), and Michelle Presley (18th, 19:30). Rounding out Lake Braddock's scoring five were Becca Hoogland (31st, 19:59) and Rebecca Pierce (35th, 20:10).
Like Dewey, Chantilly junior Brad Siragusa continued his streak of being undefeated this season with another victory on Saturday at Bull Run. Siragusa covered the 5K course in a personal best time of 15:42. It was the first time Siragusa has dipped under 16 for 5000 meters. Siragusa could be undefeated through November as it will not be until the state meet when Siragusa will face major competition from the top runners outside of the Northern Region.
The Thomas Jefferson boys faced off with the top ranked AA school Brentsville in a battle between two NTN Southeast regionally ranked teams. The boys from Alexandria turned out to be far superior than the team from Nokesville.
Thomas Jefferson gathered a point total of 76 points as they finished well ahead of Brentsville with 107 points. Thomas Jefferson was led by Chris Katilie, who just missed breaking 16 minutes with a time of 16 flat for third place. After Katilie, Thomas Jefferson was able to fit five additional runners under 17 minutes at Bull Run with Kyle Smith (5th, 16:08), Hersh Singh (18th, 16:35), Paul Norland (21st, 16:43), Kyle Grimsley (29th, 16:53), and Aiden McHugh (35th, 16:57) for a dominating team effort.
While Brentsville did not show the same level of depth as Thomas Jefferson, their strength was evident and especially strong for a AA squad. Senior Pat Eggleston led the Tigers to the line with a fourth place finishing effort of 16:07. Behind Eggleston, Brentsville put their entire top five under 17 minutes with Nick Gehlsen (12th, 16:23), Adam Henken (24th, 16:49), Jacob Watts (30th, 16:55), and Henry Melius (37th, 16:58).
West Springfield had a surpisingly strong team showing as the took third place honors ahead of the likes of Oakton and Potomac Falls, two teams ranked fourth and sixth respectively in the state. The Spartans were unranked going into this weekend and their stock should dramatically improve after their race at Glory Days. West Springfield had four sub 17 minute performers in Michael Spooner (6th, 16:09), Kris Benton (16th, 16:29), Samuel Teka (25th, 16:50), and Alex Martis (31st, 16:55) as they showed a much improved squad from recent meets.