The girl's team title should be a good battle between the State's #1 ranked AA girl's team in Western Albemarle and the #2 ranked team in Brentsville District. The Western Albemarle Warriors from the Jefferson District appear to be unbeatable, but the ladies of Brentsville and from the Northwestern District are known to have a hard working and continuously improving team. Look for Tasmine Fanning of Western Albemarle to place first as she leads a team which claimed the top 5 places at the Jefferson District Meet for a perfect score of 15 points. Other ladies on the Warriors squad include #6 ranked Kelsey Stafford, 10th ranked Samantha Stafford, Rachel Hyde, Carrie Elwood, Sarah Connette, and Valerie Wilder. Leading the hopes for the Brenstville District Lady Tigers is the State's #3 ranked runner in Becky Stewart. Helping Stewart will be 15th ranked Alex Kulifay, Julia Mitchell, Rachel Hamilton, Amelia Emerson, Wendy Stober, and Teresa Knoll. Other projected teams vying for a trip to the VHSL State Meet, which will be held on Saturday November 13 at The Great Meadows course in The Plains, is #4 ranked Broadway of the Valley District, Stonebridge and Loudoun Valley of the Dulles District.
The fight for the top 15 spots for the ladies is wide open after the first few runners at the top. Region II has so many capable runners that predicting the top 15 places are very difficult. However, as for runners not previously mentioned look for Elizabeth Reeves of Broadway, Stephanie Garcia of Broad Run, Kelly Dunn and Megan Malcarneof Stone Bridge, Gina DeGaetano of Park View, Lida Wise of Rockbridge County, Stephanie Shenk of James Wood, Jillian Pollack of Millbrook, and Erin Bender and Anna Cote of John Handley along with several more to be in the hunt.
On the boy's side Pat Eggleston, #1 ranked AA runner, from Brentsville District and #4 ranked teammate Nick Gehlsen should lead the orange and black to a Region III title. Other Tigers on the prowl are Jacob Watts, Adam Henken, Henry Melius, Ray Delegado, and Eric Truschel. Expect defending State Champion Fort Defiance to not concede until the last man crosses. Matt Bailey, Daniel Stewart, Derek Hizer, Daniel Alonso, John Wampler, Robbie Corbett, and Tyler Fair lead a strong and experienced Fort Defiance team. Fort Defiance has been known to step it up and create a few surprises. Potomac Falls and John Handley look like the best teams to advance to State, but a few surprises like Western Albemarle and Spotswood could steal a spot.
Some of the other individual runners in the hunt for the top 15 which make All-region are: Jonathan Licthenstein and Brandon Spalding of Stuarts Draft, Robert Heitz and Jordan Jarrells of Spotswood, Miles Morrison of Rockbridge County, Will Massie of Western Albemarle, Jason Tiezzi and Ben King of Monticello, Jeremy Haney and Preston Chandler of Fluvanna County, Jessie Martin and Christopher Hicks of Louisa County, Sean Bernett of Heritage, Kyle Kinnally and Ryan Dafgek of Stone Bridge, Patrick Torrie, Max Werner, and Sean Wilson of Potomac Falls Levi Watson of Sherando, Nathan marsh of John Handley, and Kevin Pugh of James Wood. As always, some unexpected developments occur and surprises will happen as the norm rarely ever happens to the script.
As the drama unfolds in Lexington, the cross-country harriers will be giving it their all to help their team's advance as well as receive the coveted title of All-Region.