Cosby's Megan Moye
17:42 (Course Record)
Douglas Freeman's Silas Frantz
15:25 Smooth Lookin' Win
All photos by John Herzog
Thanks to all who attended this year's MileStat.com Cross Country Invitational as athletes, coaches, and spectators. Special thanks to the Clover Hill High school parents and athletes, meet officials, and Pocahontas State Park for making this meet possible. Complete results posted below. More coverage including photo gallery from John Herzog, race videos, and meet summary to be posted later this weekend.
2010 MileStat.com Invitational Meet Results
Photo Gallery by John Herzog - 2,196 photos total.
Race Videos - To be posted on Sunday.
The fast times seen in last year's revival of this meet at Pocahontas State Park's upper 5K course were replicated again in 2010 with good conditions and great competition to press runners across the board to personal and season best performances. A total of 83 MileSplit US national elite times (19:45 5K for girls, 16:30 5K for boys) were achieved in this meet, which is 34 more elite times than the next meet so far this season in Virginia.
In the varsity A girls race, three of the state's top four ranked runners this season faced off in a preview for the Group AAA state race with three serious Foot Locker Nationals potential qualifiers in Sophie Chase of Lake Braddock, Hannah Lowery of Stafford, and Megan Moye of Cosby. None of three runners went to the lead early on either by choice or bad start, but the best of the best found themselves alone together at the 4K mark after separating from the rest in the most difficult part of the course from 3K to 4K.
Facing two runners who have never raced before at Pocahontas, Moye used it to her advantage of racing this course many times for district championships and weekday dual meets to start pressing for the final 3 to 4 four minutes to break away enough for five second win and new course record by ten seconds in 17:42. The performance bested her fourth place Great American Race of Champions PR performance two weeks ago by two seconds. Chase and Lowery then battled each other to the finish for runner-up honors with Lowery narrowly edging Chase out as both runners achieved personal best times and their sub 18 minute 5K performances ever with 17:47 clocking to also go under the old course record of 17:52 held by last year's invitational champion Ariel Karabinus.
The state meet should be a very exciting and fun race to watch between these three talents and their Saturday performances indicate all are capable of making runs at qualifying individually for the Foot Locker Nationals or Nike Cross Nationals.
Behind Moye, Lowery, and Chase, it became a battle for who would be the next best from the Central Region following race winner Moye. Deep Run senior and defending regional champion Erica Dobbs won that battle with a personal best 18:07 performance for fourth place to hold off an incredible run by a freshmen in Hanover's Molly Breidenbaugh (5th, 18:08) who is already knocking on the door of sub 18 minutes as a ninth grader. Maggie Walker would have been scary if Breidenbaugh had been able to join her older brother Marc at the Governor's School at Maggie Walker with Anna Spiers (6th, 18:14) and Rachel Galton (7th, 18:19) also running fast at Pocahontas to helpd lead Maggie Walker to a runner-up team finish with 133 points despite missing their #3 runner Daisy Banta.
Winning the team title for the second year in a row to bounce back from a subpar showing last week at the Albemarle Invitational were the Osbourn Park girls, who won dominantly with only a 33 second pack for their top five with some key step-up performers. Senior Natalie Gelata was the team's top returnee from last fall, but sophomore Kelly Russell and junior Brandy Wybersky had been enjoying a breakout fall to lead the team in most races this season. Gelata assumed the team's top spot with one of her best races of high school and nearly her first sub 19 minute 5K performance in 16th place at 19 minutes flat.
Russell (19th, 19:12) and Wybersky (20th, 19:13) also ran strong finishing in the top 20 with Gelata, but it was the races in the fourth and fifth spot which sealed the win for Coach Mike Schuster's squad with senior Kayla Tyrrell (33rd, 19:28) and freshmen Jessica Gray dropping well over a minute from her previous best time to emerge as the team's fifth runner in 38th place with a time of 19:38. Osbourn Park raced against several top teams on Saturday not at full strength including regional rival Colonial Forge, Lake Braddock, and Maggie Walker, but if they race again at Great Meadow like they did on Saturday, Osbourn Park should be in the mix for a state meet podium spot.
Lake Braddock was missing two of their likely top five runners in Casey Lardner and Anna Markowitz due to illness, but still ran admirably well in their absence to snab the final team trophy for third place with 164 points. Behind 17:47 third place performer Sophie Chase, Lake Braddock saw two fast times posted by their freshmen talent in Hannah Christen (18:52) and Katie Roche (19:24). With Tara Landy (19:42) as their likely fifth scorer in the championship season, Lake Braddock is still a very dangerous team come November and a threat to Thomas Jefferson for the Northern Region title as well as Midlothian for the Group AAA state title which they upset last fall for that same crown.
Albemarle Invitational champions and Eastern Region defending champs Ocean Lakes finished fourth with a team score of 197 points and team average of 19:37, but certainly are capable of closing the gap on the teams which finishead ahead of them in less than a month as well as shorten 1:54 spread between their top runner Audrey Batzel who posted a big PR of 18:26 for 8th place individually and their fifth finisher. A team without a true front runner (though first finisher Lizzie Powell was able to slip into the top 20 for a medal in 18th at 19:12), Mills Godwin ran very well due to their depth and tight top five pack of 43 seconds to earn a fifth place finish in a very competitive field with 200 points.
The anticipated matchup between Kyle King of Grafton and the Central Region stars including Silas Frantz of Douglas Freeman, Andrew Catanese of Atlee, Cody Snyder of Lee-Davis, and Evan Niciphor of Cosby did not happen as King pulled out before the race due to unknown reasons. The top runners in the field including Frantz around the 1000 meter mark were looking to around to see where King was at, but once Frantz realized there would be no duel with King, he bidded his time before he made his move to drop an elite field. When the Douglas Freeman senior and a winner already of several major invitationals this season reappeared from the 3000 meter long woods loop, Frantz had a commanding lead and certainly had no plans of slowing down as his last 800 meters looked smooth, efficient, and effortless as he finished only five seconds off the course record in a personal best time of 15:25. The Frantz-King matchup would have been great to watch as the two runners figure right now to be the two favorites to win the Group AAA and Group AA state cross country titles respectively, but Frantz's ease of dropping a field of very accomplished runners was impressive in its own way.
Trailing 12 seconds behind Frantz was Cosby's Niciphor running just a second off his Great American performance for runner-up honors in 15:37 to hold off an always fast finishing Cody Snyder of Lee-Davis, who ran a personal best time of 15:39. The other Central Region star Andrew Catanese had an off race in 11th place with a time of 16:08 after beating Frantz early in the season at Fork Union with a 14:52 course record 3 mile. Lake Braddock's front two ran incredible races and actually had a third runner earn a top 20 medal in Nick Tuck (19th, 16:23) with seniors Luke Sohl (4th, 15:40) and Sam Rubenking (5th, 15:53), but lacked the depth through five to get them into the top three team standings for a trophy with 162 points for fifth place.
The Stafford boys continue their successful season and plenty of momentum into a competitive championship meet series ahead in the Commonwealth District and Northwest Region by claiming another invitational team title in one of the tougher fields they have competed in this season and featuring their district and regional rival Mountain View (3rd, 153 pts). The Stafford boys have relied on a very strong and tightly bunched top five pack all season long and the MileStat.com Invitational was no different for them with a 44 second spread, but more importantly it appears this pack has moved up with their individuals not finishing even higher and running faster among other team's top individuals.
A top 20 individual finish was no easy feat in the varsity A races at the 2010 MileStat.com Invitational as some quality runners were unable to crack into that top 20 for a medal, but Coach Pete Augrom was able to see four of his Stafford boys pick up individual hardware by dipping under 16:25 time cut-off. Leading the Indians with a sub 16 minute run was Tyler Oliver in 8th place (15:58) and he was followed shortly by team members Greg Bohmke (13th, 16:10), Ian Macleod (16th, 16:16), and Joey Abbatiello (18th, 16:20). Brandon Hinton (16:42) completed their team scoring to give them a team average of 16:17 on the Pocahontas State Park 5K course and final team score of 76 points for a buffer of 45 points between them and the second place squad.
Top 15 showings from Will Sickenberger (10th, 16:08) and Nicholas Guaranaccia (14th, 16:12) led South Lakes boys (121 pts) to a runner-up finish and positive sign for them heading into the championship season as they look to try and qualify for their first state meet appearance in many years. South Lakes had their entire top five at 16:50 or faster with Sickernberger, Guaranaccia, Austin Leggett (16:29), Fred Kyle (16:42), and Alex Clough (16:50) for a 16:28 team average on the 5K course this Saturday.
Defending Group AAA state team champions Mountain View won the seeded invitational division earlier this month at Great American with their fourth and fifth runners finally coming together. Their fourth and fifth runners continued to improve and drop their times at the MileStat.com Invite with Jesus Amezquita (16:51) and Ben Sorenson (16:54), but needed slightly better showing from their top three, which is usually strong and little room of separation. Nicholas Wolfe ran very well to dip under under 16 minutes for sixth place in 15:55, but third runner Jared Elly (38th, 16:38) fell back too far for Mountain View to stay close with Stafford or South Lakes with their team score of 153 points for third place trophy honors.
Eastern Region favorites Ocean Lakes welcomed their top runner Jon Winters back to racing after missing several weeks of meets and workouts due to an IT band injury. Easy his way back in, Winters (24th, 16:29) led a pack of his teammates into the finish for the smallest top five spread in the race at 16 seconds as the Dolphins navigated the course in a top five pack of Winters, Brandon Clifford (29th, 16:30), David Harrison (32nd, 16:32), Conor Gulley (45th, 16:45), and Austin Gillies (46th, 16:45). Ocean Lakes finished only one point shy of a third place team trophy and expect them to be much stronger in championship season with Winters working himself back into top shape as a needed front runner for his team.