CARY, NC -- HIGHLIGHTS: Brentsville boys (11th) and Midlothian girls (11th) falter in Nike Race of Champions, while Brentsville (5th) and Oakton (6th) girls rise to the occassion. Brentsville's Becky Stewart (18:37) garners 11th place individually in ROC. Aurora Scott runs with the big girls and posts the third fastest high school 5K time of the day (13th, 17:36) in the college women's ROC. Top ranked Devin Cornwall of Culpeper places 11th in the high school boys ROC in 15:47. Junior Mike Spooner (15:52) and West Springfield roll to victories in red invitational division. Junior John Vial (16:13) and Hermitage boys do the same in white invitational division. Fork Union wins smalls school boys behind Polish duo of Axel Mostrag (16:19) and Szymon Rolla (16:22).
In the Nike Race of Champions for high school boys, the Brentsville boys were 11th overall out of
25 teams with 283 points. The Tigers had a strong front three with senior Nick Gehlsen (29th,
16:12.60), junior Henry Melius (31st, 16:13.50), and junior Adam Henken (33rd, 16:15.20).
However, the Brentsville boys will take a hit in the Nike Team National rankings as three teams
ranked below their recent Southeast #3 ranking finished ahead of them as in order to be competive
in the ROC race, a team needs pretty much their top five under 17 minutes as Brentsville fourth
and fifth were freshmen Ray Delgado (94th, 17:10.70) and senior Eric Ekholm (129th, 17:31.80).
Culpeper County senior Devin Cornwall, ranked #1 in the state currently, had the fastest time by
any Virginian high schooler as he clocked a time of 15:47.50 to finish 11th in the highly
competitive ROC race.
The Virginian girls' teams fared a bit better in the Race of Champions as the Brentsville girls
finished fifth overall (239 pts) and the Oakton girls were just behind them in sixth (246 pts) as
both squads finished ahead of several higher ranked squads including NTN SE #2 Mountain Brook of
Alabama (7th, 252 pts) and Virginia's own top state ranked and NTN SE #5 Midlothian (11th, 298
The Brentsville girls were led by the top Virginian finisher in the race with Becky Stewart as she
finished 11th overall in a time of 18:37.50. Rounding out a solid five for the Lady Tigers were
Julia Mitchell (49th, 19:49.20), Lauren Bussian (69th, 20:05.40), Amelia Emerson (79th, 20:13.20),
and Alex Kulifay (83rd, 20:15.10).
The Oakton girls looked a lot stronger than their earlier season defeat by Midlothian and
Brentsville at Great Meadows as Kayley Byrne once again led the Lady Cougars with a 15th place
finishing time of 19:02.10. Meredith Tighe (42nd, 19:36.70) and Rebekah Berlin (43rd, 19:37.60)
gave Oakton a solid front three with Byrne, while Nora Meehan (94th, 20:26.90) and Sarah Hiller
(98th, 20:32.20) finished out the team scoring.
The Midlothian girls finished a somewhat disappointing 11th place, but they were also running
without three of their probable top seven runners as sophomore Christine Sealander and senior
Jessica Oakley should be returning to racing action in the next month, while #2 runner at Great
Meadows, freshmen Paige Johnston missed Great American due to soccer committments. Group AAA 800
meter state runner-up M.C. Miller led the Lady Trojans with a PR run of 19:22.80 for a 34th place
Finishing not too far ahead of Miller was Martinsville senior Anna Chase as she finished 32nd in a
time of 19:19.50. Chase had been on hiatus from the Virginia running scene as she spent the
majority of her past two years in Germany where she has dual citizenship.
The top Virginian individual performance of the day though belonged to Oaktree Academy sophomore
Aurora Scott as she smoked a fast 5K time of 17:36 to place 13th in the college women ROC
division. There was certainly plenty of competition in the race for Scott as the #1 nationally
ranked Duke women took 7 of the first 10 places. Scott's time was the third fastest high school
girls' time of the day as she finished ahead of New York's Nicole Blood (15th, 17:43) in the same
The Fork Union boys were a pleasant surprise as team winners of the small school race division as
they were led by the talented Polish duo of Axel Mostrag (2nd, 16:19.60) and Szymon Rolla (3rd,
16:22.80). Westfield transfer Jonathan Buckland also had a solid run to dip under 17 minutes with
a 16:58.50 clocking and David Johnson (16th, 17:12) ran solid as FUMA's fourth man to negate a
distant fifth man in Cody Whittaker (63rd, 19:11.10). The Fork Union boys are currently favored to
win the private school state title this year as they have the top ranking currently among private
schools in the state.
In the small school girls' race, St. Catherine's senior Katie Doswell finished third overall with
a solid time of 19:40.30 as #1 private school ranked St. Catherine's finished 9th overall (181
The Oakton boys, to the surprise of many going into Great American, were not included in the Race of Champions despite beating Brentsville earlier in the season, competed in the seeded invitational, where the finished fourth overall with 183 points. The Cougars were led by senior James Phillips as he finished seventh overall in a 16:01.10 clocking. Fellow seniors Mat Kroetch (13th, 16:22.20) and Tommy Mason (31st, 16:41.20) also had solid runs, while junior Alex Nissen (67th, 17:19.50) and freshmen Scott Maxfield (84th, 17:28.90) rounded out the team scoring.
In the seeded invitational girls' race, James River sophomore Kristin Wolfe posted the third fastest time by any Virginian at the meet as she clocked a time of 18:58.10 to garner fourth place honors.
Mike Spooner and the West Springfield boys looked quite impressive in winning the individual and team titles in the invitational red division. Spooner ran only a few ticks slower than Culpeper County's Cornwall in winning the race by 13 second margin with a 15:52.3 clocking. The West Springfield boys (70 pts) beat the Midlothian boys (100 pts) decisively by a 30 point diference as they were well packed through five runners. While the Midlothian boys were much stronger through three runners with sophomores Jason Witt (4th, 16:14.40), Mark Merritt (8th, 16:23.90), and junior Jonathan Mellis (9th, 16:25.90) dipping under 16:30 with top ten finishes, the Spartans were better packed through five behind race winner spooner with Kris Benton (13th, 16:42.00), Ross Loring (22nd, 17:06.70), Leo Walker (24th, 17:07.60), and Alex Martis (27th, 17:08.60) coming up big at Great American Midlothian's fourth and fifth runners put them well out from challenging a strong West Springfield squad with freshmen Thomas Cole (48th, 17:36.10) and junior Tommy Reese (56th, 17:45.90).
The white invitational boys division was also dominated by a Virginian school as the Hermitage boys won by a ridiculous 78 point margin with their 78 point team total. Hermitage junior John Vial won his major race ever as he clocked a personal best time of 16:15 to cross the line in first. Senior teammate Alex Bowman was not too far behind in fourth at 16:25.70. The Hermitage boys looked solid through six behind their strong front two as freshmen Nathan Puckett (13th, 16:59.80), junior Ben Hendrick (16th, 17:13.20), junior Kieran Lee (21st, 17:18), and junior Walter Kidd (22nd, 17:18.60) rounded out a team that may be the current front runner for the Central Region crown and a top three contender at the Group AAA State race.