The League of Independent Schools Championship was held on November 4th on the very flat campus of Norfolk Academy. Both St. Catherine's School and Coach Dave Bloor's front runner Katie Doswell dominated the meet with seven runners in the top 15, scoring a low 31 points and besting second place Collegiate by 22 points to win their second consecutive title. Host school Norfolk Academy and runner-up in last year's meet (beating the third place team by only one point) ended up as third this year, seven points behind Collegiate. Through four runners, it looked as if Norfolk would finish second, but a strong finish by Collegiate's Laura Anderson (20th place) and Sloane Beaver (21st place) propelled the Coogers over Norfolk Academy. LIS star Katie Doswell, a double All-American indoors last year, ran for her fifth consecutive LIS title in time of 18:59.35 on the windy three mile course. She was never seriously challenged in the race with Melinda Sisk of Collegiate School finishing nearly 50 seconds behind in a time of 19:48.59. Jennifer Cruser (Norfolk Academy, 20:18.18), Shelby Catlett (St. Catherine's, 20:34.93), and Anica Bilisoly (Norfolk Acedemy, 20:36.53) rounded out the top five. I'm going to go ahead and congratulate Katie Doswell for being the only girl who has ever won an LIS Cross Country title in the last half a decade.
The ISL Championships were held on October 29 at The Landon School in Bethesda, Maryland. Elizabeth Harrison breezed to a record 18:52.51 for the three mile course. Her sister Catherine, a transfer this year to Episcopal, finished close behind to nab second place (19:19.88) in her first ever ISL Conference Meet. One minute and forty seconds went by before the third Episcopalian crossed the finish line, so even with the 1-2 punch by the Harrison sisters, EHS struggled to a fourth place finish overall with 95 points. The Potomac School, sitting out their top runners, was lead to seventh place (204 points) by BG Green's 20:46.48 run, good for 21st place. St Stephens & St Agnes, lead by Lindsay Wright's 34th place finish, ended up near the back of the field this year (13th place) with 308 points. Maryland teams dominated this conference with St. Andrews, who had a 1-4 time gap of only 14 seconds, edging Holton Arms by one point, 61 points to 62 points.
The Washington Catholic Athletic Conference Championship was held on a very difficult 5K Course at Lake Fairfax, in Northern Virginia. Paul VI and Bishop O'Connell, both ranked as one of the top five Private Schools by Milestat.com, held a tremendous dual for first and second places respectively. Paul VI, lead by Michelle Kew's fourth place finish in 21:29, had a deep pack with seven runners in the top 20 and a 1:13 time gap between their first and fifth runner. Megan Fitzpatrick (3rd place, 21:28) and her Bishop O'Connell team managed to put up a fight with a strong group of five girls. Bishop O'Connell (2nd place, 45 points) kept the race so close that their overall team time ended up to be a full second faster than winner Paul VI (1st place, 42 points). Bishop Ireton (4th place, 93 points) was lead by their sophomore stud Julianne Tela. Her second place finish in 21:17 is the best finish ever by an Ireton girl in the WCAC race. Nora McCall of Good Counsel (Maryland) dominated the race with an impressive win by nearly a minute in a time of 20:24.
The Virginia State Catholic School Championships were held in Newport News on November 4th, but the meet directors and coaches, along with those of the Tidewater Conference of Independent Schools, failed to send Milestat.com any results of their meet. Both George Winslow and I spent some time looking extensively for the results, but failed miserably. I'm sure there were some stellar performances by the athletes, but those will not be recognized here. Sorry girls...
The Virginia Independent Schools State Meet was held on November 11 on The Woodberry Forrest School golf course near Orange, VA. With two former champions in the race, the meet proved to be a very competitive one. The top group of girls stayed together through the mile where 2001 State Champion Elizabeth Harrison made a move that only Catherine Harrison and Melinda Sisk covered. Harrison continued to run hard, finishing nearly a minute ahead of the next competitor for the individual state title in a meet record time of 19:01.96. Collegiate's Melinda Sisk finished in second place in a time of 19:56.63. Catherine Harrison of Episcopal High School finished third in 20:02.45. Megan Fitzpatrick (Bishop O'Connell) and Katie Doswell (St. Catherine's) rounded out the top five. It is a testament to how competitive this race was that the defending champion, an All-American middle distance runner, finished fifth. The team battle was what Coach Winston Brown (Fork Union) could only describe as "A shocker." "St. Catherine's had a stranglehold on this thing in the past," he said, but Paul VI was this year's runaway team champion. The tightness of this meet was evident in the race for the runner-up position as perennial champion St. Catherine's (winners in 2000-2004) and fellow LIS power Collegiate both scored 107 points. Junior Martha Wright (St. Catherine's) finished in 36th place to break the tie in St. Catherine's favor. Collegiate placed third, with the Harrison Sisters' Episcopal team finishing in a very strong fourth place.
ALL-JOIS GIRLS TEAM
Katie Doswell (St. Catherine's)- Doswell, the defending state champion, returned this fall after an impressive track season last winter that earned her All-American honors and a place in the state and national spotlight. Her impressive career includes state meet finishes of 9th in 2000, 2nd in 2001, 3rd in 2002, 4th in 2003, 1st in 2004, and 5th in 2005. Along the way, she lead St. Catherine's to an impressive four straight VIS titles. This fall she finished in the top ten in the prestigious Fork Union Invitation and third in the small school race at the Great American XC Festival. Her season was topped with a convincing win at the LIS meet and a strong showing at Footlocker South.
Megan Fitzpatrick (Bishop O'Connell)- Fitzpatrick finished in an impressive fourth place in the VIS State meet in a time of 20:11.4 to lead Bishop O'Connell to a fifth place finish. The number two O'Connell runner for much of the season, she peaked at the right time and lead her team to a second place finish at the WCAC Meet to the strong PVI team. Her time of 21:28 was good for third place at her conference championship. She has been ranked in the top fifteen private school girls since her performance at the Mercersburg Academy Invitational in mid-September.
Catherine Harrison (Episcopal)- Fourth in last year's VIS race as the second runner of team champion St. Catherine's, Harrison improved to finish for third place in her first year at Episcopal. She finished second to her sister and teammate, Elizabeth, at the ISL Championship. Catherine, only a freshman, has already made a name for herself in the private school ranks by that 4th place in 2004 and an 8th place finish as a seventh grader in 2003. She is the top returnee for next year's meet.
Elizabeth Harrison (Episcopal)- The 2001 VIS Champion as an eighth grader running for St. Catherine's returned to the top spot in a meet record time. Her finishes in the state meet over the past 6 years are reflective of her impressive career: 2nd in 2000, 1st in 2001, 4th in 2002, 2nd in 2003, 3rd in 2004, and 1st in 2005. Elizabeth lead her 2000 and 2001 St. Catherine's teams to back to back state titles, a streak that ended only this year. She was the winner of the ISL Championships and also finished 19th among all VA girls at footlocker south in a time of 18:46.
Michelle Kew (Paul VI)- Kew, running in her first VIS State Meet, lead Paul VI to the team title with her seventh place finish overall in a time of 20:19.34. She jumped in the Milestat.com private school rankings on October 5th after her performance at the Octoberfest Invitational. She finished in fourth place at the WCAC Championships to lead PVI to the team title.
Michaeline Nelson (Potomac)- She was the top Virginia Private Schooler at Footlocker South, placing 11th among all VA girls in a time of 18:36, 10 seconds faster than VIS Champion Harrison. However, she did not compete in the ISL Championship or VIS State Meet, both of which E. Harrison won convincingly. Nelson's big win this season was at the very competitive Glory Days Invitational, which she won convincingly in a time of 19:19.
Melinda Sisk (Collegiate)- Sisk began the season ranked in the top 15 private school girls, but didn't last long on the ranking lists. She came back in late October to finish a strong second in the LIS Championships to Katie Doswell. Strong finishes over the past four years (24th in 2001, 19th in 2002, 9th in 2003, and 12th in 2004), but her somewhat suprising second place finish this year is the highest by a Collegiate girl since Carter Hamill won in 1999 and 2000. Sisk, with her time of 19:56.63, lead her team to a third place finish.
Julianne Tela (Bishop Ireton)- Sophmore Julianne Tela didn't break into the Milestat.com rankings until the beginning of October, after her 20th place performance at the Lee-Davis Invitation with a time of 20:49. She finished second in the WCAC Championship in 21:17, for the best ever finish by a Bishop Ireton girl. Her impressive 6th place in the VIS State Meet in 20:19.06 is a signinficant improvement from her 28th place finish in the 2004 race as a freshman.
Katie Walls (Bishop O'Connell)- Walls lead her Bishop O'Connell team for much of the season, but faded to finish as their second girl in both the WCAC meets (5th, 21:50) and the VIS State Meet (8th, 20:33.68). Her 8th place finish this year is an improvement on her 14th place in last year's meet. She was ranked in the top ten private school girls for much of this season after posting a top mark in the Glory Days Invitational (21st, 20:47). Walls finished 10th in the Mercersburg Academy Invitational in a time of 20:25.13. She also finished 64th among VA girls in the Footlocker South Regional race.
Kelsey Budd (Paul VI)- 8th at WCAC, 9th at VIS
Natalia Cowden (Paul VI)- 10th at WCAC, 13th at VIS
Kelli Morrissey (Cape Henry)- 10th at VIS
Mary Lide Parker (Episcopal)- 22nd at ISL, 14th at VIS
Taryn Schrader (Bishop Sullivan)- 12th at VIS
Caroline Wilke (Walsingham Academy)- 11th at VIS
Wellll… that's the girls' wrap-up for this year. Make sure you send in your Indoor and Outdoor Track Results to either George Winslow or Brandon Miles. We're going to try to get some pretty cool private school coverage going on. I know the LIS/Prep League meets will have "on-site" milestat coverage, so there are some good things coming for the private school ranks.