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Chancellor Invite: Lowery 18:51 course record! Colonial Forge upsets Midlo for team sweep Sep 4, 2010

Stafford sophomore Hannah Lowery continued her great start to the 2010 cross country season by following up her dominant win at Great Meadow by shattering the course record at Loriella Park as the first girl ever under 19 minutes on the challenging 5K course in Fredericksburg with a 18:51 victory at the Chancellor Invitational. Lowery won by a large margin of one minute and 13 seconds as she went through the mile in 5:40 and just under in 12 minutes at the two mile.   The Colonial Forge boys really responded well in bouncing back from a disappointing at the Great Meadow Invitational by not only winning at Chancellor but also defeating the #1 ranked team in the state with Midlothian making their first trip ever to Loriella Park. The top four of the Colonial Forge boys really took charge of the race early on running among the top 10, while Midlothian attempted to pack it up from behind at a more controlled pace and try to reel the competition in during the final mile.   The top four of Donny Lozier (4th, 16:53), Brian O'Loughlin (5th, 16:54), David Klimek (9th, 16:59), and David Pennesi (11th, 17:01) stayed up front for Colonial Forge head coach Michael Porter through the end with all four finishing ahead of Midlothian's top finisher Brayden Burleigh (12th, 17:02). Especially missing their usual #5 and #6 runners, the front running performance by Colonial Forge's front four was huge in overcoming Midlothian's great depth through seven which also extended to the developmental race with five of the top six finishers in the JV division. Midlo's #7 finished 20 places ahead of Colonial Forge's #5, but Colonial Forge putting four ahead of Midlothian's #1 was the different maker in their 82-97 win.    The Riverbend boys finished close on Midlothian's heels for third place with 98 points led by two top 15 finishers in Shaquon Wilkins (6th, 16:55) and Ryan Kuhns (13th, 17:04), while an overachieving Stafford squad claimed fourth place with a surprising runner-up finish from senior Tyler Oliver beating virtually all of the Northwest Region's best with his time of 16:49.   The Midlothian girls executed the similar race strategy and having their team run conserative as a pack through the stages of the race as the only five runners which toed the line for them in the varsity race were together as a group through the two mile mark. As much ground as they covered in the final 1.1 miles, it was not enough real estate for them to run down the Colonial Forge girls who followed their boys with an upset as well of a top ranked Midlothian program. Shaina Manuel led the charge for the Forge girls with her highest individual finish yet in a major invitational as the race runner-up to Lowery in a time of 20:04 as she opened up a 23 second gap herself on third place.   Behind Manuel, the VA #10 ranked Colonial Forge girls put their remaining scoring five among the top 17 places with Hannah Dickinson (5th, 20:41), Mackenzie McDonald (10th, 21:03), Colleen Wade (15th, 21:11), and Lilly Moore (17th, 21:19) for a team score of 49 points compared to Midlothian's 76 point total. Midlothian had four girls really move up in the final move to probably pick off 12 runners each with Kara Dickerson (4th, 20:36), Claire Benjamin (8th, 20:53), Krista Willard (9th, 20:56), and Meghan Mulroy (12th, 21:08) but their fifth runner struggled to make the same move in the final move as Colonial Forge pulled off the major upset.   Neither team raced at full strength with Midlothian missing their top runner Marie Johnston due to illness and her kid sister Kari Johnston unable to make her high school race debut due to a soccer tournament as the younger Johnston figures to run well within Midlothian's top five this season. Colonial Forge sat out their top returning miler in sophomore Jenna Walker this weekend and still have two more likely top varsity runners this season including Hannah Somers who are still on the comeback trail from injury.   The Mountain View girls continue to impress early this season as a team likely to reach the state meet once again out of the Northwest Region as they placed third at Chancellor with 107 points and three runners in the top 16 including Mackenzie Davis (6th), Kimberley Ficenec (11th), and Lauren Braney (16th) while Jamestown really came out strong to represent Region I well finishing close behind Region II's Brentsville (4th, 109 pts) for fifth place with 114 points.   There was the potential for a clash among three top contenders for state titles this fall at Loriella Park with Woodberry Forest's Kevin Bennert, Grafton's Kyle King, and Midlothian's Brayden Burleigh. Unfortunately, a showdown between three of the state's top ranked runners in the preseason never materialized as King was held out of the race as he is training through and Burleigh had to run with his teammates for at least the first half of the race before being allowed to take off. Pre-season #1 ranked Bennert did not even know either was racing anyways until five minutes before the start of the race so it did not change his race plans to runaway from the field at the beginning, which he did throughout the race to win by 21 seconds in a time of 16:28.   Chancellor Invite Results: Varsity Boys - Varsity Girls - Developmental Boys - Developmental Girls Race Videos: Varsity Boys - Varsity Girls - Developmental Boys - Developmental Girls Video Interviews: Hannah Lowery - Kevin Bennert - Brian O'Loughlin & Donny Lozier - Shaina Manuel & Colleen Wade - Tyler Oliver Photo Gallery by Brandon Miles - Over 1,200 total photos from all 4 races & team awards.

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