The Beach District Championships were held on Wednesday afternoon at the Sportsplex in Virginia Beach. The Ocean Lakes program coached by Mike Nestor successfully repeated as district cross country team champions for both boys and girls. Their streak of dominance remains in the Beach District as it was the sixth consecutive title for the girls and fifth in a row for the boys. The Ocean Lakes boys (34 pts) cruised to a team title with 42 point margin of victory over a surprising runner-up showing from a Tallwood (76 pts) squad which leapfrogged several other top contenders for runner-up honors. The Ocean Lakes boys had a top five all under 17 minutes and finishing among the top 10 places within a tight 22 second window. Photo by Ryan Kelly Meanwhile, the Ocean Lakes girls (1st, 36 pts) had much more pressure and competition in their race with the Princess Anne girls (2nd, 40 pts) breathing down their necks smelling an upset. Only four points separated the top two teams as the battle up front between Audrey Batzel of Ocean Lakes and Lizzie Cornell of Princess Anne symobolized the hard fought struggle between both teams. Batzel won in a solid time of 18:33, but not before being challenged to the finish by Cornell who posted a personal best time of 18:39. Batzel and Cornell will do it all over again in two weeks at Bells Mill Park in Cheseapake with both runners considered the top two runners vying for the Eastern Region title. Landstown junior Brent Coulter (pictured above by Ryan Kelly) figured to be contending for the district individual title at the start of the season after finishing his outdoor season winning the regional 3200 title, but poor showings in earlier invitationals had him entering today's race as a darkhorse challenger instead of a favorite to win. Coulter put together his best race of the season to defeat pre-race favorite Sean Helmke of Kellam (4th, 16:34) as well as Princess Anne's Matthew Schwartzer (2nd, 16:23) and 2009 Beach District runner-up Jon Winters of Ocean Lakes (3rd, 16:32). Coulter will have an opportunity next year to become a two-time champion, but Schwartzer will also be back to challenge him as a junior as well. Beach District Championships Meet Page w/ Results Photo Gallery by Ryan Kelly - 1,077 total photos. Photo Gallery from the Beach District Championships by Ryan Kelly to be uploaded later tonight.
The Beach District Championships is one of the few district meets being held this week with the vast majority first round of championship meets to be contested next week. The Ocean Lakes boys and girls are expected to repeat as team champions with the Princess Anne girls and Kellam boys posing as their top challengers. Kellam senior Sean Helmke (pictured left by John Herzog) with a 15:54 season best leads the boys' field with returning Eastern Region outdoor 3200 meter champion Brent Coulter of Landstown, last year's district cross country runner-up Jon Winters of Ocean Lakes, and Matthew Schwartzer of Princess Anne as his top competition. With her 18:26 personal best 5K performance at the MileStat.com Invitational this past weekend, Ocean Lakes junior Audrey Batzel ran well ahead in the same race, two of the next best runners iner district with AAU All-American Lizzie Cornell of Princess Anne and 2010 Eastern Region outdoor 3200 champ Abby Motley of Kellam in the same race. The Beach District Meet will held on Wednesday at the Sportsplex in Virginia Beach with the girls' race at 3:30 PM and boys' race at 4:15 PM. Beach District 5K Team Scores: Boys - Girls Beach District Individual Best 5K Times: Boys - Girls
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