Despite having never competed prior in a state cross country meet prior to this fall as a senior, Amber Hawkins of James Wood certainly raced like she had been there before. Hawkins finished fourth in the Group AA state race at Great Meadow to top off a strong fall of races which included a Region II title and winning three invitationals at the Judges Classic, Stonewall Jackson Invitational, and Third Battle Invitational.
James Wood senior Amber Hawkins will be racing in her first state cross country meet on Saturday. The recent Region II cross country champion missed out as a freshmen due to sitting out much of the year due to eligilibity transfer rules when she came to James Wood from Central High School in Woodstock, while last year mono and anemia forced her to shut her season down. Hawkins is currently ranked fourth in Group AA.
Great finish in start of XC at Chancellor! Photo by Brandon Miles A great opener to the cross country season was held at Fredericksburg's Loriella Park for the Chancellor Invitational. The meet had two nationally ranked boys programs Jamestown and Mountain View clash in an early season test for both squads to see where they are at in beginning of this fall. The Chancellor Invite also saw a meet and course record go down by a somewhat surprise winner in Northwest Region outdoor 3200 meter champion Elizabeth Walls just dipping under the old Loriella best of 19:46 set by Kristyn Shiring of North Stafford with her winning time of 19:45 on a mild Saturday in September. While Walls pulled away for a decisive victory over a quality field in the last half of the race, Alex Ott and Andrew Colley could not shake each other off until the end in the varsity boys race with Ott pulling out the slight edge in a great finish. In a kicking battle to the line between two of AA's best juniors, Ott took the win in 16;30.8, while Colley settled as a close runner-up in 16:31.2. Colley did take home first place hardware though as his Jamestown team (54) defeated a Thomas Porter-less Mountain View squad (67 pts) by 13 points. The Eagles were able to overcome Mountain View putting five ahead of their fourth with three runners ahead of Mountain View's top finisher Daniel Porter (9th, 17:25.4). The Mountain View coaches wanted to see how well the rest of their guys could run without their ace Thomas Porter and their boys held up well as Mountain View at full strength against Jamestown on this day would have likely picked up a close win. While girls field lacked the powerhouse squads like Jamestown and Mountain View on the boys, one team stepped as a team to look out for thanks to the emergence of a talented freshmen. Sullivan Parkes had been a pre-race favorite coming in as a pre=season #13 ranked runner in the state, but she was not even the top finisher on her squad or household despite a solid fourth place time of 20:24 as her freshmen sister Presley Parkes ran a stellar high school debut race as runner-up in 19:58. With the firepower up front from the Parkes sisters, Millbrook won by a fair margin of 20 points over host school and AA #7 ranked Chancellor (2nd, 101 pts) with a team score of 81 points. Millbrook also defeated additional AA ranked squads in AA #5 James Wood (5th, 206 pts) and AA #6 Heritage-Leesburg (7th, 230 pts). Chancellor Invite Results: Varsity Boys
- Varsity Girls
- Developmental Boys
- Developmental GirlsChancellor Invite Photo Gallery
: Varsity Boys (348 pics)
- Varsity Girls (358 pics)
- Developmental Girls (148 pics)
- Developmental Boys (247 pics)
- Awards (38 pics)
Video Interviews: Alex Ott
- Andrew Colley
- Elizabeth Walls
Race Videos - Varsity Boys
- Varsity Girls
- Developmental Girls
- Developmental Boys
A floodgates opened this past Friday across the state of Virginia as the state was drenched by a storm system that rolled through leaving many of the cross country courses for this past Saturday\'s invitationals in a muddy, sloppy, and slow mess.
The first true weekend of racing action for high schoolers kicked off with several in-state invitationals with plenty of top teams and individuals squaring off with one another in early season contests.
If Joel Hanlon stays at James Wood instead of going to Millbrook then James Wood is the clear favorite to win the state title of AA State Cross-Country Champion. Even without Hanlon, they may just pull it off.
The James Wood boys\' cross country team and Chancellor\'s Beth Mahalak received little fanfare in the pre-season rankings as neither was ranked, but they made some strong opening statements to prove they do belong in there at the Chancellor Invitational
VA teams, Lockhart, and Novara invade into Maryland for victories.
Only a few exceptional runners have the kind of talent where they can start off their cross country seasons setting a course record. One of those kind of runners is John Handley junior Bobby Lockhart.
The James Wood boys and North Stafford girls blew away the competiton at the Chancellor Invitational held on the challenging 5K course at Loriella Park in Fredricksburg.