Hermitage upsets SE #2 Brentsville boys by a point at Disney

ORLANDO, FL -- The Hermitage boys pulled a miracle turnaround in one week at the Disney Classic in Orlando, Florida as they upset NTN SE #2 Brentsville by a mere one point with both teams record low team scores of 31 and 32 points respectively. The Panthers had dropped out of the Nike Team Nationals Southeast Region rankings for the second time this season after a humbling eighth place finish at last weekend\'s Maymont Festival to only come back in one week to take down one of the top teams in the state and Southeast region in Brentsville.

Brentsville had not raced since their fourth place finish in the Nike Race of Champions at Great American on September 23rd as Coach Rob Dulin\'s squad was the second highest finishing team in the region in Hoover. The race hosted by Disney at the Wide World of Sports Complex\'s 5K course in Orland turned out to be a two-team show between Brentsville and Hermitage with seven of the top eight finishers and ten of the top 14 finishers from the two Virginia schools.

Brentsville senior Adam Henken led the stream of Virginia dominance in the meet in winning the race by 26 seconds with a time of 15:57.48. While Henken\'s victory was not strongly contested, the rest of the individual races between Brentsville and Hermitage runners would be very tight.

John Vial (2nd, 16:23.97) set the momentum for Hermitage in holding off Brentsville\'s second best runner in Henry Melius (3rd, 16:27.93) as one of Brentsville\'s greatest strengths this season had been putting two runners in before most team\'s first runner with Henken and Melius.

Coach Joe Pardue\'s boys had two of the next three finishers with senior Ben Hendrick (4th, 16:42.91) and junior Nathan Puckett (6th, 16:49.45) as Puckett finished just ahead of Brentsville junior Ray Delgado (7th, 16:50.45).

The quick score through three gave Brentsville a one point margin at 10 to 11, but Hermitage senior Walter Kidd finishing eighth in 16:57.28 and two point scorers coming in between Kidd and Brentsville\'s fourth runner in Luke Watts (11th, 17:05.43) tilted the balance in Hermitage\'s favor.

While Brentsville\'s fifth runner Andrew Johnson (13th, 17:15.06) just beat Kieran\'s fifth in Kieran Lee (14th, 17:17.84) by one place and two seconds, the effort was one point short to tie and two points shy to win.

To showcase how close the team battle really was between the two teams, taking out other scoring individuals to make a dual meet score would give Brentsville the win at 27 to 28 over Hermitage. Disney was pretty close to a dual meet between the two with each having their top five runners in the top 14 places.

Virginia had three of the top four finishing teams as West Potomac also made the trip down to the Kingdom of Mickey Mouse finishing fourth (147 pts) in the 4A division race with Hermitage and Brentsville. West Potomac was led by a top 15 finish from junior Kelly Carmichael (15th, 17:20.16).

The Brentsville girls trip to Disney was a little bit more pleasant than the boys in taking home first place hardware as the SE #10 ranked Lady Tigers tallied a team score of 47 points to beat Jackson Memorial of New Jersey (76 pts).

The race was one individually by Great American runner-up and heavy favorite to qualify for Foot Locker Nationals in Ashley Brasovan from Wellington High School in Florida. Meanwhile, Brentsville had three finishers in the top eight places as they were led by senior Becky Stewart in third place with a solid time of 19:09.20.

Brentsville junior Amelia Emerson and sophomore Lauren Bussian looked in their best shape yet this season as both figured to be probable AA All-State runners this fall as Emerson was only 13 seconds behind Stewart in fourth place at 19:24.08, while Bussian took eighth place in 19:59.52 as Brentsville\'s third runner under 20 minutes.

Maggie Gentry continues to work herself back into shape as she was set back in the summer and early season due to injury as she finished 17th (20:38.09) at Disney, while fellow Brentsville sophomore Sarah Earman was not far behind in 20th place (20:45.62) to round out their scoring five.

Another Virginia team in West Potomac finished in the top three with Brentsville as Coach Don Beeby\'s girls scored 131 points with two top 15 individuals in Elizabeth Heath (5th, 19:28.39) and Kelly Jemison (15th, 20:26.87).

Other top individual performances iby Virginians in other races at Disney included Hanover freshmen Lauren Hopper finishing sixth in the 3A girls\' race with a time of 19:43.05 and Christiansburg junior Caleb Hughes earning a fourth place finish (16:51.24) in the 3A boys.