Albemarle Invitational Coverage

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Top 15 Girls Individuals

1. Bonnie Angermeier (Blacksburg) 18:39.5

2. Annie Taylor (Western Albemarle) 18:47.5

3. Molly Breidenbaugh (Trinity Episcopal) 18:48.0

4. Claire Ewing-Nelson (Blacksburg) 18:54.5

5. Emily Beatty (Blacksburg) 19:00.4

6. Jennifer Fleming (Blacksburg) 19:24.9

7. Madison Hunter (St. Anne's-Belfield) 19:26.2

8. Katie Fortner (Cave Spring) 19:29.1

9. Annie Kay Combs (Blacksburg) 19:43.0

10. Emma Gillies (Woodgrove) 19:45.9

11. Elizabeth Hutton (Manchester) 19:48.8

12. Samantha Marin (Blacksburg) 19:52.8

13. Madeleine King (Ocean Lakes) 19:55.3

14. Rachel Boyce (Ocean Lakes) 19:57.1

15. Chance Masloff (Western Albemarle) 19:57.4



Top 5 Girls Teams

1. Blacksburg 24 pts

2. Ocean Lakes 129 pts

3. Western Albemarle 146 pts

4. Woodgrove 189 pts

5. Stafford 199 pts


Top 15 Boys Individuals

1. Ryan Thomas (Albemarle) 15:55.1

2. Gannon Willcutts (Western Albemarle) 16:04.6

3. Matthew Novak (Deep Run) 16:08.3

4. Andrew Eason (Hickory) 16:11.1

5. Noah Combs (Blacksburg) 16:18.7

6. Grayson Reid (Deep Run) 16:20.3

7. Alexander Lomong (Fork Union) 16:24.5

8. Daniel Read (Ocean Lakes) 16:25.5

9. Kenneth Hagen (Blacksburg) 16:28.3

10. Zach Gentry (Albemarle) 16:30.2

11. Joey Abbatiello (Stafford) 16:31.3

12. Sammy LeHardy (Hidden Valley) 16:37.0

13. Devin Kestner (Waynesboro) 16:39.0

14. Alex Turner (Patrick County) 16:40.1

15. Peter Lomong (Fork Union) 16:41.0



Top 5 Boys Teams

1. Blacksburg 90 pts

2. Western Albemarle 127 pts

3. Deep Run 129 pts

4. Ocean Lakes 164 pts

5. Albemarle 165 pts


Having a good kick proved to be the deciding factor on this day at the Albemarle Invitational with Blacksburg junior Bonnie Angermeier and Albemarle senior Ryan Thomas both able to pull away from the other challengers for first place in the final last 200 meters straightaway at Panorama Farms for individual victories on Saturday.

Angermeier and Western Albemarle junior Annie Taylor raced together for much of the race with VA #3 ranked Molly Breidenbaugh running ahead from the start before both runners were able to reel her in during the sprint to the finish with Angermeier as the 18:39.5 winner and Taylor nipping Breidenbaugh (3rd, 18:48.0) in the final strides for second place at 18:47.5. Angermeier was able to defeat a state champion runner in the private school's best Breidenbaugh and she will be certainly in contention to compete for her first state title later this fall at Great Meadow in the 3A classification, but will have stiff competition including Western Albemarle's Taylor and Cave Spring senior Katie Fortner.

Thomas had a company of three to deal at race's end between Western Albemarle's Gannon Willcutts, Deep Run's Matthew Novak, and Hickory's Andrew Eason as he ascended the the final uphill climb before seeing the finish in sight. At that moment, Thomas put on the after burners to dust off the competition and put nearly 10 seconds between himself and the sophomore runner-up Willcutts (2nd, 16:04.6) to celebrate a win on his home course with a 15:55.1 clocking. After a subpar race at the Oatlands Invitational, last year's Group AAA state 1000 meter indoor champ Thomas has bounced back with two strong races including a 15:25 5K PR last weekend at Great American before a win in front of the home crowd on Saturday.

Gannon Willcutts looks to be the next great distance runner from the Charlottesville area with an impressive first season of cross country after only running track as a freshmen. Despite racing on a hilly course slowed down by this week's rain and slick footing, Willcutts was able to run a 5K personal best time of 16:04 as runner-up to Thomas. Deep Run's Novak continues to consistently find himself among the race leaders and competing for the win in all of his invitational races this season, but had to settle for a 3rd place finish of 16:08 at the Albemarle Invitational. The 4:16 miler Novak is due for a win at some point this season. Hickory's Andrew Eason may have been the biggest surprise or best race among the top 15 finishers in the meet to find himself with the race leaders in the final quarter mile and hold on for a fourth place showing of 16:11.

The Blacksburg boys and girls swept the team titles in the varsity races with the nationally ranked Blacksburg girls (US #10) simply rolling through the field at Panorama as they put 6 runners among the top 12 places to tally a dual meet-like score of 24 points, while the Blacksburg boys certainly felt the presence of challengers Western Albemarle (2nd, 127 pts) and Deep Run (3rd, 129 pts) mid-race, but were able to win fairly comfortably by a margin of 37 points led by 10 finishers Noah Combs (5th, 16:18) and Kenneth Hagen (9th, 16:28). Previewing their regional meet course (3A West) for this season, the Blacksburg program certainly made an impression that the will be the dominant program in their new region as they had been in recent years in the previously existing Region IV. Trailing girls' race champion Angermeier through the finish line chute were teammates Claire Ewing-Nelson (4th, 18:54), Emily Beatty (5th, 19:00), Jennifer Fleming (6th, 19:24), Annie Kay Combs (9th, 19:43), and Samantha Marin (12th, 19:52) all able to break 20 minutes at Panorama Farms.   


Meet Results:


Race Videos by Brandon Miles & Scott Reid:


Photo Galleries (to be uploaded throughout weekend):


Video Interviews: