The course itself was extremely challenging, to put it bluntly. If any of you have ever trained in Maymont park you would understand why, it is very hilly. Mile 2 featured a long ¾ mile climb, and the last half mile started with a very steep, but shorter climb prior to a turn and the 200 meter dash to the finish. This is one of the more grueling courses in the state, and I would rate it at about Great Meadows +45.
Following college and open events on Friday evening, Saturday's festivities kicked off with elementary 1 mile races followed by middle school 5-K races before the high school events. Of note was the middle school girls' champion, 13 year old Aurora Scott of Portsmouth whose time of 20:20.10 would have put her sixth overall in the high school A varsity division.
The boys' A varsity race kicked off right on time at 9AM. As soon as the gun sounded, J.R. Tucker sophomore Michael Tucker positioned himself right behind #1 ranked Steven Walters of Green Run. And there Chapa stayed until the final 200 meters when Walters put on an unforgiving burst of speed to open the gap to about 4 seconds and secure his victory with a time of 16:27.90 to Chapa's 16:31.80. Finishing 3rd was Forrest Park junior Bryce Iverson with a time of 16:54.50. Rounding out the top five were the Massaponax junior tandem of Brandon Dick and Michael Disilvestro with times of 17:16.40 and 17:17.00 respectively. Interesting to note that 4 out of the top 5 were underclassmen, which bodes well for the future of Virginia Cross County.
In team standings, J. R. Tucker pulled a surprise upset of highly ranked Maggie Walker by taking the boys A varsity Championship with a team score of 61 by placing their entire first five in the top 25. Without top runner Daniel Howard, Maggie Walker fell to 3rd with a score of 138 behind Forrest Park who just slipped ahead with a team score of 136. However, even with Howard running, J.R. Tucker would have still prevailed as the boys champion. Other boys winners were Kellam who took the boys B Varsity race with a team score of 91 as they barely edged Western Albemarle (97). Boys C Varsity winner was King George with 51 points who beat out Battlefield rival Chancellor which amassed 51 points.
As expected, the girls A Varsity race was completely dominated by Western Albemarle who put there entire squad of five in the top 16 led by Jessica Fanning's first place run of 19:44.50, the only girl to run a sub 20. Forrest Park's Beth Fahey finished second with a time of 20.01.80, Western Albemarle's Tasmin Fanning (20:05.80) just edged St. Catherine's Katie Doswell (20:06.00) to take third and Forrest Park sophomore Stefanie Slekis rounded out the top 5 with a time of 20:14.70. In team standings, Forest Park girls finished second while Maggie Walker tallied 3rd. In other events, Averill Park High School (64) barely edged the Stone Bridge girls to take the B Varsity championship, and another squad of Forest Park girls beat a second squad of Stone Bridge girls for the C Varsity championship.