Adam Dickerson of Franklin County refused to allow being overscheduled to interfere with his plans for the Metro Cross Country Invitational Saturday afternoon. Catherine White of Northside declined to allow being inexperienced stand in the way of her objectives at the same meet.
Thus fortified, the two runners rolled to solid wins in one of the Timesland regular season\'s largest and most competitive meets.
In the team competition, the host Salem boys got solid performances from runner-up Adam Campbell, Kent Hipp in 10th, and Dustin Morris in 11th to score 76 points and outdistance runner-up Cave Spring by nine points.
Cave Spring\'s girls placed four in the top-15 to score 59 points, 17 better than second-place Franklin County in the meet held on the rolling grounds of the Roanoke College Elizabeth Campus.
Dickerson, a senior, said this was the biggest cross country race he\'d won, excluding a recent victory in a 5K. All the more reason to celebrate: He made it to the Metro starting line in time.
\"I had to take the SAT this morning,\" he said. \"I\'ve already taken it twice, but I wanted to improve my score because I\'m trying to get into UVA.\"
After the race, Dickerson was just trying to get back home. He had things to do.
\"I\'ve got Homecoming tonight,\" he said.
Dickerson made it home first in the race with a time of 16:56, 29 seconds faster than Campbell of Salem. Third went to Lance McDaniel of Pulaski County. McDaniel\'s teammate Will Frye and Jonathan Lacks of James River rounded out the top-five.
On the girls\' side, White is rapidly developing a fleet-footed reputation where a little more than a month ago there was none. A freshman, she\'s competing in her first season of cross country.
White\'s off to a flying start. In addition to victories in several meets involving just a couple of teams, this is the second big invitational she\'s won in as many weeks. Her winning performance at last week\'s Staunton River Invitational was similarly dominating to the one she turned in Saturday. Fellow underclassman Brittany Killough of Franklin County was 12 seconds behind in second place.
Killough happened to get the best of White at an earlier race. The big Virginia Tech Invitational didn\'t go to suit White at all.
\"Don\'t ask me about that,\" she said. \"I was sick that day and finished 16th. Brittany and several other girls that I beat here today beat me that day. It\'s great to come back and beat them here.\"
White arrived in cross country via travel team soccer. She plays for the Roanoke Star under-15 team.
\"Soccer\'s my best sport,\" White said.
Maybe she better run a few more races before she decides that.