Virginians run well at Hagan Stone Park

The crew from Virginia which competed at the Hagan Stone Park Classic in Greensboro, North Carolina had a very strong showing with many teams seeing their athletes post season best performances.

The Brentsville girls won the Championship division with 55 points and a 19:30 team average on the Hagan Stone Park 5K course. The squad was led by race champion Allison Bartels (pictured left by Ted Plunkett), who scored her first major invitational victory with a personal best time of 18:47. She had four other teammates finishing among the top 20 individuals and under 20 minutes in Maggie Gentry (11th, 19:32), Morgan Price (13th, 19:35), Sarah Earman (14th, 19:41), and Lauren Bussian (20th, 19:58).

Hidden Valley, one of Brentsville's top rivals in Group AA along with the defending state champion Blacksburg girls was present in Greensboro, but racing without their #1 runner Annie Le Hardy. Hidden Valley had defeated Brentsville while at full strength at Maymont last weekend, but had to settle for third place this weekend with 74 points. Haley Cutright, a state runner-up one year ago as a freshmen in cross country, had an encouraging performance for her team with her best race of the season in placing third with a time of 19:06. Less than a minute separated Cutright from the team's fourth finisher Lindsay Skolrood (22nd, 20:01), but the absence of LeHardy was felt after Skolrood with Hidden Valley's inferior depth in comparison to Brentsville who put seven runners ahead of Hidden Valley's fifth finisher.

Two other Virginia schools finished high in the championship division in South County (5th, 142 pts) and Lee-Davis (6th, 146 pts). Madeline Willner led the South County girls with a top 10 run from the returning All-State cross country runner.

Lee-Davis is a team which should definitely get stronger later in the season and potentially qualify for the state meet out of the Central Region with their top returning runner Amanda Lineberry (16th, 19:53) competing in just her second race since returning from a stress fracture injury, which forced her to miss out the last half of the outdoor season and through the summer and first half of the cross country season. However, Stephanie Cario has ran very well and done more than an adequate job in replacing Lineberry in the #1 runner spot as the Lee-Davis junior followed up a great race at Oatlands two weeks ago with a personal best time of 19:14 to place 7th at Hagan Stone. Lee-Davis coach Neil Matthews certainly wishes he also had the services of 8th grader Bonny Turnage for the championship season races as Turnage actually posted the fastest time of all Lee-Davis team members this weekend in her JV race victory of 19:09.

The individual race for first place in the championship boys was a thriller as Hidden Valley's Bryan Lewis (pictured right by Scott Rigler) kept the top two runners of one of North Carolina's top teams in Green Hope High School from achieving a 1-2 finish for their team with a narrow 1 second over Green Hope's Doug Black with a personal best time of 16:03. Lewis will be considered one of the favorites to win the Region IV title along with Blacksburg's Matt Howard.

Also racing well individually from Virginia and not far behind race winner Lewis were Lee-Davis sophomore Cody Snyder (4th, 16:11) and South County's Brett Mandeville (7th, 16:12) as Snyder and Mandeville were part of a one second swarm of runners placing fourth to seventh. Mandeville also helped lead his South County boys to a strong runner-up team effort behind Green Hope of North Carolina with 93 points. Three runners including Mandeville broke 17 minutes for South County, while just over a minute gap separated their fifth runner Alex Sciacca (32nd, 17:18) from Mandeville.

Similar to last year's state champion squad, the Brentsville boys are once again doing more with less as a squad decimated by graduation has seemed to pull it together and overachieve this season as shown with a fourth place finish in Greensboro. Grant Burress, one of the few holdovers from last year's state champions, led his team with a 9th place finish of 16:23.

Hagan Stone Park XC Classic Results: Championship Boys - Championship Girls - Developmental Boys - Developmental Girls - JV Boys - JV Girls

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