This weekend, though very different from what we expected, turned out to be a huge weekend. We saw VA athletes and teams winning in multiple states and of course a new VA #1 performance from Mary Caroline Heinen. Here is your rundown for how the weekend went.
Just prior to the weekend starting we were very worried what would come of it. Octoberfest was cancelled and few teams were able to reschedule their races. Fortunately though Deep Run was able to get into VTCA to give us one of the best races of the year.
In the girls' varsity race it was a fast battle between MC Heinen and Lily Snow who slugged it out until the final meters. In that final stretch MC pulled away to win in 18:15 with Snow behind her in second at 18:23. Good enough for VA #1 and VA #3. Rachel Crytser finished third in a huge season best of 19:09.
Western Albemarle sneaked out the win with Glen Allen and Midlothian just behind them.
VTCA: Photos - Race Videos - Results
SE District Invite
Down in the 757 there was also a solid invitational this weekend. At Bells Mill Park we saw nearly 20 teams converge for the annual SED Invite. This year's race was won by Maeve Stiles of Maury who went 19:23 on a very soft course. Mackenzie Gardner of Tabb was second and Caroline Motley of Kellam was third.
SED: Results - Photos - Race Videos
Ironically the biggest meet for VA this weekend was not even in VA. It was up in DC at the DCXC Invite. This year though the meet did not provide super fast times but instead superb competition top to bottom.
In a slightly different format...running by grade and not varsity level... the VA athletes took to the course and were led by Bethany Graham overall who won the junior girls' race in 19:01.
DCXC: Results - Photos - Race Videos
First up was the freshman girls' race. In this one we saw Team VA go 1,3, & 4. Katherine Slovak took home the win in 20:41. Finishing in third was Grace Glade with Anna Macon Corcoran in fourth. Both shared the same time of 21:14.
Next up was the sophomore girls' race. This race saw VA go 2-3 with Piper Dean in second and Tess Brinkmann in third. 20:11 to 21:07.
Then came the junior girls' race which saw Bethany Graham blowout the competition to the tune of a 19:01 performance. Ellie Desmond was second in 20:15 and McClean's Elly Glenn was fourth in 20:33. With that finish Elly helped her team finish second to Walt Whitman 73 to 77.
Finally we had the senior girls' race with VA going 1-2 here. Eva Smith-Perry of W-L led the way with her 19:15 clocking and was followed by Laura Webb of Woodbridge in a 19:44 second. Washington-Lee ended up finishing second in the team title race with a solid 46 points.
Blacksburg made the trip up north with a few other VA teams to compete this year at the Carlisle Invitational up in PA. These ladies ultimately won the team title with 132 points with Kaitlynn Wolfe finishing 9th overall in 18:49.
Paul Short (PA)
Up at Lehigh's Paul Short Invitational we saw Colonial Forge and Lake Braddock both having a great weekend. Forge ended up winning the team competition with Braddock finishing in an impressive third place. With finishes like that, you have to consider both in the 6A title hunt. McKenzie Watkins (Forge) was the first VA finisher going 18:30 (6th). She was followed by teammate Kayla Loescher in 19:23 (18th). Braddock's first finisher was frosh Alexandra Hague who went 19:12 for 15th.
Finally up in NY we had West Springfield taking on some of the best teams in the country. Their performance saw them finish third as a team on the girls' side and seven on the boys'. What was also very impressive for both lineups was how consistent they were as a unit. It was not just a singular performance but constant and sustained speed across the board that saw them finishing this high amongst great competitors.