Midlothian & Etka Made Their Return To Podium At States

Coach Stan Morgan is not a subtle guy. He tells you how it is, sometimes being brutally honest. That was the case this summer at Blue Ridge Running Camp. 

All camp long Coach Morgan is in charge of the lunch room and making sure all the rules are followed. He sits at the door and takes his job very seriously and don't you ever think you will sneak in with a hat on. 

During those meals and subsequent lines he would always pull one of his athletes over and brag to us about how good they were going to be. You could tell by his demeanor that he was nothing but excited for his squads this past summer. 

Fast forward a few months and he would tell you the same mantra that his team was very talented and could make it to the podium at states. His demeanor in October though was different, he was a mix of serious, frustrated, and excited. He has always been a coach to emphasize States and peaking at the right time. You could basically say he has mastered that considering his guys have made it to the podium now 12 times since 2000 while no other program has made it nine. 

Mostly any coach in the state would say the hardest thing in coaching is fighting off the day to day or week to week emotions and staying the course. Coach Morgan and Midlo did just that all season. They definitely did not have the start to their season that they wanted but put the pieces together week by week. 

By October 13th, a month before states, they were firing all pistons. That weekend he took his teams up to the Manhattan Invitational where the guys won the Varsity B title. The question though for all of them was would they be able to do it again at States after not making the podium last year. 

This past weekend at Great Meadow his team answered that question and was able to do it yet again and finished second to Loudoun Valley. They were led by senior Max Etka who not only destroyed Valley's hopes of a perfect score but also had his best state meet finish. 

It was not a singular effort though as Ian Gray, Midlothian's number two, and Will Gardner, Midlothian's number four, both had their season best performance on Saturday. Wrap your mind around that one... despite a 27 second (based on Tully) additional time factor these guys were able to run their fastest 5K of the year. 

In total these guys were able to finish second with a score of 97 ahead of Blacksburg and Fauquier.

The girls performed well also and finished as a team in fourth place behind Loudoun Valley, Blacksburg, and Millbrook who all rank inside the top six in our power rankings for the entire state.  

Midlothian State Meet Results

20:06.00 Caroline Bowe 23rd 4A Girls 
20:33.00 SB Katherine Krievs 39th 4A Girls 
20:35.00 Annabel Schepker 40th 4A Girls 
20:54.00 SB Olivia Morris 46th 4A Girls 
20:57.00 Chloe Martin 48th 4A Girls 
21:00.00 Nicole Quiram 51st 4A Girls 
21:32.00 Lena Caffail 64th 4A Girls 
16:13.00 Max Etka* 6th 4A Boys 
16:58.00 SB Ian Gray* 18th 4A Boys 
17:10.00 Brian Tavenner 24th 4A Boys 
17:20.00 SB Will Gardner 31st 4A Boys 
17:29.00 Joey Maguire 39th 4A Boys 
17:41.00 Ben Scott 50th 4A Boys 
17:43.00 Andrew Steenkamer 53rd 4A Boys