After just three years the annual VTCA XC Invitational has become a staple in the Richmond area and one of the few invitationals on Pocahontas' quick course. With great course conditions and strong competition this past Saturday, the times were fast and the races were good.
The meet began with a bang in the girls' varsity race. In this race we got to see some of the best teams in the state battle it out. Up front early was Midlothian followed by West Springfield and Maggie Walker who are also ranked in the state.
Individually it was all Mary Caroline Heinen who led from the start and never looked back. She ultimately won the race in 18:12, her fastest time of the year and a new meet record. It is also the 15th fastest time ever at Pocahontas State Park.
Though the individual race was over early on, the team race was very much alive. In a surprise finish, it was actually Maggie Walker taking home the team title and arguably pulling off a big upset over second place West Springfield and third place Midlothian.
Their win was in no small part thanks to Josie Greer who her coach was quick to point out improved 30 seconds and ran down two girls to help lead the Green Dragons to a one point victory over the WS Spartans.
The Maggie Walker team was comprised of MC Heinen (1), Mary Kemp (10), Brenna Luczak (14), Grace Pershing (25), Alexis Bartee (31), and Kathleen Russo (36).
Next up was the boys race and it didn't disappoint either. This race however was much more of an individual battle than a team battle. Winning the team title was West Springfield with 49 points, Deep Run was second with 71.
Both of these guys as well as a few others battled it out for the majority of the race but back in the woods it was Stuck making a move to gain a twenty meter gap on Burcham.
Unlike most races, Burcham this time faced someone who can put together a kick of his own and it was Stuck who then crossed the line first with the very fast 15:33 time. He was then followed by Burcham in 15:34 with Branden Wood of Lousia in third with his big PR of 15:45.
From top to bottom this race was very quick and produced eight nationally elite performances.