Foot Locker South: Redemption for Kvartunas & Dowd with 9th place finishes

More to come from Charlotte including photos, race videos, and interviews!


Neither Paige Kvartunas of West Springfield nor Kevin Dowd of Fairfax would have been satisified with the finish to their seasons if they decided to shut it down following the state meet. After winning the Northern Region title over some of the state's top runners, Paige Kvartunas (pictured by John Olson of failed to make even the top 15 and earn All-State in Group AAA girls state race. Meanwhile, Dowd had been the #1 ranked runner in the state during the middle of the season but had to settle for third place finishes at both the regional and state meet to runners who simply had stronger finishes.


Those disappointing showings are distance memories for both Northern Region runners after qualifying for the Foot Locker Nationals on Saturday with ninth place finishes each in the seeded race at the South regional. Dowd placed ninth (14:57) in one of the fastest races ever in the meet's history with a 14:34 winner (Craig Lutz TX) and sub 15 was the magic number as only the 10 national qualifiers ran under the time. Kvartunas had to much run faster than her Burke Lake 3 mile regional time of 17:36 in order to crack into a loaded top 10 for girls and was able to do so with a lifetime best run of 17:22. 


Kvartunas and Dowd were the only national qualifiers from Virginia as a down year especially for boys coupled with talent being pulled away to the Nike Cross Southeast Regional which Virginia faired very well in with individual and team qualifiers saw many of Virginia's best on the outside looking into the top 10. Despite the lack of front runners, Virginia's depth was on display with 9 boys finishing among the top 40 (roughly 25%) and 7 girls among the top 27 (roughly 25%).


The Deep Run girls had an impressive showing with three girls earning All-South honors in the seeded race with Madalyn Nuckols (14th, 17:42), Courtney Dobbs (21st, 17:58), and Erica Dobbs (22nd, 17:59). We'll have to check with our site historian when is the last time or if ever a Virginia high school girls team has had three girls breaking 18 minutes for 5K in the same race.


Earning All-South honors with Dowd in the seeded boys race posting times which most years which insert you into the top 10 were Ocean Lakes senior Drew Paisley (15th, 15:06), Western Branch senior  Blake Theroux (18th, 15:09), and Oakton senior Andrew McCullen (19th, 15:11).



Virginians also did well in the unseeded class races including three race champions in Hannah Lowery of Stafford in the freshmen/sophomore girls race, Anna Spiers of Maggie Walker in the junior/senior girls race, and Kyle Jacobs of Western Branch in the senior boys race.



Despite racing under the weather, the freshmen Lowery was able to summon the strength to kick her way to a 18:30 win over Anne-Marie Blaney (18:31), a sophomore from Florida. Spiers posted a nearly identical time in winning the junior/senior race with a final time of 18:31 as the PR performance held lead Team Virginia to win in that division.Jacobs led a dominant showing for Virginia in the senior boys race division as his personal best 15:43 victory was followed by three other Virginians in Grassfield's Aaron Harrison (2nd, 15:54), Maggie Walker's Cody Talmadge (3rd, 15:58), and Oakton's Patrick Fulghum (4th, 16:03).



Just missing out on wins as race runners-up were Skyline's Thomas Madden (16:14) in the freshmen boys race and Maggie Walker's Marc Breidenbaugh (16:02) in the junior boys race.


Results: Seeded Boys - Seeded Girls - Senior Boys - Junior Boys - Sophomore Boys - Freshman Boys - Junior-Senior Girls - Freshman-Sophomore Girls


Race Videos: Seeded Boys - Seeded Girls - More to come!


Photo Galleries:

Photo Gallery by Ben Hovis - 136 photos posted. More to be added.

Photo Gallery by Barry Jones - 330 photos from seeded races.

Photo Gallery by John Olson - 178 photos posted. More to be added

Photo Gallery by James Mathews - 376 photos from all races.

Photo Gallery by Bruce Taylor - 140 photos from seeded races.