MileStat.com visited the "No Name Bunch" as Coach Buz Male sometimes coins his Albemarle boys at their home course Panorama Farms for a 4x1200 meter workout on Tuesday, September 28th. The nickname is given because the Albemarle team has enjoyed in recent years having some star runners on their squad including Anthony Kostelac and other members of their national record setting 4x800 meter relay from two years ago. However, this might be the best true cross country team for Coach Male since joining the staff at Albemarle after coaching previously at the Miller School, University of Virginia, Langley, and Episcopal. The Albemarle boys last year finished second at the Northwest Region Meet after some did not expect them to even qualify out of the Commonwealth District Meet.
With only Kostelac as the major graduation loss (albeit a big lone loss), the Albemarle boys figure to be even stronger this year through five runners. Adam Visokay, Ben Deal, and Austin McPhillips are all key returnees from last year's squad, while Lousa County transfer Chris Springer was a mid 16 minute 5K runner and Jefferson District cross country champion last year to make them solid through four runners. Springer is coming back off an outdoor season ending injury, but Tuesday's workout was his major test as he passed with flying colors running up front with his new teammates for all four repeats under 4 minutes (sub 5:20 mile pace).
Following one of their best showings ever at Maymont after historically not racing well on the last weekend of September the past few years on that same course, Albemarle enters a very important two weekend stretch of races where they look to point towards another state meet appearance in November. The Patriots race this weekend as one of the top teams in the seeded invitational (2nd best division) at Great American and follow up the next week on their home course at the Albemarle Invitational. Senior captain Austin McPhillips organized members of the team to purchase red pen striped and 1970s era-esque shorts to compete in this season, but the team had to make a bet with Coach Male that in order to actually race in those shorts which obviously would draw attention to themselves, that they would have to win a major invitational this season. After completing a successful 1200 meter repeat workout as a whole for their squad, the Albemarle boys hope to notch a first place trophy in the next two invites in order to bring out their flashy shorts in championship season.
Watch the workout video with the Albemarle boys and interviews with Coach Male and the top four runners for the Partiots below!