Photo by Michael Saunders The Oakton and Robinson boys along with the Thomas Jefferson and Lake Braddock girls have emerged as the favorites for the team titles at the regional championship meet, following the results of this week's district meets and coupled with their steady progress during the earlier part of the season. The meet is scheduled for this Thursday, October 30th on Burke Lake Park's 2.98 mile course for the 35th year in a row, with the boys race scheduled for a 3:15 p.m. start and the girls race to begin at 4:00 p.m. with the top four teams and top fifteen individuals automatically qualifying for the AAA state championship meet at Great Meadow in The Plains on Saturday, November 8.
Photos taken by Ted Plunkett from the 2008 Northern Region XC Championship held at Burke Lake Park, Burke, VA on October 30th.
Photos of the Northern Region Championship, Thursday, October 30, 2008, Burke Lake Park, Fairfax, VA. Photos by Michael Saunders.
Photo by Ted Plunkett With her win at the Concorde District Championships last week at Burke Lake Park, Stephanie Bray proved two things about high school cross country: (1) anything can happen in championship season (2) upperclassmen girls can push through any plateu or down period in their performances to come out ontop at the end of high school. MileStat.com's Brandon Miles interviewed the James Robinson senior after her district victory and she gives some great advice for any other upperclassmen high school girls struggling to run as well as they did earlier in high school. Note: Look for a lot of athlete spotlight features over the next 2 weeks!
Central Region Championships Photo by Willie Riefner The Midlothian girls appear to be ready to go after a fourth Group AAA state cross country title after winning their fourth straight Central Region title as the Lady Trojans put five runners in arguably the toughest top 15 to finish in at any regional meet in the state. Leading Midlothian on a unseasonably warm and humid day (70+ degrees) was Kathleen Lautzenheiser as she defended her individual title with a solid time of 18:47. Also earning All-Region honors were teammates Amy Witt (2nd, 19:16), Krista Willard (12th, 19:54), Paige Johnston (13th, 19:54), and Leia Lautzenheiser (15th,19:55). Their team score of 40 points did not put them far ahead of Maggie Walker though, who ran very well up with Midlothian by placing three runners in the top seven due to strong individual races from Susannah Piersol (3rd, 19:25), Clarissa Schick (4th, 19:26), Katie Ardiff (7th, 19:34). Finishing only 15 points behind the three-time state champions at the regional meet has the Maggie Walker girls believing more in their chances of a state meet podium finish. Two of the newer schools in the Central Region, Deep Run (3rd, 97 pts) and Cosby (4th, 127 pts), both qualified their teams for state competition on Saturday. The Moye sisters, Jenna (5th, 19:26) and Megan (6th, 19:27), helped Cosby qualify for its first state meet with low score cards in their top 10 finishes. The battle of the boys' regional team crown turned out to be a very tight race between Douglas Freeman and Atlee. Both teams were tied through four runners, but the finish of both team's fifth runners turned out to the decisive factor to turn the tides in the favor of Douglas Freeman to win by 7 points with a team score of 61 points. Freeman had six runners place among the top 25 finishers including three All-Region performers in Alec Ward (3rd, 16:31), Silas Frantz (8th, 16:46), Kyle Ward (14th, 16:55). Atlee senior Ben Dejarnette won his first regional cross country title after running in the shadows of three-time champion Jason Witt over the past few years. Dejarnette had a challenger in Dominion District champion Teddy Richardson of James River (2nd, 16:12), but Dejarnette pulled away midway through for a 23 second margin of victory at 15:49. The Colonial District showed itself as the top district in the region on the boys' side with four of the top five squads in the team scoring as Hermitage (3rd, 90 pts) and Maggie Walker (4th, 115 pts) will join Douglas Freeman at Great Meadow next weekend for the VHSL State Championships. Central Region Championships Results: Varsity Boys - Varsity Girls - Subvarsity Boys - Subvarsity Girls - Freshmen Boys - Freshmen Girls Central Region Championships Photo Gallery by Willie Riefner - 586 total photos Central Region Championships Photo Gallery by Brandon Miles - Varsity boys race photos posted. Rest to be posted later on Sunday. Central Region Championships Videos by Brandon Miles - Videos for all 5 races. Eastern Region Championships Bobby Peavey scorched the course record and the competition on a cool day at Bells Mill Park as the Kellam senior got the monkey off his back in winning the Eastern Region title on Thursday. Peavey was upset in last fall's race and made certain history did not repeat itself by simply running away from the field as his winning time of 15:14 destroyed the course record and his competitors with roughly 35 seconds to spare. Photo by Andy Paisley Western Branch's Blake Theroux was not able to seriously challenge Peavey for the win, but he led an outstanding top three of runners from his team as race runner-up Theroux (15:51) was closely followed by teammates Kyle Jacobs (4th, 15:51) and Chris Werner (5th, 15:52). Maury's Brian Davenport had his best race of the season to break up the trio in third place at 15:51. Western Branch's front pack allowed them to easily secure the regional team title with 48 points and a team average of 16:13. Ocean Lakes boys took second as expected, but district rival Kellam finished closer than expected to the Dolphins with 91 points. Grassfield qualified for their first state competition to make it two teams each headed to Great Meadow from the Southeastern and Beach District. Stacey Nobles paced a very fast race for the Eastern Region girls as the 18:25 winner Nobles led the way for nine runners to break 19 minutes on the Bells Mill Park course, which only four had dipped under the time in last year's regional championships. Nobles also led the Ocean Lakes girls (38 pts), who were more dominant than expected against the defending champions from Western Branch (2nd, 85 pts). Ocean Lakes was able to put four runners ahead of the first finisher from Western Branch and all under 19 minutes. Only 22 seconds separated Ocean Lakes fourth runner Peri Bowman (18:57) from a potential state champion contender Nobles as the Lady Dolphins compiled a team score of 38 points and team average of 19:02. Western Branch was one of three teams from the Southeastern District to qualify for the VHSL State Championships as the Grassfield girls (3rd, 125 pts) will join their boys as first time qualifiers in only their second year of existence, while the Great Bridge girls (4th, 136 pts) were able to barely hold off Peninsula District champions Gloucester (5th, 138 pts) for the fourth and final spot. Both Gloucester and Great Bridge saw exceptional individual races from their top runners as Hannah Varnell (2nd, 18:37) and Emily Smith (3rd, 18:41) both placed in the top 3. Eastern Region Championships Results: Boys - Girls Eastern Region Championships Photo Gallery by Andy Paisley - 248 total photos Northern Region Championships After squeaking out a district win over James Robinson, the Oakton boys wanted to send a clear message at the regional meet who is still the best team in Group AAA. Oakton 's decisive win on Thursday at the Northern Region Championships over the Rams with a 25 point cushion and 15:47 average on the Burke Lake Park 2.98 mile course should certify Coach Phil Tiller's team as the favorites next weekend. Oakton put six runners ahead of James Robinson's fourth runner and seven runners finishing among the top 30 in a deep regional race. Photo by Ted Plunkett In a race filled with potential challengers, Thomas Edison senior Leoule Degfae came in as the slight favorite and came through in the clutch by winning the regional crown with a time of 15:13. Earlier the season, Degfae was passed at the finish line by Chantilly's Chris Foley for a victory at the Monroe Parker Invite. Foley was runner-up today to Degfae and 8 seconds back at 15:21. Without a single individual finishing in the top 15 with All-Region honors, the Thomas Jefferson boys still managed to finish among the top four teams and qualify another team for Coach Matt Ryan onto the state championships. Only 19 seconds separated a tight pack for TJ's scoring five with Alex Witko (17th, 15:53) as the top finisher and Logan Gates (35th, 16:12) rounding out the team scoring. The fourth and final state meet spot was a battle between two Patriot District teams as Lake Braddock (4th, 130 pts) boys will be joining their female counterparts as they denied South County (5th, 141 pts) from advancing to their first state competition as a team. The girls' team qualifiers had a bit more surprises than the boys. A big win by the Thomas Jefferson girls came as expected with 69 points and a team average of 18:24, but the order of teams that followed did not follow the pecking order as planned. The Oakton girls got a wake up call last week at the Concorde District Meet when they finished third in the team standings after being predicted to win. However, the 2007 AAA state runners-up responded very well in their follow up race at the regional level to secure second place with 100 points. James Robinson, the team which had knocked off Oakton for the Concorde District, were long shots to qualify for the state meet prior to championship season, but now are headed to Great Meadow with seven girls racing thanks to a third place team finish at the Northern Region Championships. The best two teams in the Patriot District fought over the fourth spot with one talented team sitting at home next week as Lake Braddock (4th, 127 pts) was 10 points better than West Potomac (5th, 137 pts). Lake Braddock junior Liana Epstein (17:47) stepped up to claim the individual regional title as one of two runners to break 18 minutes in the race as Stone Bridge's Stephanie Paradis posted a time of 17:59 for second. Northern Region Championships: Boys - Girls Northern Region Championships Photo Gallery by Ted Plunkett - More photos to be added. Northwest Region Championships Mountain View senior Thomas Porter became a three-time Northwest Region champion on Thursday at Panorama Farms, but the only title of significance this season to him is the on the line at Great Meadow on November 8th. Despite dealing with a back injury in the week leading up to the Northwest Region Meet, Porter was able to hold off challenges from the Albemarle duo of Anthony Kostelac (2nd, 16:01) and Luke Noble (3rd, 16:03) to join rare company as a three-time regional champion in 15:56. Porter also led the Mountain View boys to a successful defense of their regional team title. It was the third straight title for the team coached by Dave Davis. Photo by Reid Taylor The Osbourn Park girls looked to be challenged by a late season surging Mountain View squad, but it was the team who had consistently been the best team in the region who maintained their position at the top with the best 1-2 duo on the day in Ariel Karabinus (2nd, 19:16) and Kayla Tyrell (4th, 19:28). Albemarle picked a pair of regional runner-up trophies with their boys moving ahead of Albemarle Invite champs Colonial Forge for second place, while the Albemarle girls were bolstered by the return of Liz Barclay to snag second place. The Commonwealth District had the top 3 teams on both sides with Colonial Forge boys and Mountain View girls placing third in the team standings. Also advancing onto the state meet were Battlefield boys and Loudoun Valley girls. Kaitlyn Davis (18:41) impressed in her first Northwest Region Championships with a 35 second margin of victory for the Mountain View junior transfer from North Carolina. Northwest Region Championships Results: Boys - Girls Northwest Region Championships Photo Gallery by Larry Rouse - 293 total photos
Meet Comment: Northern Region Championships 2008
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