Athletes. That is what this weekend is about, athletes and state titles.
Articles with Hidden Valley High School
Almost any coach who has won a major team title in cross country will tell you it comes down to one of two things, luck or culture. Sometimes a little bit of both.
The Blacksburg Bruins did it yet again! These lady Bruins will be headed back to NXN in Portland after finishing second at NXN-SE and after finishing second at States.
The VHSL State Cross Country Championships will be the center of attention this weekend for the entire Virginia running community. The meet features over 1,248 athletes from 215 teams all running on the historic Great Meadow state meet course.
Don't miss this thriller of a race that made the timers review the video footage. It was a close one.
This weekend is going to be huge. The Western Albemarle boys look better than ever and the Hidden Valley girls want to seal the deal this time around.
Its finally time for XC MileStates. Here is your in-depth preview of the 12 races this weekend.
Christiansburg, Hidden Valley, and Abingdon though are all seeking to upend Western's state title hopes and realistically all have a shot.
Meet preview for the 34th Annual Greensboro Invitational
Virtual meet indoor track & field rankings for each of the two regions for the VHSL Group 3A classification. Breonta Crump of Hidden Valley is due for not only her first state title in the shot put but her first mark over 40 feet in the shot put as her current best sits at 39'11.25, only 3 quarters of an inch away from the mark. The Hidden Valley girls have been led by great distance runners over the years during track season, but their top track & field for 2014 may be found in their junior thrower Crump.
Coverage from Tuesday's Group 3A West Regional Championship meet at Panorama Farms outside of Charlottesville.
Many of the former top programs in the old Group AA classification find themselves in the new Group 3A West Region, which hosts its regional championship meet on Tuesday to kick off regional week. Regular cross country powerhouses such as Blacksburg, Western Albemarle, and Hidden Valley get to match up prior to the state championships, which could see all three on the podium together on November 16th at Great Meadow. Blacksburg and Hidden Valley girls were familiar foes in the old Region IV, while Western Albemarle now joins them as a new regional rival after spending years in Region II.
At Panorama Farms on Saturday, Albemarle senior Ryan Thomas will get one of his last opportunities to race on his home course as his team welcomes 35 schools to the grassy rolling hills of Panorama for the Albemarle Invitational. The 2013 Group AAA state indoor 1000 meter champion Thomas is coming off his best race of the season with a personal best 5K clocking of 15:25 at Great American. He is the top returnee from last year's Albemarle Invitational when he finished 4th with a time of 16:02.
Highlights from Virginians competing at the Carlisle Invitational (PA), Greensboro Invitational (NC), Bristol Cross (TN), Stonewall Jackson Invitational, and Golden Eagle Invitational on September 28th.
The Hidden Valley boys and girls cross country teams swept the team titles at their home invitational in the Clash with the Titans on September 21st in Roanoke.
Coach King at Hidden Valley typically holds back his top runners from going all out in early season races as shown with his girls' team racing in trainers and running as a tight pack of 6 in the red division race at Knight's Crossing. Given their controlled race plan, the Hidden Valley girls impressed as the 3rd highest finishing Virginian squad in the meet with only a 20 second separating their top 6 in the mid 20 minute range. Virtual cross country meet rankings for all Group 3A schools in the state of Virginia based on season best 5K performances in the MileStat.com database as of September 16th.
The 10th annual Knights Crossing Invitational was one of the best ever in meet history with a meet record going down and some of the deepest team and individual fields with national ranked caliber squads and teams and likely a good share of this season's state champions in-state and out-of-state among several Southeast Region states. Check out our meet coverage with more coming on the way!
Stop #18 of our XC practice tour took us out to Roanoke, Virginia to Hidden Valley High School, which has had one of the top girls programs in the state over the last handful of the years and a boys' squad which qualified for the state meet for the first time since 2007 last fall
Top 25 pre-season "Cream of the Crop" all-classification XC team rankings for the upcoming season as we attempt to rank the best 25 high school cross country squads in the state of Virginia.
A gallery of all the state champions (teams, relays, and individuals) from the 2013 VHSL Group AA State Outdoor Track & Field Championships held May 31st and June 1st at Harrisonburg High School in Newport News. All photos are by either MileStat.com photographers Heidi Raab or Steven Pham, which both have full photo galleries uploaded from both days of track & field action.
At the Bulldog Invitational this past Saturday at Liberty University, only fully automatic timing and a finish line camera could be able to determine the winner in the girls 55 meter dash as it was virtually a dead heat between four runners at the finish line between George Washington's De'ana Forbes (7.25), Heritage's Latrice Morris (7.25), Blacksburg's Alyn Carr (7.26), and E.C. Glass' Zakiya Bateman (7.27)
After defeats to Bonnie Angermeier of Blacksburg at the start of the season at the Clash with the Titans and mid-season to Katie Fortner of Cave Spring at Great American, defending Group AA state champion Carolyn Bethel of Hidden Valley put her foot down once championship season started and made sure her both district rivals were aware the state title still runs through her
Can any of these Virginia boys make it to Oregon individually as one of the first five finishers from a non-advancing team at the Nike Cross Southeast Regional on Saturday in Cary, North Carolina? Find out more in the Virginia meet preview for NXN Southeast.
The Blacksburg boys had one of the most dominant wins in state meet history with their team score under 20 points in the Group AA race at Great Meadow last Saturday. The Bruins will still be in the running for a fifth straight title, but it will be in a new classification in the new 3A and the margin of victory might be significantly more narrow between them and this year's AA state runner-up Lafayette.
A virtual meet preview of the Group AA girls state cross country race with all 16 team qualifiers and their runners. Team scores are generated based off the season best 5K times in the MileStat.com database. Individual qualifiers are not included in this virtual meet preview.
A virtual meet preview of the Group AA boys state cross country race with all 16 team qualifiers and their runners. Team scores are generated based off the season best 5K times in the MileStat.com database. Individual qualifiers are not included in this virtual meet preview.
A shocking upset was seen at last Thursday’s Region II Championships with Loudoun County senior Patrick Joseph able to break away and defeat defending Group AA state champion and returning Foot Locker finalist Thomas Madden of Skyline. Joseph had beaten before, especially on the track with Joseph being the Group AA state champion at 1600 and 800 meters. However, anything above 1600 meters was Madden’s territory to own with personal bests of 14:59 for 5K and 8:59 for two miles. Madden will undoubtedly be out for revenge against Joseph this weekend and should setup for a great individual battle.
Skyline senior Thomas Madden bounced back from an off race at the Oatlands Invitational with a sub 15 minute 5K run and fourth place finish at the Great American Festival this past weekend in Cary, North Carolina. Madden's race also showed just how far ahead that he is from some of the next best runners in Group AA with Blacksburg's Nick Link in 31st place at 15:38 in the same race.
Defending Group AA state cross country champion and 2011 Nike Cross Nationals individual qualifier Carolyn Bethel of Hidden Valley High School recalls her very first high school cross country race.
Preview of Saturday's Clash with the Titans at Hidden Valley High School in Roanoke. Two of Virginia's best in Carolyn Bethel and Katie Fortner are not waiting at all to lock up this season with Bethel looking to establish a last record mark on her home course. Both of the Group AA top ranked Blacksburg squads will be sitting out a few of their top runners, which will leave the door open for their top challengers in Group AA present for their opening invitational of the season with the top 4 ranked Group AA girls' teams and 4 of the top 6 Group AA ranked boys' teams.
The Blacksburg boys are seeking their fourth straight Group AA state cross country team title this fall. Another state title would also be the ninth state title in school history which would push Blacksburg ahead of John Handley (8 state titles) as the most winningest boys' cross country program in Virginia. Blacksburg should be heavily favored to win with only their #6 runner graduating from a team last fall which were 47 points ahead of the state runners-up.
Defending Group AA state champions Blacksburg were head and shoulders above the rest in the 2011 cross country season as they won their state title by 55 points over their district rivals from the River Ridge District in Hidden Valley and Christiansburg. Could the River Ridge District sweep the podium again?
Photo by Jeff George of ncrunners.com Midlothian girls 3rd, Blacksburg 6th, Hidden Valley 9th, Grafton 11th at the NXN Southeast Regional. Hidden Valley's Carolyn Bethel (4th, 18:04) and Midlothian's Kara Dickerson (5th, 18:08) qualified individually for Nike Cross Nationals. The Midlothian girls were only 3 points away from the automatic qualifying 2nd place team spot and now will have to wait and see if they get one of the four at-large selections. NXN Southeast - Championship Girls Results
The Louisa County boys and Blacksburg girls were the top programs in Group AA for much of the indoor season and seem to have remained ontop of the classification this spring as favorites in the upcoming Group AA State Championships in Harrisonburg. In the latest MileStat.com team rankings based on scoring the database's event rankings this season as a meet, Louisa County boys hold a cushion on a handful of teams capable of scoring anywhere from 30 to 40 points in state competition, while two familar River Ridge rivals hold the top two rankings for girls between Blacksburg and Hidden Valley. Region III squads Robert E. Lee and E.C. Glass should also be in the mix.
In its 26th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with ESPN RISE, today announced Annie LeHardy of Hidden Valley High School as its 2010-11 Gatorade Virginia Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year. LeHardy is the first Gatorade Virginia Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year to be chosen from Hidden Valley High School. The 5-foot-3 senior raced to a the Class AA individual state championship this past season with a course-record time of 17:34.00, leading the Titans to first place as a team. Also the Runner of the Year as named by MileStat.com and the Roanoke Times, LeHardy placed second at the Nike Cross Nationals Southeast Regional championships in 17:24.40, then finished 26th at the Nike Cross Nationals Final in 19:28.50.
The state of Virginia was represented by one team and two individuals at the 2010 Nike Cross Nationals held Saturday, December 4th at Portland Meadows in Portland, Oregon. Course conditions were arguably worse than ever in meet history as times absolutely went out the window as runners raced only for highest individual and team placement possible with one another. It was a mixed bag of results for the Virginia delegation in Oregon this weekend. Photo by Ryan Kelly The Midlothian boys had a disappointing showing in the mud at Portland Meadows for the 2010 Nike Cross Nationals. This year's Virginia 3A state cross country champions and NXN Southeast Regional team champions placed 21st out of 22 teams with 462 points. Competing as the Chesterfield XC Club, Darren Barlow led the Midlo boys as the team's top finisher in Oregon with a 103rd place finish (17:43) and sophomore Sean Willard was one of the team's individual bright spots in 108th place (17:50). Nonetheless, the Midlothian had a very successful season in becoming the fourth boys' team from Virginia to qualify for the Nike Cross Nationals (Midlothian - 2006, Thomas Jefferson S&T - 2007, Jamestown - 2008) and winning their fourth state cross country team title in school history. Photo by Ryan Kelly Hidden Valley's two individual qualifiers in Annie LeHardy and Haley Cutright had much better showing than the Midlo team in Portland. Both Hidden Valley seniors competed last year at NXN when their team qualified as an at-large berth and used their experience from a year ago to their advantage to improve upon their 2009 NXN finishes. LeHardy went from 52nd place in the 2009 race to 26th place (19:28) in 2010 as the Group AA state cross country champion was the highest finisher among the Southeast Region individual qualifiers. Her teammate Haley Cutright was only 12 places behind in 38th place (19:51) to improve drastically from her 90th place finish in the 2009 Nike Cross Nationals. LeHardy and Cutright look to build upon their fall success into the track season, which Cutright has never ran track before while LeHardy has never ran indoor track. The possibility is more likely for both happening for the first time in the 2011 track season, which could help form a potential state record chasing 4x800 with teammates Carolyn Bethel and Ashleigh Torres. Full Coverage of Nike Cross Nationals at MileSplit US Meet Page
Two years ago at the state cross country meet, Hidden Valley senior Annie LeHardy (pictured above by Frank Locascio) got the short end of the stick in a photo finish between herself and Brookville's Janel Reeves for the Group AA state title. As a senior in her last high school state cross country meet this past Saturday at Great Meadow, LeHardy made sure she would not be stuck in the same position again as she broke away from top ranked Mattie Webb of Western Albemarle and teammate Haley Cutright before the two mile mark. A state champion as a freshmen in track at 1600 meters, LeHardy continued to build her lead en route to matching the course record time of 17:34 set one year ago by Kathleen Stevens of Blacksburg with her second individual state title overall and first in cross country. Her performance also led Hidden Valley to a second straight Group AA state title, which builds momentum for the squad into the Nike Cross Southeast Regional as a returning NXN at-large qualifier from 2009. LeHardy and teammate Cutright certainly have excellent chances at qualifying individually for the national meet in Oregon if there team is unable to qualify. MileStat.com interviewed LeHardy, who has a solid and consistent four year high school career under coach Daniel King at Hidden Valley.
Photos by Alex Aldaco of https://tx.milesplit.com The Colonial Forge boys finished fifth in the elite division at Nike South Invitational in The Woodlands, Teas but the most important stat was the VA #3 ranked squad finishing under 25 points away from the nation's #9 and #12 ranked teams by the Harrier Magazine in Southlake Carroll (1st, 100 pts) and The Woodlands (2nd, 101 pts). The Forge boys finished with a team score of 124 points and team average of 16:17 with a small top five spread of 33 seconds. Junior Brian O'Loughlin was once again the team's top finisher as the case was last weekend at Great American in 17th place with a time of 16:07. Following O'Loughlin in a short time span were teammates David Klimek (17th, 16:07), David Klimek (19th, 16:10), David Pennesi (20th, 16:12), Donny Lozier (27th, 16:15), and Neil Clark (41st, 16:41). Colonial Forge also finished ahead of last year's Nike Cross Nationals team champions from Boerne Champion (7th, 194 pts). It could be argued that the Colonial Forge boys had a better team showing this Saturday against national caliber competition in an out-of-state travel meet than their Group AAA state title adversary Midlothian, who competed at Manhattan College Invitational this past weekend. Photos by Alex Aldaco of https://tx.milesplit.com The Hidden Valley girls were the defending Nike South champions after winning down in Texas last year en route to a magical season which culminated with a Group AA state team title and Nike Cross Nationals berth. Despite taking several key graduation losses from the 2009 squad, Hidden Valley returned to Nike South with a competitive squad and especially up front with seniors Annie LeHardy and Haley Cutright. LeHardy and Cutright let returning Foot Locker All-American and nationally ranked Rachel Johnson go for a 17:27 win, but the front two for coach Daniel King took care of the rest of the field to finish second and third respectively with personal best times of 17:57 for LeHardy and 18:01 for Cutright. Despite the great front running, Hidden Valley's fourth and fifth runner situation is a still a work in progress with the state meet approaching in five weeks as Hidden Valley finished sixth (148 pts) as a team and 38 points behind the team champions and NXN South #1 ranked Southlake Carroll. The VA #7 ranked Hidden Valley did finally get a win over the VA #6 ranked Colonial Forge girls after finishing behind them at both the Knights Crossing Invitational in September and Great American last weekend. The Colonial Forge girls (9th, 181 pts) were well packed with a 43 second spread for their top five, but lacked the low score cards like Hidden Valley had in top three finishers LeHardy and Cutright as Hannah Dickinson was Colonial Forge's top finisher in 20th place with a time of 18:58. Find more coverage of Nike South at our MileSplit Texas affiliate site
The Colonial Forge coaches may have picked up on Hidden Valley's idea last year by venturing down to Texas for the Nike South Invitational as the Hidden Valley girls winning last year's Nike South against eventual Nike Cross Nationals team qualifiers from the NXN South Region helped the Roanoke, VA squad qualify for the Nike Cross Nationals as an at-large berth. The NXN South Region is made up of several states, but the state of Texas dominates this region and sends the region's four automatic qualifiers (2 boys teams, 2 girls teams) on almost an annual basis. The Texas boys have proved themselves as worthy of receiving two teams to nationals, but the Texas girls have historically struggled in the mud at Portland Meadows as the 5K distance is not commonly run in girls cross country within the state of Texas as the two mile is the established distance including for the state meet. Read more for Nike South preview on Colonial Forge & Hidden Valley...
MileStat.com visited the Hidden Valley program on Tuesday afternoon in Roanoke. Their girls' squad is pre-season nationally ranked by Marc Bloom's Harrier Rankings and last year their team won their first state cross country team title over district rival Blacksburg and also qualified to compete at the Nike Cross Nationals in Oregon as an at-large berth which they finished 13th in the national championship meet. They lost three of their top six runners from a year ago, but return one of the best top three in the state in Annie LeHardy, Haley Cutright, and Carolyn Bethel. On Tuesday afternoon following a heavy downpour earlier in the day, the rain lightened up for the Hidden Valley team to take to their home cross country course for hill repeats on a steap but winding hill which Coach Daniel King had them work the crest with a surge of 50 or more meters. After three repeats on the hill, the team shifted gears to 6x250 meter repeats on a flat portion as they worked on turnover. LeHardy, Cutright, and Bethel are all returning 18 minute 5K runners, which Coach King believes all three are capable of running under 18 minutes this season. The biggest question or key to Hidden Valley's success this season will be the improvement and development of their #4 through #6 runners to round out their scoring five. Greta Weidner (40th place finisher at 2009 AA State XC) and Roanoke Catholic transfer Patricia Sorrentino (5:44 1600/2:29 800) are the likely the best bets so far to complete their top five. MileStat.com enjoyed a great sit-down and in-depth interview with Coach Daniel King prior to the team's workout. His methods and philosphy may be different to some of his team's rival programs, but the results and success validate those methods and philosophy. Watch below interviews with Coach King, the Hidden Valley girls top three and videos from their workout day. Pre-Workout Interview w/ Coach King (Part 1) Pre-Workout Interview w/ Coach King (Part 2) Pre-Workout Interview w/ Coach King (Part 3) Team Meeting Before Workout Coach King Trimming Branches Workout Video: Hill Repeats Workout Video: 6x250m Repeats Coach King's Team Pep Talk Interview w/ Annie LeHardy, Haley Cutright, & Carolyn Bethel Post-Workout Interview w/ Coach King
Group AA girls pre-season cross country rankings with 15 deep in teams and 25 deep in individuals. The Blacksburg and Hidden Valley girls certainly still linger as state title threats despite taking losses due to graduation from their Nike Cross Nationals qualifying squads from a year ago, but the Western Albemarle girls return virtually everyone from their state meet podium team. Their squad will be led by someone who was not the team's front runner last fall, but after an incredible outdoor track season clocking PR's of 2:18 800, 10:58 3200, and 18:00 5K, Mattie Webb (pictured left by Ted Plunkett) will not only be running upfront for Western but could be challenging for the Group AA state individual crown. Behind Webb are four other girls who have ran under 19:30 for the 5K. The Hidden Valley and Blacksburg girls should have solid front three, but will rely on their program's tradition, their coaches, and summer training to have the fourth and fifth runners to become state champions again. Annie LeHardy and Haley Cutright for Hidden Valley and Sarah Dorrell and Hannah Brown for Blacksburg are two of the best 1-2 duos in the state. The new Woodgrove High School in Loudoun County should make an immediate impact in Group AA with much of the key members from last year's Loudoun Valley squad in Group AAA including Audrey Houghton.
Both Blacksburg girls and Hidden Valley girls exceeded expectations and national rankings to finish sixth and 13th respectively at the Nike Cross Nationals on Saturday in Portland, Oregon. The sixth place finish for the Blacksburg girls is the highest finish by any Virginia team (boys or girls) in the meet's history and second highest ever by a Southeast region squad. Kathleen Stevens put her team and herself on the national map as she almost came up with the individual win against a field of All-Americans and state champions but was outkicked in the end by Katie Flood of Iowa to finish as a narrow runner-up in 17:48. Nike Cross Nationals Results: Boys - Girls
With the Blacksburg and Hidden Valley girls making the trip today to Portland, Oregon to compete this weekend at the Nike Cross Nationals, MileStat.com releases a feature including the top 7 runners of each team filling out a questionnaire survey to get to know better each team and their team members.
MileSplit US will have on-site coverage at the Nike Cross Southeast Regional in Cary, North Carolina this weekend from Brandon Miles of MileStat.com and various photographers. Expect race videos, photos, interviews, and complete results to be posted soon after the completion of the meet. An in-depth meet preview highlighting the top ten teams and top dozen individuals is now available.
One week from now, 44 teams will be in Portland, and each with the dream of contending for the national championship of high school cross country. Photo by Alan Versaw.
Photo courtesy John Olson, SCRUNNERS
Jamestown's Colin Mearns will look to become Jamestown’s second individual state champion in a row and follow in the footsteps of last year’s Group AA champion Andrew Colley, who set a new course record. Mearns appears to be taking his running to another level at season’s end similar to last fall when he had a great stretch of races extending into December for the Nike Cross Nationals. Mearns is the top returnee from last year’s state race with his 15:28 fourth place finish among a collection of stars in the outstanding class of 2009 runners.
Photo courtesy: John Olson, South Carolina Runner's
Several close and exciting finishes to determine the individual race winners in Charlottesville including an incredible course record 18:02 performance by Ariel Karabinus of Osbourn Park as runner-up Katherine Walker of Brooke Point was also under the old course record in 18:13. Despite not having their usual #3 and #5 runners, the Osbourn Park girls dominated the field by a 67 point margin and team average of 19:14 on the Panorama Farms 5K course. Meanwhile, the Hidden Valley girls traveled all the way down to Nike South in Texas and left the Lonestar State as champions as they defeated the top teams in Texas by a 30 point margin of victory. In Florida, the Mountain View boys knocked off one of the top ranked teams from the Sunshine State by 9 points at the Disney Classic. More to come from this weekend's meets!
Great American: A significant day for Virginia girls teams in putting the state on the national map for the 2009 cross country season as three of the top five teams in the Race of Champions were from the state in runner-up Blacksburg (116 pts), third place Midlothian (130 pts), and fifth place Hidden Valley (137 pts). Octoberfest: The top ranked boys individual and team in Group AAA went down at Great Meadow with Centreville's Yazid Zouaimia and the Mountain View boys (pictured left by Nicoll Knudsen) defeating #1 ranked Kevin Dowd of Fairfax and the Grassfield boys. Kaitlyn Davis and Katherine Walker had a great Northwest Region duel with Davis picking up the win. West Potomac girls won by a wide margin. Results from elsewhere: Andrew McCullen and the Oakton boys had very impressive 2nd place finishes at Wendy's with McCullen (pictured by Ken Charnock, LandsharkPhotos.com) losing the individual title at the line with VA's fastest 5K time of 15:18. At the flrunners.com Invitational, the Lake Braddock girls take second place honors in the Race of Champions behind Winter Park of Florida with 114 points. In Greensboro, the Lee-Davis girls repeated as team champions at the Hagan Stone Park Classic with 3 runners among the top 5.
Two teams in one district separated by 40 miles find themselves earning pre-season national recognition with three-time Group AA state champion Blacksburg girls ranked #10 and Hidden Valley girls ranked #18 in the MileSplit US National Pre-Season Cross Country Team Rankings. Both teams also were featured in an article in the Roanoke Times this weekend on the rivalry, which will see several clashes throughout the season. The Blacksburg girls opened hitting on all cylinders at the Great Meadow Invitational with a decisive win against four-time AAA state champions Midlothian, while Hidden Valley quietly began their season in winning their home meet Clash with the Titans without competing with their full squad.
The Hidden Valley girls, ranked #19 in the nation according to MileSplit US recent national team rankings, began their 2009 season with a victory in their home invitational in the second annual Clash with the Titans. The Hidden Valley girls were competing without three of their top five runners, but still were able to hold off Christiansburg by 10 points for a first place team finish with 47 points. Mary Catherine Sowder (pictured by John Tyree), a runner-up in last year's Clash with the Titans, won easily without her other teammates in the race with a time of 20:56. Coming from the flat land of Tidewater Virginia, Greenbrier Christian Academy's Michael Bailey sure had no problem tackling the hills on Hidden Valley High School's home course. Bailey pulled away for 17:10 win with Christiansburg's Andy Eddleton 12 seconds back at 17:22.
At the Clash With The Titans, VA #1 ranked Hidden Valley girls will open their season in their home invitational against teams in the Roanoke Valley area. Hidden Valley should win big if all five of their top 5 returnees are racing led by 2008 Group AA state runner-up Annie LeHardy. LeHardy won last year's inaugural Clash With The Titans with a one second victory over teammate Mary Catherine Sowder in 20:45. The top three boys teams coming into the meet feature a strong #1 runner each who will be battling for first individually on Saturday in Group AA #5 ranked Andy Eddleton of Christiansburg, Group A #3 ranked Jared Miller of Radford, and Group AA #14 ranked Cody Seymour of Cave Spring.
The rivalry between the Blacksburg and Hidden Valley girls has been one of the state's best the past two years in cross country. In consecutive years, Hidden Valley has handed the Blacksburg girls a rare defeat at the regional meet, while the Blacksburg girls have turned it around in one week on both occassions to claim the Group AA state crown. Last year's state meet was as good as it gets and dramatic to an extreme as a sixth runner tiebreaker decided the state title in favor of the Blacksburg girls. The Hidden Valley girls got redemption in the post-season though in defeating both Blacksburg and four-time AAA state champions Midlothian at the NXN Southeast Regional in Cary, NC to position themselves well heading into the 2009 season returning their entire top five. With all the focus on two River Ridge District powerhouse schools emerging on a national level, it is easy to forget the other great teams in Group AA, which looks to be a highly competitive year. Potomac Falls will be much stronger with the return of their star runner Christina Lee after missing last fall due to injury, while Western Albemarle girls receive a boost in the transfer of private school Division II state runner-up Peri Bowser from St. Anne's-Belfield.
Congratulations to the following 2008 All-MileStat.com Cross Country Team award winners: Boys Team of the Year: Jamestown Girls Team of the Year: Blacksburg Boys Runner of the Year: Thomas Porter (Mountain View) Girls Runner of the Year: Megan Marsico (Glenvar) Boys Coach of the Year: Buz Male (Albemarle) Girls Coach of the Year: Daniel King (Hidden Valley) Boys Freshmen of the Year: Shaquon Wilkins (Riverbend) Girls Freshmen of the Year: Sarah Stites (Thomas Jefferson S&T) Boys Most Improved Runner of the Year: Jordan White (Great Bridge) Girls Most Improved Runner of the Year: Stephanie Cario (Lee-Davis) Boys Comeback Runner of the Year: Ben Veilleux (Clarke County) Girls Comeback Runner of the Year: Allison Homer (Blacksburg) Full write-up on each award winner to come soon!
Midlothian girls will be seeking redemption at Manhattan, while Thomas Jefferson and Lake Braddock girls will face off for the first time this fall to establish Northern Region supremacy heading into championship season at Glory Days. Bishop O'Connell girls want to show they belong as well and can run with the top teams at Bull Run Regional Park. Top ranked Blacksburg girls should win big at Albemarle, but Ocean Lakes and Osbourn Park hope to make them sweat a little.
The crew from Virginia which competed at the Hagan Stone Park Classic in Greensboro, North Carolina had a very strong showing with many teams seeing their athletes post season best performances. The Brentsville girls won the Championship division with 55 points and a 19:30 team average on the Hagan Stone Park 5K course. The squad was led by race champion Allison Bartels (pictured left by Ted Plunkett), who scored her first major invitational victory with a personal best time of 18:47. She had four other teammates finishing among the top 20 individuals and under 20 minutes in Maggie Gentry (11th, 19:32), Morgan Price (13th, 19:35), Sarah Earman (14th, 19:41), and Lauren Bussian (20th, 19:58). The individual race for first place in the championship boys was a thriller as Hidden Valley's Bryan Lewis kept the top two runners of one of North Carolina's top teams in Green Hope High School from achieving a 1-2 finish for their team with a narrow 1 second over Green Hope's Doug Black with a personal best time of 16:03. Lewis will be considered one of the favorites to win the Region IV title along with Blacksburg's Matt Howard. Hagan Stone Park XC Classic Results: Championship Boys - Championship Girls - Developmental Boys - Developmental Girls - JV Boys - JV Girls Got photos from Hagan Stone Park Classic? Email them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Well with his transfer to Jefferson Forest, Josh Morris (pictured right by Scott Rigler) has changed the complexion and pecking order in the private school and Region III rankings. Unaware of his move to becoming a Cavalier at Jefferson Forest High School in Forest, Virginia, Morris had been given the #1 pre-season ranking among private school individuals after a sensational track season which included personal best runs over the summer in the 2000 meter steeplechase, 1500 meter run, and 5000 meter run. Morris ran for Jefferson Forest in a pre-season jamboree in Danville last month, but it could have been considered a typo and maybe he was still running for Liberty Christian Academy. However, his victory this weekend at the Blue Demon Invitational made it clear who he was running for now as he streaked across the finish line in first place with a time of 16:18 and 37 seconds ahead of second place in a Jefferson Forest uniform. Looking historically at the fastest times ever at the Blue Demon Invite, Morris is the second fastest performer all-time to only Griff Graves as his performance beats the times ran by the likes of some high school greats such as Fleet Hower, Justin Hatch, John Horst, and Tim Smith. Read More... Blue Demon Invitational Results: Varsity Boys - Varsity Girls - JV Boys - JV Girls Blue Demon Invitational Photo Gallery by Janis Lewis Blue Demon Invitational Photo Gallery by Scott Rigler
The first annual Clash with the Titans was held at Hidden Valley High School in Roanoke this past weekend on their home cross country course, which saw runners face a moderately challenging 5K course with an always fun flowing creek crossing for runners to attempt to run through. Photo by Janis Lewis The Hidden Valley girls, one of the top teams in the state according to MileStat.com's pre-season rankings, ran without two of their top four returnees but still managed to impress with a home invite victory and a close 1-2 finish between teammates Annie LeHardy (20:45) and Mary Catherine Sowder (20:46). Sowder could potentially be the team's fourth runner based on last year's results, but finished well ahead of an All-State caliber runner in Alisha Royal of William Byrd (3rd, 21:29). The William Byrd boys also had a great upfront running from Caleb Kingery and Kyle O'Conner as the Terrier duo clocked in at times of 17:47 and 17:50 respectively for first and second place finishes on the Hidden Valley 5K course. However, E.C. Glass proved to have superior depth to William Byrd and the rest of the field including three runners in the top ten led by John Adams in fourth place at 18:31. More.... Clash with the Titans Photo Gallery by Janis Lewis - 419 photos total Clash with the Titans Results: High School Boys - High School Girls - Middle School Mixed
The Hidden Valley girls, ranked #3 in Virginia in the pre-season rankings, will begin their 2008 cross country in a home invitational at the "Clash with the Titans" with at least 11 schools expected to contend. (Photo by Brandon Miles) Virtual meet scoring preview of this Saturday's Clash with the Titans which is an inaugrual event being hosted by Hidden Valley High School in Salem. The Hidden Valley girls look to put on a strong opener on their home course as they should dominate with many of their runners among the top 10 places in the 11 team invite led by defending Group AA 1600 meter state champ Annie LeHardy. A potential exciting race could be shaping up for first place individually among the boys with Liberty Christian Academy's Josh Morris, a USATF National Junior Olympics All-American in the steeplechase and 5000 meter run, and Hidden Valley's Bryan Lewis. The Hidden Valley boys will be a slight pre-meet favorite on their home course against the Northwest Region's E.C. Glass.
The Oakton boys and Midlothian girls will begin the 2008 cross country season as the top ranked teams in the state of Virginia. Not far behind Oakton in the #2 spot is Group AA's top ranked squad in Jamestown. Meanwhile, a trio of Group AA schools are ranked ahead of the next Group AAA school after Midlothian in Blacksburg, Hidden Valley, and Brentsville. Rankings include: Top 10 rankings for Cream of the Crop All-Class Rankings Top 10 rankings for Group AAA, AA, A, and private school classifications Top 5 rankings for each region in Group AAA and AA
Photo by Tom Hoerner Outside of the three-time Group AAA state champions from Midlothian, the next two best teams in the state of Virginia could come from the same district in Group AA's River Ridge District in the Blacksburg and Hidden Valley girls' squads. Blacksburg has won two consecutive state titles in Group AA, while Hidden Valley became a quick upstart last fall with the addition of two star freshmen in Annie LeHardy and Haley Cutright. Both teams possess a great deal of depth and talent which will make them major players not only the state stage, but possibly nationally with Nike Cross Nationals aspirations. Blacksburg's sixth runner Trinity Foreman has ran sub 5:10 for 1600 meters, while Hidden Valley's fifth runner Mary Catherine Sowder runs a 11:44 for 3200 meters.
No region in the state has as strong of an individual runner finishing third at their regional championship than Tim Smith of Cave Spring as was the case at the Region IV Meet on Friday afternoon at Dan Daniels Park in Danville. The #8 ranked runner in Virginia, Smith could be a regional champion in virtually any other region, but had to be relegated to a third place finish with the showdown ahead of him between Virginia's top two ranked harriers in Griff Graves of Abingdon and Peter Dorrell of Blacksburg. Graves made certain there was little drama at the end of the race as he started to break away with a surge at the hill roughly around 1 1/4 mile and continued to press into the 1000 meter woods loop to gap Dorrell. The two-time AA state champion continued to press and distance himself from his biggest threat for a third title next weekend at Great Meadows to finish 24 seconds ahead with a final time of 15:54. Dorrell appeared to shut it down in the final mile to save himself for another duel next week with a runner-up time of 16:18. Meanwhile, Dorrell's Blacksburg boys led a River Ridge District sweep of the four teams advancing onto the state meet with Christiansburg, Cave Spring, and Hidden Valley joining Blacksburg in shutting out teams from the other districts of Region IV for a top four finish. The big upset occurred though with the Hidden Valley girls defeating the defending AA state champions and Virginia's #2 ranked team from Blacksburg. The young squad with only freshmen and sophomores in their top five has great momentum heading into the state meet led by the Region IV individual champion in freshmen Annie LeHardy. LeHardy went wire-to-wire with Blacksburg senior Laurel MacMillan with a one second win of 19:23 on a challenging 5K layout at Dan Daniels Park. Pulaski County also made it out from the River Ridge District in third, while the Marion girls made sure it was not a complete sweep on both sides by the new district joining the old Region IV schools with a fourth place finish. The Blacksburg girls will hope to bounce back next week at full strength as they raced without two of their varsity runners in Allison Homer and Avery Mattingly. More to come from Region IV including results, race videos, photos, and interviews with Griff Graves, Tim Smith, Annie LeHardy, and Laurel MacMillan. Region IV Meet Race Videos: Boys - Girls Region IV Meet Photo Gallery by Brandon Miles Region IV Meet Video Interviews: Griff Graves - Tim Smith - Annie LeHardy - Laurel MacMillan
A strong freshmen class of runners is appearing this fall in Group AA as three freshmen are now ranked among the top 15 in AA. Millbrook's Presley Parkes leads all freshmen in the #3 position after an idle weekend from her strong race at the Oatlands Invite the week prior. Meanwhile, Sherando's Krista Decault (pictured above) and Hidden Valley's Annie LeHardy pushed their way into the top 15 for the first time with strong performances this past week. DeCault clocked in at a personal best of 19:06 at Octoberfest, while LeHardy followed up a close third place finish at the Metro Championships on Wednesday to Blacksburg's #1 Laurel MacMillan with an invitational win at Staunton River. All three freshmen lead ranked squads with AA #3 Millbrook, #4 Hidden Valley, and #7 Sherando.
While most will be looking forward to seeing the outcome of the Blacksburg-Hidden Valley girls, the River Ridge District boys should also be an intriguing race to watch with the Blacksburg boys looking to redeem themselves after a poor showing at Great American earlier this month. Arguably the district's most talented two boys individuals in George Carter and Andy Eddleton battled earlier this season on the district course at Green Hill Park with Eddleton coming out on top. Eddleton has had the better and much more consistent season than Carter, but is coming off a race in which he finished behind a Blacksburg runner who has not ran in their top 7 this season. The slate is wiped clean for both Carter and and Eddleton today with championship season beginning for the River Ridge District athletes.