Nick Reed’s sides started to cramp as he reached the 2-mile mark at the Burke Lake Park course during the Concorde District cross-country championship meet. Facing his final chance to qualify for regionals as an individual, the Robinson senior pushed through the pain.
"I was catching up to the two guys in front of me," Reed said after the race, "and I think I could have gotten second if I didn’t cramp up."
Reed placed fifth with a time of 16 minutes, 12 seconds, qualifying him for the Nov. 4 Northern Region meet. His perseverance also helped the Rams snap Oakton’s five-year stranglehold on the district.
Robinson captured the boys team title with 54 points, 12 points better than second-place Oakton on Oct. 27. Each of the Rams’ five point-scoring harriers finished in the top 20, four of which qualified as individuals in the top 15.
"I’ve seen Oakton win it the past three years," Reed said. "It was nice to have a change. … I’ve been wanting to get all-district (top 15 individually) since I was a freshman. It’s my first time getting it. It feels great."
Reed finished seven seconds behind second-place Troy Hunsaker of Herndon. Chantilly’s Sean McGorty won the race with a time of 15:42.
"Nick has had a great season," first-year Robinson head coach Kim Coffield said. "He is someone who works really hard, logs a lot of hours and we expect a lot more out of him in the future, as well."
Patrick Spahn placed eighth for Robinson with a time of 16:22. David Janas (16:23) finished ninth, Luke Sharkey (16:28) was 12th and Nathan Schulte (16:49) was 20th.
"We’ve been really waiting all season for them to kind of put all the pieces together," Coffield said. "They finally picked the right day to do it. … We had a relatively small spread between our 1 and 5, which was great."
Coffield said freshmen Sharkey and Schulte have stepped up this season.
"They’ve been our little freshman duo," the coach said, "that was fantastic."
Herndon finished third with 67 points and Chantilly was fourth with 81. The top four teams qualify for regionals.
The Robinson girls finished sixth out of six teams with 135 points. Hyten Davidson qualified as an individual, placing 15th with a time of 20:09.
Robinson, last season’s girls district champion, graduated its top 10 harriers.
"Their improvement over the last two years as individuals," Coffield said, "has been fantastic."