Chantilly High boys’ cross country runner Sean McGorty captured first place at last week’s Concorde District championships, held in wet conditions on Oct. 27 at Burke Lake Park.
McGorty’s outstanding run on the slushy, 2.98 mile course resulted in a winning time of 15 minutes, 42 seconds and a comfortable margin of victory over second place finisher Troy Hunsaker (16:05) of Herndon.
The Chargers, thanks to contributions from all their runners, finished fourth in the six-team district field, good enough to earn a seeding at the 16-team Northern Region championships at Burke Lake this Thursday afternoon, Nov. 4, beginning at 3:15.
The other three teams to qualify for regionals on the boys’ side were first place Robinson (54 points), second place Oakton (66), and third place Herndon (67).
Chantilly totaled 81 points to finish ahead of fifth place Centreville (94) and sixth place Westfield (138).
The top 15 runners at districts earned both medals and all-district status, and automatically qualified for regionals. Those runners included Bobby Kelly (6th place) of Centreville; Chantilly’s Logan Miller (7th); Westfield’s Jeffrey Edmondson (10th); Centreville’s Chris Jones (12th); and Chantilly’s Mohamed Labor-Koroma (14th).
Other locals who put together good races included Chan Young Lee (19th place) of Centreville; Steven Mitchell (25th) of Westfield; Gabriel Rushin (26th) of Centreville; Nathan Kiley (28th) of Westfield; Scott Fraser (29th) of Chantilly; and Andris Sturans (30th) of Chantilly.
For Westfield, Edmondson’s 10th place finish was the best district placing by a Bulldog boys’ runner since 2007. A sophomore, Edmondson is a first year cross country runner.
“I am really impressed with Jeff’s talent, determination, and work ethic,” said Westfield coach Kelly Deegan. “He is a great kid with a desire to succeed and a tremendous amount of talent. We look forward to many more outstanding achievements from Jeff in the coming seasons.”
<b>IN THE GIRLS’</b> district race, both third place Centreville (64) and fourth place Westfield (102) earned region seedings. Oakton (32) was the district team champion and Herndon (62) was second.
Centreville had three runners finish in the top 15 and five in the top 20. Isabella Medina finished fifth overall to lead the Wildcats, while teammates Rebecca Vinter (10th) and Rachel Brown (13th) also took home medals. But Centreville’s next two runners – Juliana Cuomo (16th) and Joanna Ahn (20th) – were instrumental to the team’s high standing.
Westfield, meanwhile, also ran together wonderfully as a team to earn fourth place.
“Our girls were thrilled with their fourth place finish at districts,” said Deegan. “It has been their goal all season to advance to regionals.”
A year ago, Westfield finished fifth at districts, missing the region cut.
This year’s team finished a place higher and earned a region bid. Westfield’s top five finishers at districts were Lauren Hicks (9th place overall); Brianna Berling (11th); Leidy Arias (22nd); Taylor Schwencke (29th); and Elise Orloff (31st). Megan Owens also turned in a good run for the Bulldogs.
Berling is the Bulldogs’ lone senior.
“We really counted on her leadership to get us to the next level,” said coach Deegan, of Berling. “It was impressive for Brianna to step things up with an 11th place finish which really made the difference in the point total for Westfield.”
The coach was also pleased with Hick’s top 10 outing.
“Lauren Hicks has run very well all year long and continued to do so [at districts],” said Deegan.
The Wildcats received solid runs from Arias, Schwencke and Orloff.
“Leidy Arias is coming on strong at the end of the season when we need her,” said Deegan. “Taylor Schwenke is a very tough runner. She has been battling some sickness lately, but we knew we could count on her to do her job.”
Being part of a team to make regionals was extra special for Orloff, a freshman who was celebrating her birthday.
“Elise Orloff is a very promising freshman who stepped up when we needed her the most to be our fifth runner to cross the line,” said Deegan. “She had a big improvement in her time and the other girls were so excited for her to do so well on her birthday. Megan Owens was right behind Elise to have all of our runners in before the 21:30 mark.”
Deegan said her girls’ have practiced and competed well all season.
“This group of girls have worked together very well all year and they really are a great bunch to have at practice every day. It was nice to see their hard work pay off with an opportunity to run in the Northern Regional championships.”
For Chantilly (fifth place), Megan Toole, Megan Rhoads and Natalie Plummer finished 17th, 18th and 19th, respectively, to lead the Chargers. Also for Chantilly, Jennifer Cohen and Hannah Strub had solid outings.