The postseason got off to a good start for the Oakton High cross country program, which saw its girls’ team capture the Concorde District title while the boys’ team finished with a solid second place showing.
Both the girls’ and boys’ district championship races took place in wet, sloppy running conditions last Wednesday afternoon, Oct. 27 on the hilly, 2.98-mile Burke Lake course.
The Cougar girls finished first with 32 team points, ahead of second place Herndon (62 points). Centreville (64) and Westfield (102) finished third and fourth, respectively. Each of the top four Concorde teams qualified for this Thursday’s 16-team Northern Region Championship meet.
The individual district champion was Herndon’s Carolyn Hennessey, who won the race with a time of 18:28. Right behind her in second place was teammate Belle Burgess (19:03). But Oakton countered with five runners finishing among the top 12. The Cougars’ top finishers were third place Hailey Dougherty (19:07), fourth place Briana Stewart (19:16), sixth place Morgan Harwood (19:38), seventh place Morgan Bayer (19:43) and 12th place Alyson Jones (19:52).
“We are happy that the girls were able to win considering the [wet] conditions,” said Oakton coach Alisa Byers. “We've run as a pack all season, but we'll have to run tighter and faster at the regional meet if we want to make it out [and on to states].”
The top four team finishers at regionals will advance to the upcoming Virginia State AAA championships.
Last year, after a second place finish at districts, the Oakton girls went on to finish sixth at regionals.
The Oakton boys (66 points), at last week’s districts, were runner-ups to the Robinson Rams, who won with 54 points. Third place Herndon (67) and fourth place Chantilly (81) both qualified for regionals.
Oakton’s top finishers were fourth place Michael McNamee, 13th place Pratik Singh, 15th place Andrew Larkin, 16th place Michael Raiti and 18th place Gregory Petruncio.
The individual champion was Sean McGorty (15: 42) of Chantilly, who finished ahead of second place Troy Hunsaker (16:05) and third place Jimmy Luehrs (16:08), both of Herndon High.
<b>THE MADISON HIGH</b> girls’ and boys’ cross country teams both qualified for this week’s regionals by finishing third at their respective Liberty District championship races at Burke Lake Park last Wednesday.
The Madison boys finished with 95 points to finish ahead of fourth place Stone Bridge (119). The district champion was South Lakes (30 points), which bested runner-up Jefferson (43) - last year’s district champion.
Madison’s top five runners were ninth place Joseph Robinson 16:33), 11th place Connor Tobin (16:35), 23rd place Ryan McCabe (17:11), 24th place Joseph Galiano (17:11) and 28th place Zach Queen (17:14).
On the girls’ side, Madison (103) finished behind first place Jefferson (35) and second place Langley (41). The Warhawks’ third place standing put them ahead of fourth place McLean (115).
Madison’s top runner was Anna Stone, who finished fourth overall with a time of 18:55. Right behind her was teammate Christiana Galiano, who was fifth at 18:46. Rounding out Madison’s top five were Sarah McShane (30th place), Kathryn Hahne (31st) and Abigail Head (33rd).
Madison head coach Craig Chasse was pleased with both the girls’ and boys’ showings at districts. A year ago, both Madison teams finished fourth at districts. For the Madison girls, in fact, this year’s showing at districts marked the fourth straight year in which they bettered their place from the year before.
“It was good work from everyone,” said Chasse, on both his teams’ showings at districts. “We’re looking forward to everyone running well at regionals and improving on last year’s team finishes.”
Both the Madison girls and boys finished 13th place at regionals in 2009.
The top two finishers at districts for the Marshall High girls were Caitlyn Cobb (20th overall) and Catherine Jarriel (24th). For the sixth place Marshall boys, Alexander Norton (12th place) and MacKenzie Haight (14th) both earned top 15 medals.