The Northern Region cross country championships were held last Thursday afternoon, Nov. 4 at Burke Lake Park. Several area runners on both the girls' and boys' sides put together exceptional outings on the 2.98-mile course.
The top 15 individual finishers in each of the two championship races (girls' and boys') automatically qualified for the upcoming Virginia State AAA Championships, scheduled to take place this Saturday, Nov. 13 at the Great Meadows course in The Plains. They also earned individual medals during post race ceremonies. The top four team finishers in the region races advanced to states. A trophy was presented to the team champions, and a runner-up trophy was given to the second place team finisher.
In the girls' race, Lake Braddock's Sophie Chase was the individual champion with a time of 17 minutes, 38.90 seconds. She finished ahead of Edison High second place finisher Myah Hicks (17:50.70) and Herndon High third place finisher Carolyn Hennessey (18:12), a senior who a week earlier had captured the Concorde District title. Finishing behind Hennessey were Hannah Christen of Lake Braddock, Isabel Amend of Washington-Lee, Bailey Kolonich of Lee, Jessica Miles of Langley and Sarah Underwood of West Potomac, who were fourth through eighth, respectively. Kelly Rogers of Jefferson was ninth and Casey Lardner of Lake Braddock was 10th.
The 11th through 15th finishers on the girls' side were West Potomac's Dale Lescher, Jefferson's Stephanie Marzen, Oakton's Hailey Dougherty, Madison's Anna Stone and West Springfield's Maddie Wittich.
The girls' team champion was Lake Braddock, which finished in first place with 71 points, ahead of second place finisher Jefferson (102). The other two girls' team state qualifiers were third place West Potomac (108) and fourth place West Springfield (130).
Other strong team showings came from fifth place Oakton (164), sixth place Langley (167), seventh place Herndon (192), eighth place Centreville (237), ninth place Washington-Lee (248) and 10th place Madison High (287).
Wrapping up the 16-team region field were, 11th through 16th finishers McLean, T.C. Williams, Westfield, Yorktown, Edison and Hayfield.
Along with the top 15 individual finishers, other strong region showings included: Herndon's Belle Burgess (16th place), West Springfield's Lauren Blackburn (18th), Langley's Elisa Purdy (19th), Madison's Christina Galiano (20th), Hayfield's Abigail Power (21st), Lake Braddock's Katie Roche (22nd), Jefferson's Sarah Stites (23rd), West Springfield's Jessica Simmons (24th), Oakton's Briana Stewart (27th), and Centreville's Isabella Medina (30th).
ON THE BOYS' SIDE, West Potomac captured the region title with 78 points, finishing ahead of second place Lake Braddock (84). South Lakes, the Liberty District champion, was the third place finisher with 130 points while the Herndon Hornets (147), under head coach Pete Sherry, took fourth place. Each of the top four teams will compete in states this Saturday.
The fifth through eighth place team finishers were Robinson (152), Jefferson (157), Hayfield (187) and Oakton (199). West Springfield (221) and Chantilly (228) finished ninth and 10th place, respectively.
Rounding out the region field were Woodson, Madison, Edison, Stone Bridge, Yorktown and Stuart.
Annandale's Ahmed Bile was the individual boys' champion with a time of 15:22.30. Finishing second was Chantilly High's Sean McGorty (15:26.30), who edged third place Paul Gates (15:26.80) of Woodson. The fourth through seventh place finishers were Lee High's Abraham Yacob (15:34.30), Lake Braddock's Rubenking Sa (15:35.21), West Springfield's Colin Taylor (15:36.30), and Herndon's Jimmy Luehrs (15:41.30).
Jefferson's Jonathan Phillips, West Potomac's Brady Corum and South County's Dylan Morgan, were eighth through 10th, respectively. The 11th through 15th place finishers and medal earners were: Lake Braddock's Luke Sohl, South Lakes' Nick Guarnaccia, Robinson's Patrick Spahn, Lake Braddock's Nick Tuck and West Potomac's Benjamin Aleixo.
Other solid outings on the boys' side came from Herndon's Troy Hunsaker (16th ), South Lakes' Will Sickenberger (17th), West Springfield's James King (20th), Robinson's David Janas (21st), Hayfield runners John Bozek (22nd) and Jacob Miller (23rd), Herndon's Jack Belo (25th), Lake Braddock's Luke Levan (28th), and Oakton's Michael McNamee (30th).