In one of the biggest cross country meets of the high school season last Saturday, the Madison High girls team saw two of its runners put together particularly solid showings with top 20 individual finishes.
Competing at the renowned, mid-season Oatlands Invitational in Leesburg - a showcase event known as the second leg of the Virginia high school cross country triple crown - the Warhawks’ duo helped Madison to a respectable 21st overall team finish.
At the annual Oatlands meet, high school teams from throughout Virginia as well as other states compete in a variety of races on the scenic 5K course set on the grounds of Leesburg’s historic plantation. The course is mostly grass with rolling hills as well as some wooded trails. There are also two creek crossings in which runners must navigate.
This year’s Invitational, which took place on a hot, autumn day, was hosted by both Tuscarora High of Leesburg and Freedom High of South Riding.
Earlier day races included two JV Frosh/Sophomore (separate boys and girls races) competitions; two JV Junior/Senior races (boys and girls); two varsity B races (boys, girls) and two varsity A races (boys, girls). In all, 97 schools, both public and private, participated. Most of the schools were from Virginia and several from around the metropolitan area as well.
<b>MADISON</b> sophomore runners Anna Stone (20:17) and Christina Galiano (20:19), among a field of 224 runners, finished 16th and 18th, respectively, in the varsity A girls’ race. Both Warhawk runners, by finishing among the top 25 runners in the race, earned top 25 medals.
Stone improved her time from last year’s run at Oatlands by over a minute, while Galiano showed an improvement of over two minutes.
“Both Christina and Anna went out at a reasonable pace and were able to maintain their position throughout,” said Madison coach Craig Chasse.
Madison’s top finishers in the varsity A boys’ race were seniors Joe Galiano (45th overall), senior Joe Robinson (84th) and Connor Tobin (106th.) In all, 277 runners competed in that race.
Robinson bettered his mark from last year’s Oatland meet by 40 seconds and Tobin improved by 50 seconds.
Coach Chasse was satisfied with his team’s overall showing in all of the races in which they competed at Oatlands.
“The heat on Saturday prevented many other big personal bests, but I am pleased with where we are at this point in the season and look to keep getting better as we approach the [upcoming postseason Liberty] District and [Northern] Regional meets,” he said. “The team is moving along very well. The summer miles have really paid off for these runners and for many others on the team.”