Fairfax Station The Washington-Lee girls’ and boys’ cross country teams fell short of qualifying for states, but each team will send its top harrier to Great Meadows.
W-L’s Sarah Angell finished 11th in the girls’ race and Haileye Demsie took 15th in the boys’ competition to advance to the state meet, which is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 10 at Great Meadow. The top four teams and top 15 individuals qualify for states.
In the girls’ race, Angell was the top finisher from the National District, recording a time of 17:55, which was 17 seconds faster than her PR of 18:12 at the National District championship meet on Oct. 25. She shaved 50 seconds off her time at last season’s regional championships.
"Sarah ran the best race of her season yet at regionals," W-L assistant coach Laura Przydzial wrote in an email. "She is in shape and has gained her confidence back which showed on Friday. She beat her time on that course at regionals last year by almost a minute, so it is hard to complain about much. She is incredibly talented. If she puts in the summer of training that she should, she should have an amazing senior year."
The girls’ team finished sixth with a score of 141. Lake Braddock won the region title with a score of 38. Oakton finished second with 92, Chantilly was third with 109 and West Springfield grabbed the fourth and final state berth with a total of 116. Robinson was fifth with 131. Yorktown finished 16th with a score of 454.
"All of our top seven are returning next year," Przydzial wrote. "They really started to connect as a team this year, so next year should just mesh well from the beginning. Many of our girls ran times that they didn't even think were possible a month or so ago. They started off as the underdogs and really put W-L on the radar in the region. If they put in a good summer of training together, there is no reason why they should not be at the state meet next year."
In the boys’ race, Demsie finished with a time of 15:46 and grabbed the final state berth. He was seven seconds ahead of the 16th-place finisher.
"HD's race was stressful to watch as a coach, but he pulled it off beautifully," Przydzial wrote. "He was about 30th at the halfway point but had a great second half of his race. Every race is another learning experience for him. He is finally gaining the confidence in his racing that he needs."
The boys’ team finished 14th with a score of 339. Chantilly won the region championship with a total of 39. Oakton finished second with 85, followed by Robinson (87) and Lake Braddock (124). Yorktown (375) finished 15th.
"[The] boys performed better overall than I ever thought they would when the season started," Przydzial wrote. "They all showed much improvement."
In individual girls’ action, Lake Braddock’s Sophie Chase won her third consecutive region title (she finished second her freshman year) with a time of 16:42, which tied her for the third-best time in the history of the Burke Lake Park course. West Springfield’s Caroline Alcorta (second, 16:58), Lake Braddock’s Hannah Christen (third, 17:08), Oakton’s Allie Klimkiewicz (fourth, 17:16) and Robinson’s Macey Schweikert (fifth, 17:27) complete the top five.
The rest of the top 15 were: Lake Braddock’s Katie Roche (sixth, 17:33), Chantilly’s Alexa Cowne (seventh, 17:33), Robinson’s Lauren Berman (eighth, 17:44), West Springfield’s Maddie Wittich (ninth, 17:45), Lee’s Bailey Kolonich (10th, 17:49), Washington-Lee’s Angell, Edison’s Jennifer Flack (12th, 18:02), Lake Braddock’s Katy Kunc (13th, 18:08), West Potomac’s Katie Genuario (14th, 18:15) and Westfield’s Sara Freix (15th, 18:19).
Yorktown’s top finisher was Kristin Herbert, who finished 77th with a time of 19:56.
Chantilly’s Sean McGorty won the boys’ race with a time of 14:19, which tied him for the second-best performance of all time at Burke Lake Park. Lake Braddock’s Nick Tuck (second, 15:03), Chantilly’s Logan Miller (third, 15:23), Edison’s Louis Colson (fourth, 15:27) and Oakton’s Jack Stoney (fifth, 15:29) complete the top five.
Madison’s Matthew Calem (15:30) finished sixth, followed by Robinson’s John Tolbert (seventh, 15:30), Chantilly’s Faris Sakallah (eighth, 15:30), Stone Bridge’s Brady Guertin (ninth, 15:31) and Chantilly’s Ryan McGorty (10th, 15:34). Rounding out the top 15 were: Herndon’s Bradley Heuer (11th, 15:39), South County’s Alec Jones (12th, 15:42), Lake Braddock’s Alex Corbett (13th, 15:43), Marshall’s MacKenzie Haight (14th, 15:44) and Demsie (15th, 15:46).
Yorktown’s top finisher was Jackson Cochran, who took 68th with a time of 16:38.