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McGorty PRs, Chantilly Boys’ XC Qualifies for States

Cowne leads Chantilly girls’ team to state berth.

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Chantilly senior Sean McGorty won the Northern Region title with a time of 14:19 on Nov. 2, tying him for the second-fastest time in the history of the Burke Lake Park course.

— The Chantilly boys’ cross country team secured another banner and senior Sean McGorty improved his spot in the Burke Lake Park record book on Nov. 2. Now, the Chargers and their standout senior face the final task of the VHSL season --- the state meet on Nov. 10 at Great Meadow.

Chantilly took home the Northern Region team championship and McGorty won the individual title during the regional cross country championships on Nov. 2 at Burke Lake Park. McGorty’s time of 14:19 was a personal best and tied the second-fastest time in the history of the course. West Springfield’s Sharif Karie ran 14:19 at the 1996 Northern Region championships. South Lakes grad Alan Webb, who holds the American record in the mile, ran a 13:57 at the 1999 Concorde District championships.

McGorty’s previous PR at Burke Lake Park was 14:38 set on Oct. 24 during the Concorde District championships.

"I’m thrilled," McGorty said after regionals. "To get that big of a PR in my last time at Burke Lake --- I just wanted it to be special. … Coming in, knowing it was my last time, knowing the weather was better than districts, I just wanted to attack it. I felt good and I thought about it during the race: this is your last time, so give it your all. I definitely couldn’t be happier with the race."

Chantilly won the team title with a score of 39. Oakton finished second with a total of 85, followed by Robinson (87) and Lake Braddock (124).

The top four teams and top 15 individuals qualify for the state meet, which is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 10 at Great Meadow.

"Regular season matters, but postseason is when it all counts, and just to be able to continue our success, especially as these meets get more and more important, it’s great. It’s definitely a big confidence booster going into states."

--- Chantilly’s Sean McGorty

Logan Miller placed third for Chantilly with a time of 15:23.

"I did very well," Miller said of his third-place finish. "I thought I made moves when I needed to and I got a decent time I’m happy with."

Chantilly’s Faris Sakallah (15:30) was seventh, Ryan McGorty (15:34) was 10th and Adam Huff (16:00) was 25th.

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Chantilly’s Alexa Cowne qualified for states with a seventh-place finish at the Northern Region championships on Nov. 2. Cowne helped the Chargers earn a team berth to states, as well.

"Regular season matters, but postseason is when it all counts," Sean McGorty said, "and just to be able to continue our success, especially as these meets get more and more important, it’s great. It’s definitely a big confidence booster going into states."

Ryan McGorty, sophomore brother of Sean McGorty, bested his previous PR of 15:48. Ryan McGorty said as a freshman last season he worried about competing in the shadow of Sean, who is one of the top high school harriers in the nation. Now, Ryan said, it doesn’t cross his mind.

"Coming in freshman year [of] cross country, I was like, what is it going to be like, I’m Sean McGorty’s brother?" Ryan McGorty said. "Sean was already pretty famous by then. Coming in, the coaches told me before the races even started, be your own person. You’re Ryan McGorty and you’re doing what Ryan McGorty can do. Freshman year, I had a good season. That’s when I was like, I’m Ryan McGorty and then after that I didn’t really think about it anymore."

In the girls’ race, Chantilly qualified for states as a team with a third-place finish. Lake Braddock won the team title with a score of 38. Oakton finished second with a total of 92, followed by Chantilly (109) and West Springfield (116).

Alexa Cowne led the way for the Chargers, placing seventh with a time of 17:33. Nora Raher finished 20th with a time of 18:33, Samantha Lull (18:35) was 21st, Xaveria Hawvermale (18:38) was 23rd and Megan Toole (19:16) was 48th.

"Our goal was to go to states and it was really important to us," Cowne said, "and I felt like I, as well as every other girl, did their job and we did exactly what we had to do."