Chantilly senior Sean McGorty runs ahead of the field during the AAA boys’ race at the VHSL state cross country meet on Nov. 10 at Great Meadow.
Photo by Craig Sterbutzel.
As a peerless Sean McGorty approached the finish line at the VHSL state cross country meet, a championship all but secured, the only question remaining was whether the Chantilly senior would break the Great Meadow course record.
Moments later, it was clear McGorty would do to the course record what he did to his competition during the AAA boys’ race: he destroyed it.
McGorty won the 2012 state title with a course-record time of 14:47 on Nov. 10. The previous record of 15:02 was set by Jamestown’s Andrew Colley in 2008. McGorty finished 42 seconds ahead of his nearest competitor, Lake Braddock’s Nick Tuck, and ended the VHSL cross country season undefeated.
“I knew the course record was 15:02, so coming into it that was the goal,” McGorty said. “To break it by that much, it’s amazing. I’m thrilled with it and I’m thrilled to see I’m still in good shape heading into [the] Foot Locker [regional meet on Nov. 24]. … Having records [to chase] is just like having someone running right next to you.”
McGorty’s performance helped the Chantilly boys’ team capture its first state championship. The Chargers finished with a score of 57, followed by Midlothian (72) and Battlefield (128).
The top three teams are honored at the podium and the top 15 individuals receive all-state honors.
“It still hasn’t sunk in; I don’t think it ever will. We made history today and it will last forever and I just can’t fathom that. It’s great to be on a team with these guys because most of us freshman and sophomore year, we were really slow. To see all of us come up from nothing to living our dreams, it’s pretty cool.”
--- Chantilly senior Logan Miller
Chantilly’s Logan Miller placed third with a time of 15:36. Faris Sakallah (16:05) finished 23rd (team score of 14), Ryan McGorty (16:13) was 32nd (18) and Adam Huff (16:15) finished 35th (21).
“To say it’s satisfying probably belittles it,” Chantilly head coach Matt Gilchrist said. “I’m so happy for these guys.”
Miller, a senior, earned all-state for the second consecutive season. He placed eighth in 2011 with a time of 15:54.
“It still hasn’t sunk in; I don’t think it ever will,” Miller said. “We made history today and it will last forever and I just can’t fathom that. It’s great to be on a team with these guys because most of us freshman and sophomore year, we were really slow. To see all of us come up from nothing to living our dreams, it’s pretty cool.”
The Chantilly girls’ team finished sixth with a score of 145. Lake Braddock won the team title with a score of 47, followed by Oakton (101) and Midlothian (101). Oakton finished runner-up due to a sixth-runner tiebreaker.
Chantilly senior Kendall Cowne earned all-state with a 10th-place time of 18:29. Last year, Cowne finished 55th with a time of 19:54.
“Last year, I didn’t really know what to expect,” Cowne said. “This year I also felt a little more confident running with the girls I ran with. I think the difference was just the experience and I feel like I’m a better runner than I was last year.”