PLAINS — York's Jack Little may have won the individual battle with Lafayette's Kurtis Steck, finishing fifth to Steck's seventh in the Group AA boys' race, but Lafayette won the team battle Saturday, following up their regional title with a third-place finish at Great Meadow in the Virginia High School League's Cross Country Championships.
On the girls' side,
, which already put on its best showing since 2000 in winning a district and regional title, placed fifth. Coach Norma Sims told a fan that was the best showing ever for the school at the state meet. Individually, Bruton's Michaela Cody placed seventh and New Kent's Becca Eudailey was ninth to round out the all-state athletes for the area.
Blacksburg swept both the boys' and girls' Group AA races. Hidden Valley's Carolyn Bethel (18:13) won the girls' race by 17 seconds over Millbrook's Crystal Nelson. Blacksburg On the boys' side, Skyline's Thomas Madden (15:33) was the winner.
's Daniel Moniak finished in 16th place at 16:25, failing to make all-state by just five seconds.
A breathless Steck, who at 16:02 finished eight seconds behind Little, called the conditions "perfect" and said that his team's performance was on his mind, especially as he was in the final straightaway.
"I was running with Jack (Little) from York and we kind of kept going back and forth with a big pack of runners," Steck said. "But we lost them at the last hill and he got ahead of me at the end. I was hoping (his finish) would help our team (get a high finish). We have a lot of fast juniors, and after we won the regional title, we were running with a lot of confidence."
Grafton's Sims beamed with pride after posing for pictures with her smiling charges shortly after the race. Sims said the team's close-knit nature helped it succeed all season.
"This is a great group of girls who have worked hard to become number one (in the district and region)," Sims said.
Bruton's Cody, a sophomore, said she was happy about her race, which was the first of all races run and was contested under cool conditions that featured a brisk headwind at times.
"I started out very fast," Cody said. "I am very surprised I finished so high, especially because there are so many good competitors and state is big. But this was perfect weather and I felt very strong throughout. At the end, I started to feel it, but I told myself, 'You're almost done,' and I knew I had to finish strong. I hadn't really thought about this (a high state finish) at the beginning of the season, but it feels so good to be [on the awards podium] at the end."
In their first state cross country appearance for Group AAA, Warwick's Desmond Fogg finished 96th, and Gloucester's Anna Robins was 101.
GROUP AA GIRLS
Team results: 1. Blacksburg 46; 2. Hidden Valley 101; 3. Christiansburg 110; 4. Jefferson Forest 111; 5. Grafton 170; 6. Potomac Falls 204; 7. Woodgrove 214; 8.
214; 9. Brentsville 239; 10. Jamestown 254. Others: 14. Lafayette 214.
Individual Results (Top 15 and area finishers only)
1. Carolyn Bethel (Hidden Valley), 18:13; 2. Crystal Nelson (Millbrook) 18:30; 3. Katie Fortner (Cave Spring) 18:50; 4. Mary Deis (Jefferson Forest) 19:01; 5. Kate Buss (Blacksburg) 19:04; 6. Eliza Eaton (Christiansburg) 19:09; 7. Michaela Cody (Bruton) 19:10; 8. Kayla Gibbons (
) 19:10; 9. Becca Eudailey (New Kent) 19:11; 10. Lauren Jaeger (Blacksburg) 19:12; 11. Lindsey Siska (Salem) 19:14; 12. Leanna Eisenman (Warren County) 19:17; 13. Sarah Dillistin (Potomac Falls) 19:19; 14. Hannah Brown (Blacksburg) 19:23; 15. Victoria Hutchens (Patrick County) 19:27. Area: 18. Tia Mearns (Jamestown) 19:31; 21. Heidi Peterson (Lafayette) 19:36; 22. Rachel Rabbit (Grafton) 19:40; 39. Rachel Bloxom (Grafton) 20:03; 47. Nicole Goff (Grafton) 20:14; 52. Camille Freeman (Poquoson) 20:25; 57. Mollie Brand (Lafayette) 20:28; 59. Avery Gillem (Jamestown) 20:29; 72. Risa Grandon (Grafton) 20:40; 75. Deanna Corts (Grafton) 20:43; 76. Miriam Buscher (Warhill) 20:44; 80. Devon Mearns (Jamestown) 20:51; 84. Ashley Bruce (Grafton) 21:00; 100. Gaylin Glueck (Jamestown) 21:18; 106. Erin Ouellette (Grafton) 21:48; 107. Emily Mellman (Jamestown) 21:51; 111.Tori Luera (Lafayette) 22:13; 113. Lauren Simonsen (Jamestown) 22:20; 117. Shelby Foret (Jamestown) 22:27; 121. Elizabeth Starbuck (Lafayette) 22:39; 128. Jessie Verive (Lafayette) 23:18; 129. Yana Rahn (Lafayette) 23:20; 137. Debra Allison (Lafayette) 24:17.
GROUP AA BOYS
Team results—1. Blacksburg 76; 2. Western Albemarle 123; 3. Lafayette 126; 4.
146; 5. Skyline 148; 6. Abingdon 169; 7. Grafton 198; 8. Spotswood 214; 9. York 232; 10.
235. Area: 15. Jamestown 355.
Individual Results 1. Thomas Madden (Skyline)15:33; 2. Nick Link (Blacksburg) 15:47; 3. Patrick Joseph (Loudoun County) 15:49 4. Cody Seymour (Cave Spring)15:50; 5. Jack Little (York) 15:54; 6. Stuart Robertson (Staunton River) 15:58 7. Kurtis Steck (Lafayette) 16:02; 8 Seumas O'Reilly (Warren County) 16:09; 9. Carlos Orellana (Spotswood) 16:13; 10. Clay Jones (Skyline) 16:14; 11. Dave Taylor (Western Albemarle) 16:16; 12. Zach Chase (Christiansburg) 16:17; 13. Evan McCarthy (Woodgrove) 16:18; 14. Chris Ellis (