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Queen Mary of Forest reclaimed her crown.
King Stuart of Staunton River held onto his.
Mary Deis and Stuart Robertson were the top individual finishers in this year’s version of the Bedford County cross country championship.
The race was held at Goodview Elementary, the home course of Staunton River, a factor that seemed to work in favor of Robertson and his fellow Eagles.
River nabbed the top three spots, enabling the Eagles to tie Jefferson Forest for the boys’ title. The two teams finished with 30 points apiece.
Liberty’s lads took third place, with 82 points.
On the ladies’ side, JF showed its dominance. Deis led a red and black train toward the finish line. In fact, 10 of the first 11 finishers were from Jefferson Forest.
Only Liberty’s Kennedy Flynn, who nabbed fifth place, prevented the clean sweep by JF.
Forest still garnered the best possible score (15 points), since Liberty did not have enough female runners to qualify. Thus, Flynn’s time did not go toward the Minettes’ score.
“It feels good,” said Deis afterward. “Especially for our team to win. The girls have been working hard so it’s nice to see it pay off.”
Indeed, the hard work, which includes 45 miles of roadwork per week, is paying off quite handsomely.
The Lady Cavs are currently ranked second in the State (at the AA level). “The team gets along so well together,” noted Deis. “We’re looking forward to the post-season to see what we can do.”
Girls top ten
1. Mary Deis JF 20:59
2. Erin Saunders JF 21:21
3. Anna Carter JF 21:22
4. Carsen Wilkersen JF 21:31
5. Kennedy Flynn LH 21:48
6. Alexis Bowen JF 22:02
7. Marie Aboud JF 22:25
8. Elizabeth Francis JF 22:39
9. Dana Bryant JF 22:45
10. Danielle Tiffany JF 23:00
Staunton River’s top finisher was Kristina Hartsook, who took 11th place, with a time of 24:02.
Boys top ten
1. Stuart Robertson SR 17:05
2. David Barrett SR 17:28
3. Colton Parker SR 18:06
4. Zane Laughlin JF 18:13
5. Michael Sciarrino JF 18:20
6. Matt Roseveare JF 18:20
7. Pierce Saunders JF 18:26
8. Josh Oswald JF 18:29
9. Austin Griffith JF 19:02
10. Brian McConkey JF 19:08
While Jefferson Forest fielded 11 runners, only its top seven factored into the standings. Therefore, River had the chance to make up ground. For instance, Benjamin Woodford finished 14th, but he was assigned 11th place for scoring purposes. Three JF runners that finished in front of him had their scores deemed meaningless.
Hence, the Cavs had to depend on Liberty to hold off River. One Minuteman did come through. Craig Danner earned 16th place. But the rest of the Liberty crew was outpaced by five other Staunton River runners, giving the Eagles the tie.
River Head Coach Joe Hubble seemed thrilled by the performance. “(Robertson, Barrett and Parker) were determined to heed what we have been talking about as goals for the team,” stated Hubble. “That is, stay packed and together. They have been training together now for three years and it is paying off.”
The three did stay together. In fact, after the race, they were still together. “Winning the county meet is something,” said Robertson. “It is no small accomplishment.”
“Our guys put up a good effort,” noted Barrett.
Staunton River Invitational
Barrett’s guys put up another good effort three days later. That’s when they helped host the Staunton River Invitational.
Robertson blistered the course, coming in at 16:33, a half-minute better than what he’d run on that same course in the county meet.
Barrett took second, improving his time, as well. The junior came in at 17:11.
Parker took sixth place, with a time of 17:45. Still, it wasn’t enough for the Eagles to claim the team title. That honor went to Blacksburg, which put six runners into the top 20. The Bruins (68 points), edged Altavista (71). Cave Spring (76) took third, while Staunton River (83) took fourth place in the 10-team field.
Peaks View Pacers were led by John Pemberton, 12th place finish, in taking fifth.
The Pacers did a bit better on the ladies’ side. Elizabeth Vernon won with a time of 20:46, which was 59 seconds faster than that of runner-up Kerrie Dalton (Cave Spring).
Peaks View took first place, with 48 points. Samantha Schriever (6th), Hosannah Vickery (11th), Charis Jantomaso and Rachel Packer (5th) helped win the team trophy for the Pacers.
One question, though: As the Pacers are homeschoolers, where is their trophy case?