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Now things are getting interesting in the world of local cross country running.
Jefferson Forest and E.C. Glass appeared to be the cream of the locals, as the Hilltoppers hosted an invitational meet at Lynchburg's Presbyterian Home this past Saturday.
"The invite was a good tune up for our guys and our gals," said Jefferson Forest Head Coach Jerome Loy.
Richmond mega-school Mills Godwin joined Glass and Forest as top-three teams on both the men's' and women's sides of the house.
Men's team scores
E.C. Glass 42
Mills Godwin 46
Jefferson Forest 62
William Byrd 86
Rockbridge Co. 121
Staunton River 186
Amherst Co. 250
Hargrave Mil. 286
William Fleming 332
Women's team scores
1. Mills Godwin 42
2. Jefferson Forest 43
3. E.C. Glass 60
4. William Byrd 124
5. LCA 136
6. Rockbridge Co. 156
7. Staunton River 191
8. Amherst Co. 194
Mills Godwin's Katharine Benfer took top honors, cruising home with room to spare at 19:28.
Jefferson Forest's Erin Saunders took second place, at 20:10, a full five seconds ahead of one of her arch- rivals, E.C. Glass harrier Kate Carrington.
"I'm happy with how I did," said Saunders. "I play soccer with (Carrington and Hannah Royer) so it felt good to beat them...Glass is always our big competition."
Byrd's Ana Martha Lopez took fourth (20:19) ahead of Hannah Bullen, of Mills Godwin (20:23).
The rest of the top ten:
6. Hannah Royer EC 20:23
7. Alyssa Shupe JF 20:44
8. Jesse Englund JF 20:57
9. Kamryn DeCarmo EC 21:00
10.Carsen Wilkersen JF 21:01
Other local lasses who placed in the top 25 included JF's Laci Sorrell (16, 21:35), JF's Abby May (19, 21:50), and Staunton River's Kristina Hartsook (25, 22:45).
"(This performance) gives us confidence as a team," noted Saunders.
On the guys' side, William Byrd's Trey Gibson ran away with top dog honors, blitzing home in 17:15.
Gibson finished ahead of a pair of Mills Godwin runners: Ricardo Cabrera (17:32) and Ryan Fresco (17:34).
Fourth place went to Glass's Collin Montgomery (17:37). Jefferson Forest's Caleb Pollard was the first red and black adorned runner across the line, hitting the line at 17:42.
The rest of the top ten:
6. Kenneth Valva, MG 17:51
7. Joe Seo EC 17:53
8. Jake Elbrecht EC 17:53
9. Ben Ottman JF 17:57
10.Patrick Cundiff EC 17:58
Cooper Tedford (17:58) and Bret Romanzak (18:01), both of JF, took 11th and 12th.
Other locals of note included JF's Eric Aboud (25th, 18:52) and Staunton River's Colton Parker (29th, 19:06).
Liberty strong at Falling Creek
Liberty, never really known as a cross country powerhouse, is starting to make some noise in the Seminole District.
The team hosted a meet at its beautiful course at Falling Creek Park last Wednesday.
The men nearly took top honors, scoring 41 points. Rustburg edged the M-Men, picking up 39 points for the win. Heritage was third, with 45 points.
Another bright light for Liberty was Craig Danner, who finished first, overall, with room to spare. Danner came in at 17:38, half a minute ahead of runner-up Tyler Dolsey, of Heritage.
Other key Liberty runners:
9. Justin Haupt 18:49
10. Winston Davis 19:16
12. Austin Roney 19:28
13. Daniel Brown 20:06
On the ladies' side, Liberty didn't have enough runners to make a team score. Rustburg took top team honors handily, with 15 points. Heritage had 41. Still, Liberty had the second-best runner in the race, in Kennedy Flynn. The Flying Flynn finished in 20:30, behind Red Devil Samantha Francis.
Liberty Head Coach Kelly Jennings seemed pleased. "Both Kennedy and Craig are wonderful assets to our team," she stated. "They are both great motivators for all my runners...I am thrilled to see our team grow and to have such great kids and runners...I'm very lucky to have such a great group of kids."