FLS Varsity brings you the scores, stats and stories from Fredericksburg-area high school sports.
CROSS COUNTRY: Deeper region field races by area runners
At this time last year, King George cross country coach Cathy Binder was thrilled with her girls when they placed second in the Region I competition.
The Foxes finished fifth Wednesday in the first-ever 4A–North Regional at Loriella Park in Spotsylvania County.
But Binder said she’s more proud of that accomplishment because the competition was steep as unfamiliar schools have come together in the first year of the Virginia High School League’s reclassification system.
King George’s girls were the only team from the Fredericksburg area to qualify for next Friday’s Group 4A state meet at Great Meadows in The Plains.
“The competition was so much better,” Binder said of Wednesday’s meet compared to last season’s regional race. “I told my team, ‘We’re in the Pony Division. There are racehorses in there, and you’ve got to step up and be a racehorse.’”
The top six regional teams and the top 10 individuals not on one of those teams qualified for states. King George was paced by junior Kristen Hornbaker, who finished eighth.
Hornbaker placed third in the Conference 22 meet last week, two places behind champion Miranda Green. Green, also of King George, said she was feeling ill Wednesday and finished 19th.
“I wanted to pace myself with the top girls,” Green said. “But I think what messed me up, was that I can’t start fast and end well. When I started I sprinted my way to the front, and once the second mile came, I kind of died.”
Jefferson Forest, which won the girls team competition, was led by junior Erin Saunders, who was nearly 19 seconds better than her closest competitor. Hornbaker was well off of Saunders’ pace, but was still a factor for the Foxes.
“This race was really hard,” Hornbaker said. “I knew there were a lot of incredible girls here. In my head, it was like a state meet because they were so many fast girls.”
Chancellor’s Alana Collins placed 25th, but was in the top 10 among girls not on one of the top six teams. So Collins will compete next Friday, as well.
On the boys side, Chancellor junior Neil Schubel led area finishers with an eighth-place showing. Schubel, who earned a runner-up medal in Conference 22, improved on his time from that meet by nine seconds (17:02.4).
“My main thing right now is to work hard to do my best at Great Meadows,” Schubel said.
Three other area boys qualified for the state meet. King George’s boys placed eighth as a team. The Foxes were led by sophomore state qualifiers Jacob Watson (ninth) and Christian Koon (25th).
Courtland senior Kyler Jourdan qualified for states with an 18th-place showing. Millbrook won the boys team competition.
Team scores: 1. Jefferson Forest 59; 2. E.C. Glass 83; 3. Loudoun County 95; 4. Woodgrove 104; 5. King George 136; 6. Fluvanna 145; 12. Chancellor 326; 15. Eastern View 432.
Individual top 10: 1. Erin Saunders (JF) 18:54.3; 2. Elizabeth Davidson (ECG) 19:13.6; 3. Emma Gillies (W) 19:26.9; 4. Georgie Mackenzie (Heritage) 19:45.4; 5. Nicole Douma (F) 19:53.8; 6. Nadia Dahimene (19:57.8; 7. Madelynn Knight (JF) 19:58.1; 8. Kristen Hornbaker (KG) 20:03.6; 9. Kate Carrington (ECG) 20:10.7; 10. Caroline Ponticelli (LC) 20:12.1.
Other area qualifier: 25. Alana Collins (Ch) 21:12.1.
Team scores: 1. Millbrook 63; 2., Dominion 92; 3. Fauquier 95; 4. E.C. Glass 135; 5. Woodgrove 163; 6. Handley 163; 8. King George 215; 11. Courtland 245; 12. Chancellor 304; 16. Louisa 431.
Individual top 10: 1. Trent Lancaster (D) 16:40; 2. Alec Schrank (M) 16:48.2; 3. Peter Seufer (ECG) 16:50; 4. Dustin Constantino (Fa) 16:54.9; 5. Cole Talton (H) 16:55.5; 6. Stephen MacLean (D) 16:55.9; 7. Aaron Arslan (H) 17:01.9; 8. Neil Schubel (Ch) 17:02.4; 9. Jacob Watson (KG) 17:03.2; 10. Luke Farinholt (James Wood) 17:06.4.
Other area qualifiers: 18. Kyler Jourdan (Ct) 17:22.7; 25. Christian Koon (KG) 17:33.8.
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