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Prep Cross Country Notepad: Next wave of runners emerging for Eagles
The Colonial Forge boys and girls cross country teams both have standouts to replace this season.
The Eagles boys lost David Pennesi and Brian O’Loughlin to graduation. The girls are awaiting the return of junior Frances Morales from a stress fracture in her foot.
So far both groups appear capable of dealing with the absences.
Colonial Forge’s boys placed second in the Knights Crossing Invitational last weekend in Salem. The girls placed third.
“I think the biggest thing that stood out with the boys was depth,” Eagles coach Sean Leyh said.
Senior Chris Rosati led the way with a 14th-place finish (16:56.92). Andrew Boykin, Colin Doescher and Cullen Monahan placed 26th through 28th, respectively, finishing within one second of each other.
“Chris took a chance and had a breakthrough,” Leyh said. “The boys are starting to grow up a little bit. They’re kind of stepping out of [Pennesi and O’Loughlin’s] shadow and doing their own thing.”
Colonial Forge’s girls have key returners from last year’s team, which won Commonwealth District and Northwest Region championships.
Morales won the district individual championship last year, but the Eagles are still thriving.
Allison Taylor led the way with a 15th-place showing at Knights Crossing (20:08.71). Megan Rebholz was 18th, while freshman Madeleine Rodman was 27th and Jenna Walker 31st.
“We have a very deep group,” Leyh said. “Our top four are all interchangeable.”
Leyh said Morales is eager to return to action, but he’s more focused on her being ready for the postseason.
The Eagles will participate in the Lake Braddock Relays on Saturday in Fairfax County. After that, they’ll take two weeks off to train for the Disney Classic in Orlando, Fla., on Oct. 6.
—Taft Coghill Jr.