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Cross Country Notepad: Numbers factor in Hawks’ favor
Brooke Point veteran cross country coach Joe Ocheltree is pleased with the depth of his boys team.
The Black–Hawks are so deep that after No. 1 runner Robert Walker, any of several boys could finish second in a given race.
Ocheltree said there are “10 or 11” guys all vying to be in the Black–Hawks’ top seven.
“In all honesty I wouldn’t want to name any of the others besides Robert just because they’re all so close,” Ocheltree said. “They’re shifting spots all the time. I’m not sure how it’s going to shake out until we get to districts. But I’m very happy with the way the guys’ team is competing and working.”
The Black–Hawks have taken a break from major meets since the Woodberry Forest Invitational on Sept. 15.
Walker finished fifth in that race. Ocheltree said he has consistently finished in the top five this season. Last year, Walker and four other runners dominated the rest of the team, Ocheltree said.
But this year is different. And Ocheltree is hoping the newfound depth can help the Black–Hawks establish themselves in the Commonwealth District, which many coaches consider the toughest league in the state.
“Albemarle, Colonial Forge and Stafford are still at the top, but after that I think this year it’s a little more open,” Ocheltree said. “It’s going to come down to who runs the best on that particular day. If anybody has problems or mistakes, another team is going to get ahead of them.”
The Black–Hawks have been training relentlessly since their last big race. On Saturdays, they had what Ocheltree calls “long runs” at the school or one of the parks in Stafford County.
They’ll return to action Saturday with the Octoberfest Invitational in The Plains.
—Taft Coghill Jr.