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Prep Cross Country: Eagles’ girls roll at Northwest Region meet
REBHOLZ PACES COLONIAL
FORGE; LOWERY, MacLEOD
ALSO STRONG AT MEET
FORGE; LOWERY, MacLEOD
ALSO STRONG AT MEET
BY TAFT COGHILL JR.
THE FREE LANCE-STAR
CHARLOTTESVILLE—A year ago, Colonial Forge cross country standout Megan Rebholz was out with a hip flexor as the Eagles celebrated their second straight Northwest Region championship.
The Eagles were paced at that event by Frances Morales, who was enjoying a breakthrough sophomore season.
The roles are now reversed. Morales has missed the campaign with a stress fracture in her foot, and Rebholz is thriving. The junior placed fourth at Wednesday’s regional meet at Panorama Farms to lead the Eagles to their third straight team title.
Colonial Forge (71 points) edged Battlefield (78) and Osbourn Park (79) to claim the crown. Osbourn Park won the boys title.
“I’m very proud,” Eagles head coach Sean Leyh said. “We lost one of the top girls in the country. For them to come back and do this today, I’m so proud.”
Leyh had a heart-to-heart meeting with his runners after Morales’ injury. The Eagles didn’t believe they could defend their Commonwealth District and region titles without her.
Instead, they’ve done both as they look ahead to the Group AAA state meet next Saturday at The Plains.
“It feels great,” Rebholz said. “Sitting out last year was the worst ever and I feel bad for Frances. When we lost her we were like, ‘We don’t have a chance anymore.’ But then we were like, ‘No, we can’t think like that. We’ve got to pick it up.’”
Rebholz delivered the second-best performance for a Fredericksburg-area girl Wednesday. Stafford senior Hannah Lowery placed third as she continues to regain the form that helped her win the state championship as a sophomore in 2010.
Lowery was also third at the district meet, but she said Wednesday was the best she’s felt in a long time. She missed all of her junior indoor track and field season and most of the outdoor season while dealing with a low iron count and a broken ankle.
“I think I got to about the half-mile mark and I realized, ‘I feel really good today,’” Lowery said of Wednesday’s performance. “I hadn’t had that feeling in a while. I think once I got started, I felt the momentum in me. I knew it was going to be a good day and I just kept that confidence throughout the race. That’s something I hadn’t done earlier in the season.”
The top four teams and top 15 individuals from Wednesday advanced to the state meet. The Colonial Forge girls are the only boys or girls program from the Fredericksburg area to advance.
Stafford’s boys placed sixth and won’t be able to defend their 2011 state championship. The Indians were paced by senior Ian MacLeod, who finished third.
“The disappointment is not getting back,” Stafford coach Pete Augrom said. “Realistically, we knew defending the title, Chantilly is just that good, it wasn’t going to happen. But we wanted the opportunity to get back. I still feel like we’re a top-10 team in the state.”
Stafford’s Joey Abbatiello (13th on Wednesday) will join MacLeod as individual state entrants. Brooke Point junior Robert Walker (eighth), Riverbend’s Will Young (11th) and Colonial Forge’s Andrew Boykin (14th) also qualified for the meet.
On the girls side, Lowery, Rebholz, Mountain View’s Jordan Angers (seventh) and Colonial Forge’s Allison Taylor (13th) and Lilly Moore (15th) all placed in the top 15.
Team scores: 1. Colonial Forge 71; 2. Battlefield 78; 3. Osbourn Park 79; 4. Albemarle 119; 5. Patriot 157; 6. Stafford 159; 7. Woodbridge 187; 8. Mountain View 196; 9. Patrick Henry-Roanoke 211; 10; Freedom 281; 11. Forest Park 315; 12. Broad Run 323; 13. Hylton 381; 14. Franklin County 395; 15. Halifax 457.
Individual top 15: 1. Nicole Carter (Bf) 18:45.5; 2. Emma Nowak (Osbourn) 18:54.5; 3. Hannah Lowery (St) 18:58.9; 4. Megan Rebholz (CF) 19:01.6; 5. Allison Huschke (Al) 19:20.1; 6. Alina Woodford (PH) 19:20.7; 7. Jordan Angers (MV) 19:33.4; 8. Georgia Matthews (Bf) 19:38.1; 9. Melissa Temple (FC) 19:41.3; 10. Jillian Everly (OP) 19:48.5; 11. Kelly Russell (OP) 19:49.7; 12. Eliana Harnage (Wbg) 19:52.6; 13. Allison Taylor (CF) 19:58.8; 14. Siobhan O’Toole (Freedom) 20:04.7; 15. Lilly Moore (CF) 20:07.8.
Team scores: 1. Osbourn Park 60; 2. Battlefield 67; 3. Forest Park 114; 4. Patriot 114; 5. Albemarle 123; 6. Stafford 129; 7. Mountain View 151; 8. Colonial Forge 158; 9. Broad Run 239; 10. Patrick Henry-Roanoke 287; 11. Freedom 319; 12. Woodbridge 328; 13. Potomac 408; 14. Franklin County 430;
15. Halifax 464; 16. William Fleming 533.
Individual top 15: 1. Ryan Thomas (Alb) 15:51.3; 2. Andrew Gaiser (FP) 15:54.8; 3. Ian MacLeod (St) 16:03.7; 4. Nickolas Causey (OP) 16:13.7; 5. Ben Sorensen (MV) 16:16.5; 6. Nick Bussian (Pat) 16:20.3; 7. Luke Mazzu (Bf) 16:21; 8. Robert Walker (BP) 16:22.9; 9. Jonathan Lopacki (OP) 16:24.4; 10. Haben Zemichael (Bf) 16:30.4; 11. Will Young (Riverbend) 16:31.9; 12. Joaquin Garcia (FP) 16:32.3; 13. Joey Abbatiello (St) 16:34.4; 14. Andrew Boykin (CF) 16:35.8; 15. Matthew Thatcher (OP) 16:36.5.
Taft Coghill Jr.: 540/374-5526