Patriots boys, girls cross country teams advance to NW region

The consensus much of the season was that either Albemarle or Stafford is the favorite to come away with the Group AA championship. While there was a winner on Thursday in the Commonwealth District Championship, it did little to decide a front runner. But with all the heavy lifting Albemarle did up front, it was Aaron Elder’s 25th place finish that decided it as the Patriots took home the CD title with a 1-point win over the Indians.

Albemarle’s top for runners had a huge day with Adam Visokay finishing in first ahead of Colonial Forges’s Brian Loughlin by eight seconds. Just 10 seconds after Visokay broke the tape, teammate Ryan Thomas took third place. Seniors Chris Springer and Ben Deal finished just a half second apart from one another to take 10th and 11th respectively. 

Stafford’s top four runners took fifth, sixth, ninth and fourteenth and seventeenth, leaving the Patriots in a waiting game for that fifth runner with an awfully narrow lead. Elder edged out Brooke Point’s Brian Quintana by three 10th’s of a second to preserve the win. 

The two teams both advance to Northwest Region Championship on Wednesday at Panorama Farms, Albemarle’s home course to set up another great matchup.

Orange County’s boys finished eighth with Patrick O’Connor’s finish leading the way.

Patriots girls move on

On the girls side, Albemarle came into the Commonwealth championship minus its top runner, Allison Huschke. As big of a loss as that is for the Patriots, Albemarle still got the job done by taking second place to extend its season.

The Patriots were led by junior Ciera Ulan who placed sixth and its last four runners all finish in thetop-20 to edge out North Stafford by six points for that coveted final NW region berth. Junior Lauren Truwit took 11th. Alexandra Stokes, Kirsten Smith and Emily Smith came across respectively in 16th, 18th and 20th place to round up their team’s scoring. 

Colonial Forge took the team title by 37 points and Eagles sophomore Frances Morales took first place in a photo finish with Mountain Views Kimberly Ficenec taking second by hundredths of a second.

The Patriots and Eagles both move on the NW region race on Wednesday at Panorama Farms.

Orange County’s girls finished eighth with Rain Mckime leading the pack for the Hornets.