Historic Runs: Albemarle cross country sweeps Region D meet

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The last time Albemarle’s boys cross country team won a region title, some of the team’s members weren’t born yet. The last time the Albemarle girls cross country team won a region title came two decades before that boys title.


Never have both won one in the same year, but all three of those droughts ended Thursday afternoon at Panorama Farms as the Patriots swept the Class 5, Region D meet with the boys and girls both winning titles with five top 10 finishes by runners each.


In the process, Albemarle girls senior Ryann Helmers cruised to a Region D individual championship by nearly a minute and a half, clocking an 18:33.3.


The girls outpaced second place Mountain View by 54 points, totaling 28 as a squad with Helmers in first, fellow senior Natalie Li in second, freshman Arianna Deboer in sixth, sophomore Madelyn Zarzyski in ninth and sophomore Beth Shifflett in 10th. Kenzie Lloyd checked in in 13th and Madeline Kronebusch in 18th. Even if Helmers and Li’s finishes hadn’t counted, the next five Albemarle runners would’ve easily taken the title.


The boys team was nearly equally dominant, outgunning runner-up Stafford High by 32 points. Senior Josh Fard’s fourth place finish led the Pats, with Mark Pellissier and Harris Naseh taking fifth and sixth within five seconds of Fard. Cutter Huston’s eighth-place finish and J.D MacKnight’s ninth place finish rounded out the pack-like performance with the top five Albemarle runners finishing within 30 seconds of one another. Sophomores Samuel Tamblre and Will MacKenzie took 11th and 12th overall for good measure.


Henrik Anderson of third-place Mountain View won the individual title.


Orange County’s boys team finished eighth overall in the race, including a seventh place finish by freshman Ethan Pettyjohn. Bobby Lee took 31st, Griffin Floyd took 39th, Chance Bowers finished 47th and Tyler Trask took 57th.


The Orange County girls team also took eighth overall, led by senior Virginia Faulconer in 34th, sophomore Mary Oelrich in 38th, Daisy Floyd in 44th, Kylie Trask in 46th and Gracie Steigler in 49th.