Harborfields junior Kelsey Margey is proving that, in her cross country season, that not only is she one of the most dangerous distance runners in the state but she’s tough too.
Cody Pelliccioni, senior from Morgantown, is having an awesome season. On September 11, Pelliccioni placed 2nd at the Red, White & Blue Classic in Pittsburg, PA in 15:22. To prove it wasn't a fluke, he finished 3rd at the Great American Cross Country Festival this past Saturday in Cary, NC. with a personal best time of 15:14.40 and a WV #2 season best. The AAA boys race is shaping up to be a great race among several contenders.
Photo by Timothy O'Dowd, IrishRunner.com
You want it? We got it! It's a full weekend recap with summaries of each events' results and breakdown of the happenings at the Greater Louisville Classic as well. With new rankings coming this week, where does your team stand?
Great American Complete Results Upload your Great American photos here The Midlothian boys and girls (both pictured above by Glenn Dow) were the top team finishers from Virginia in the Race of Champions as both finished second in the highly competitive race featuring many of the top ranked teams in the Southeast Region as well as nationally ranked squads from the Northeast. The Midlothian boys finished second with 128 points and ahead of returning NXN Southeast squads Columbus (FL) and Brookwood (GA), while US #28 Trinity Prep of Florida won the title with 96 pts. Midlothian senior Brayden Burleigh showed why he is still one of the state's most talented distance runners by beating the time which he ran last November to qualify individually for NXN and running the state's fastest time this fall for 5K taking 7th place individually with a 15:20 clocking. Fellow Trojan senior Darren Barlow ran really strong in the #2 spot to run his first sub 16 minute 5K ever in 20th place at 15:40 behind only two other Virginians in teammate Burleigh and Cosby senior Evan Niciphor (14th, 15:36). Also competing as an individual along with Niciphor in the Race of Champions was John Handley's Thomas Delaney, who came in right after Barlow in 22nd place (15:41). Completing Midlo's team scoring and running just over 16 minutes were Sam Hush (41st, 16:04), Andrew Gorsuch (45th, 16:06), and Sean Willard (47th, 16:08). Ryan Peterson made for a fast sixth runner in a time of 16:09 for 51st place as Midlothian averaged 15:51 as a unit. Colonial Forge boys averaged 16:14 as a squad as a sub 16 minute run from Brian O'Loughlin (36th, 15:59) led his team to a seventh place finish with 250 points to be placed just behind of defending NXN Southeast champions Brookwood of Georgia (6th, 228 pts) and ahead of quality Northeast squads Saratoga Springs of New York (8th, 264 pts) and Danbury of Connecticut (9th, 269 pts). The Midlothian girls were the top team for the Southeast region taking second only to US #2 Saratoga Springs (53 pts) with a team score of 114 points, which put them well ahead of the third place team Holy Trinity (FL) with 185 points. The Midlothian girls had a team average of 18:37 on the WakeMed Soccer Park 5K course in Cary, NC. Their top four finishers were well packed together finishing within 13 seconds and five places by running PR's across the board with Claire Benjamin (19th, 18:24), Kari Johnston (20th, 18:25), Krista Willard (23rd, 18:34), and Kara Dickerson (24th, 18:37). The noteworthy fact is Midlothian's great team showing at Great American could have been even better and finished even closer to one of the nation's best squads in Saratoga Springs with an off race (coming back from mono) from one of their top runners Marie Johnston, who was the team's fifth finisher completing the team scoring in 42nd place with a time of 19:06. The Colonial Forge (7th, 227 pts), Hidden Valley (8th, 231 pts), and Western Albemarle (10th, 241 pts) girls all finished really close to one another in the ROC race with Midlothian and all three should gain NXN Southeast top 10 ranking consideration following their team efforts in Cary this weekend. Western Albemarle senior Mattie Webb made a name for herself on the national scene running an amazing 5K personal best of 17:38 to place third individually in the Race of Champions, while Cosby junior Megan Moye was not too bad herself running an incredible race for fourth place in a time of 17:44 to make for two of the top four finishers from Virginia. The Mountain View boys won the seeded invitational division with 134 points putting three runners among the top 10 finishers with Robert Thomas (6th, 16:08), Jared Elly (7th, 16:12), and Nicholas Wolfe (10th, 16:18) while their fourth and fifth stepped up to run under 17 minutes and close the door for team victory. More impressive though was the complete Virginia domination in this division as following Mountain View for the next four team places were schools from Virginia with Albemarle (2nd, 148 pts), Brentsville (3rd, 165 pts), Loudoun County (4th, 166 pts), and James Robinson (5th, 169 pts). Loudoun County senior Tommy Curtin enjoyed his first taste of victory this weekend and appears back on track to contend for the Group AA state title by posting a season best time of 15:36 to take first in the seeded invitational race. In the girls' race for the seeded invitational (2nd most competitive race), top teams from the Northwest Region went to battle among Albemarle, Forest Park, and Mountain View for the places after the incredible Saratoga Springs program's "B" squad won the division. The Albemarle girls got the leg up on both Forest Park and Mountain View at least for this weekend taking runner-up behind Saratoga Springs with 84 points. Not far behind were their regional rivals Forest Park (97 pts) and Mountain View (109 pts) for third and fourth respectively in the division. Both Albemarle and Forest Park had individual runners place high with two of the region's best after Hannah Lowery in Forest Park junior Natalie Young (4th, 18:31) and Albemarle sophomore Allison Huschke (5th, 18:40) both racing well with a season best run for Young and personal best for Huschke. The third best division in the varsity red races had a sweep of Virginia individual champions with Morgan Price of Brentsville (18:55) breaking 19 minutes to lead her school to a runner-up team showing, while Manchester junior Nathan Clarke won by 17 seconds in the boys' race with his finish time of 16:16. With four runners among the top 12 places, the Trinity (Richmond) boys easily won the first ever Independent Schools Championship division race at Great American with a team score of 49 points. Episcopal of Alexandria finished fourth with 95 points. Trinity boys had three runners under 17 minutes with Guy Shelby (6th, 16:20), Mac Strehler (8th, 16:46), and Reider Strehler (10th, 16:48). In race between two of the top ranked private school runners in Virginia, Episcopal's Reid Nickle finished 7 seconds ahead of Trinity's Shelby in fifth place with a time of 16:13. More to come from Great American!
In the Race of Champions, both Midlothian and Colonial Forge have their boys and girls squads selected to compete in the elite division while VA #7 ranked Hidden Valley, VA #11 ranked Western Albemarle, and Cosby also made the cut to be included in the most competitive race of the meet. Midlothian and Colonial Forge boys are two of the best teams in Virginia as the current top two contenders for the Group AAA state title. Both have post-season aspirations of qualifying for the Nike Cross Nationals. In Cary, North Carolina, each will get to measure up against one another and race against the Southeast's two NXN qualifiers from a year ago in US #19 Brookwood of Georgia and US #45 Columbus of Florida. VA #18 ranked Thomas Delaney of John Handley is racing as a lone individual in the ROC as well as Cosby's Evan Niciphor, while Colonial Forge has their strong four of Donny Lozier, Brian O'Loughlin, David Pennesi, and David Klimek all knocking on the door of breaking 16 minutes each already this fall. Not to be forgotten is Midlothian senior Brayden Burleigh, who in his last appearance at WakeMed Soccer Park punched his ticket to qualifying for the Nike Cross Nationals individually with a personal best 5K performance of 15:24. The Midlothian girls are the top ranked team from the Southeast Region present, but the teams from Virginia and the Southeast will have their work cut off for them to seriously challenge US #2 and defending Great American champions Saratoga Springs of New York. VA #3 ranked Midlothian along with VA schools Colonial Forge (VA #6), Hidden Valley, and Western Albemarle will likely be racing for the places following Saratagoa Springs with US #15 La Salle Academy of Rhode Island and other Northeast schools Bishop Feehan (NE #3) of Massachussetts and North Shore (NY #5) of New York. Top individuals from Virginia who are hoping to finish well inside the top 10 and break onto the national scene are Maymont third place finisher Mattie Webb of Western Albemarle and Oatlands Invitational champion Megan Moye of Cosby. Aisling Cuffe from New York will be heavily favored to win individually as one of the top returning runners in the nation as the Foot Locker Northeast champion in 2009. With Great American now only a state away, many more Virginia schools are coming back to the meet after skipping out on the long travel from its previous location in Hoover, Alabama. The seeded invitational division, which is the second most competitive race at Great American, is a perfect example of that as almost half of the field in the 20 school boys race and 16 school girls race appears to made up of Virginia schools. Many quality programs and top individuals are racing in the seeded invitational, who could also hold their own in the Race of Champions. The seeded invitational boys' race has four squads which have been ranked among the top 10 in the state at some point this season with Albemarle, Brentsville, Loudoun County, and Mountain View. With the exception of Osbourn Park, Great American appears to have become a preview meet for the Northwest Region girls with Colonial Forge in the Race of Champions, while three of the other four top 5 ranked teams in that region are slated to race head-to-head in the seeded invitational division with Albemarle, Forest Park, and Mountain View. Private school squads from Trinity (Richmond, VA) and Episcopal (Alexandria, VA) will be competing in the first ever American Independent Schools Championship race at Great American, which is attempting to gather some of the top private school programs and runners in the country. The Trinity boys should have a very realistic shot at winning this division as taking first place is all they have done so far this winning notching top honors at the Fork Union Invitational and in the coastal division at Maymont to currently find themselves ranked #8 in the state of Virginia regardless of classification. Individually, Episcopal's Reid Nickle and Trinity's Guy Shelby are two of top ranked private school runners in Virginia, but will have their hands full racing against two of North Carolina's best who happen to run for private schools in Scott Morgan of Calvary Baptist and Thomas Graham of Cary Academy, who already have ran times of 15:14 and 15:28 earlier this season on the same 5K course used for Great American. Note: Any parent photographers attending Great American and willing to contribute their photos from the meet (in particular the Race of Champions & Seeded Invitational races), please let us know!
Cornwall senior Aisling Cuffe isn’t the typical teenager. Besides the fact that she’s the top-ranked cross country runner in the country, it’s even more amazing that she’s never really been attached to her cell phone.