RC Runners Set 14 PRs

In the fastest meet in the state on Saturday, 14 Rockbridge County High School cross country runners set personal records at the Albemarle Invitational at Panorama Farms in Earlysville.

With many state championship contenders from several divisions taking on the challenging 5-kilometer course, the Wildcats pushed themselves to exceed expectations.

“We encouraged our runners to really find their limits in this race, and they all took up the challenge,” said RC assistant coach Peter Jet-ton.

The RC girls didn’t have a complete team (a minimum of five runners) in the varsity race because several of their top runners took part in the freshman race. Broad Run’s Ellie Desmond won the varsity race in 17:56.6. Leading the Wildcats was Karalyn Timmes, placing 63rd of 223 harriers in 21:09.4. RC’s other runners in the varsity race were Liesel Nelson (150th, PR 23:16.1), Aili Waller (152nd, 23:17.9) and Dreamer Coleman (208th, 26:34.3).

In the freshman race, the RC girls placed second of five teams with 47 points, only trailing state powerhouse Albemarle (40). Harrisonburg (51) placed third.

Fort Defiance’s Emma Staley won in 20:38.4, but RC’s Elizabeth McClung wasn’t far behind, placing fourth of 59 runners in a PR 21:08.4. Wildcat Megan Timmes followed in sixth in 21:13.8. Other RC runners – all recording PRs – were Ellie Mastin (23rd, 23:58.6), Jessa Hoover (24th, 24:07.7) and Abby Hickman (36th, 25:00.3).

Both varsity course records were broken. In the boys’ race, the previous 17-year-old record was held by 2002 RC graduate John Crews, a former state champion.

The RC boys placed 33rd of 39 teams with 938 points. Loudoun Valley won the race with 21 points, Albemarle (88) placed second, and Western Albemarle (106) finished third.

Loudoun Valley’s Carlos Schultz won in a 15:08.7.

Leading the Wildcats was Josh Wawrzyniak, placing 134th of 300 runners in 17:44.3, with teammate John Ryan Sedovy following closely in 151st in a PR 17:58.3. Wildcats following Sedovy were Kyle Kendall (211th, PR 18:55.2), Pierson Hull (253rd, 19:51), Adam Saacke (260th, PR 20:11.3) and Howie Youngdahl (272nd, 20:54.8).

In the boys’ freshman race, won by Atlee’s Travis Albon in 17:40, Zekw Mohr led RC by placing 61st of 123 harriers in a PR 21:10.7. Following closely was teammate Jack Wasser (67th, PR 21:27.4). RC’s other two freshmen running were Brice Hall (114th, PR 24:54.4) and Hans-Pieter Nelson (115th, 24:54.6).

RC’s junior varsity runners who recorded PRs were Lincoln Garcia, Joe Gearhart and Michael Gilbert.

Next up the Wildcats will compete in the Runnin’ With the Wolves Rocktober Fest at Radford Estates Wolf Branch Farm in Forest.

After that meet, they’ll race in the Valley District Meet at the Rockingham County Fairgrounds on Tuesday, with the girls’ race at 5:30 p.m., followed by the boys’ race at 6:15. The top two teams and the top five individuals outside of those teams will advance to the Region 3C Meet.

“Both teams are improving with each race, and we are in good position heading into the district championships,” observed Jetton.

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