Blacksburg continues to be the queen of girls’ cross country in Virginia. Despite the fact, the Bruins jumped from the 3A classification to 4A this season, the result remains the same. Saturday, the ladies ran away with the meet at 34 points. Loudoun Valley was second with 58, Grafton third at 118 and Jefferson Forest, who finished second to Blacksburg in the regional competition, was fourth in the state at 124 points.
Blacksburg Coach Brandon Belt felt his team had a great weekend at the state championships.
“We were expecting for the girls to win another state title, and although we didn’t have the best of days for our group it was still a solid effort, a big accomplishment, and a stepping stone to our ultimate season goal of qualifying for the Nike Cross National Championships for a fifth consecutive year,” he said.
This is the Blacksburg girls seventh consecutive state title, which ties the Virginia High School League (VHSL) record for consecutive wins in girls’ cross country. The win also brings their tally up to 18 total state titles, which is a VHSL record by six wins over the next best girls program.
Blacksburg’s Kaitlyn Wolfe was second behind Loudoun Valley’s Natalie Morris. Wolfe’s teammate, Ailene Edwards, slid in at number four.
“Kaitlynn entered the meet as the person to beat, and had a lead through a majority of the race. She unfortunately took a fall a bit past the mile marker and was spiked in the leg pretty bad, but this didn’t seem to affect her too much. I think without that fall she would have had a better race but there was plenty of time for her to pull out an individual XC state title,” Bear said.
The coach also expects Edwards to regroup and make a big impact at the National qualifying meet on Nov 25.
Blacksburg also got a sixth place finish by Sophia Link. Emily Fitch and Simonne Guenette took 15 and 17.
Loudoun Valley claimed the 2017 boys’ team title with Dominion second and Blacksburg third.
“I’m tremendously proud of the boys. Through a majority of the season we’ve been anywhere between fourth and sixth in the 4A Classification rankings, and we knew we could finish anywhere between second and fifth place on Friday. They put their hearts into their training and did everything I asked of them over the past five months to get to this point, and proved themselves to be a formidably competitive team in our new classification,” Bear said.
Henry Coddington was Blacksburg’s top finisher at 16th. Siddarth Nathella was 17th, Allistair Bushey 21st and Reid Holbert 30th.
For the boys, although they didn’t win they still hold the boys VHSL record of total state titles at 10.
In the 3A ranks, Christiansburg came into the competition with a regional title but things were a little tougher at the state meet. The Blue Demon boys’ squad would finish third behind Western Albemarle and Abingdon. Cave Spring was fourth.
Nate Leichner was the Blue Demons top individual finisher in 14th. Ethan Mills finished 21st and Nathan Morton was 28th.
On the girls’ side of the meet, Christiansburg would finish a distant eighth as Western Albemarle took the team title with Hidden Valley second.
Maddie Yancey was Christiansburg’s top finisher in 38th. Giulana Kassouf was 48th and Anna McGlamery 49th.
There was also another Christiansburg connection at the state cross country meet as the Lake Braddock boys’ and girls’ team took 6A team titles. The two are coached by CHS alum Jeff Custer, who has dominated the higher classification since he took over 10 years ago.