Monroe cross country

Alex Sharff and Sarah Earle at Fork Union Military Academy.

The William Monroe boys and girls cross country teams are off and running.

The 2019 season started with the sound of the gun at the prestigious Ragged Mountain Cup on Aug. 27 at Panaroma Farms in Charlottesville. Seniors Eddie Pritchard and Kelly Young earned All Cup Honors, placing in the top 25 of a very competitive field.

The boys’ team of Pritchard, Conrad Bruton, Evan Young and Luke Velasquez placed 11 out of 35 teams. The girls’ team of Young, Ellie Andreson, Sarah Earle and Kayla Baker placed eighth out of 25 teams.

The next day both teams were victorious in a tri-meet with Page County and East Rockingham high schools.

The Central Invitational in Woodstock on Aug. 31 was right around the corner and the runners laced up their shoes for more impressive racing over the rolling hills surrounded by corn fields, as Pritchard placed in the top 15 to earn all meet honors.

The team, which has been training through the summer heat, was filled with great anticipation of the first home meet on Sept. 11 at the Greene County Park against Fluvanna, Madison and Page counties, only to have thunder and lightning delay and eventually cancel the meet.

The racers’ spirits were not dampened as they changed their focus and mental preparation to the elite Oatlands Invitational at Oatlands Plantation on Sept. 14. The boom of the gun sent the ladies off, led by Young, Andreson and Earle finishing strong in a pack of hundreds. The boys representation of Pritchard, Bruton and Young had strong performances.

The excitement of a regular season meet on a clear, crisp Sept. 18 filled the air as the teams traveled to Woodstock to race Central (Woodstock), George Mason and Warren County high schools. The boys stampeded off first as Pritchard challenged for the lead finishing a strong second place overall followed by Bruton, Young, Logan Brown, Nathan Lindegren, Velasquez and Logan Spencer to round out the top seven and finish third as a team. The ladies charged out as Andreson efficiently worked herself up in the pack and led the girls team with a strong ninth place finish followed by Young, Earle, Olivia Hoffacker, Kayla Baker, Livia Kilby and Jenna Velasquez.

On both Oct. 2 and 9 the Monroe runners have home meets. Oct. 9 will be the senior meet where seniors are honored. Come out and pack the park while cheering on the William Monroe racers.

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