The Western Albemarle boys cross country team is heading to the national finals.
The Warriors continued their stellar 2019 season on Saturday with a second-place finish in the Nike Cross Nationals Southeast Regional Meet in Cary, North Carolina. Western, the VHSL Class 3 state champion, finished with 117 points, trailing only first-place finisher Loudoun Valley.
As he has for the second half of the season, Jack Eliason led the way for the Warriors on Saturday. The senior finished seventh in 15:30.50. Teammate Joe Hawkes placed 17th in 15:31.30 to give WAHS two top-20 finishers.
Stuart Terrill crossed the line in 15:43.50 to place 33rd for the Warriors. Will Bonner was 45th, finishing in 15:51.00, while Joseph Taylor took 78th in 16:05.10 to round out Western’s top five runners.
The Warriors’ top-two finish sends them to next week’s Nike Cross National Finals in Portland, Oregon. The race, which will be comprised of teams from eight different regions across the country, will take place on Saturday, Dec. 7 at the Glendoveer Golf Course in Portland. A live webcast feed of the event will run on nikecrossnationals.com.
Albemarle also earned a top 10 finish in Saturday’s Southeast Regional meet. The VHSL Class 5 state champions placed ninth, finishing with 295 points. Will Mackenzie was Albemarle’s top-finishing runner, placing 27th in 15:40.10.
Joe Yung was 77th, crossing the line in 16:04.80, while J.D. MacKnight placed 98th for Albemarle in 16:11.50. Harris Naseh (126th, 16:19.90) and Stephen Smith (128th, 16:20.30) rounded out the Patriots’ top five runners.
The Albemarle girls team also had a strong showing at the meet, placing 16th as a team. Arianna DeBoer was the first Patriot in the chute, finishing 71st in 19:05.40. Sarah Leach was 102nd in 19:29.30, while Madelyne Zarzyski placed 138th in 19:51.10. Olivia St Amand (155th, 20:10.90) and Abby Murphy (196th, 20:48.10) were Albemarle’s final two scoring runners.