There were some significant accomplishment during last fall’s high-school cross country season by teams and individuals.
The question about the 2019 campaign, which begins for some teams Aug. 31 at the Great Meadow Invitational, then for most others Sept. 7, is can those team achievements, at least, be duplicated with the graduation of those of those top individual standouts.
Last fall the Washington-Liberty Generals girls team (then named Washington-Lee) was the biggest overall team winner. The Generals won Liberty District and 6D Northern Region meets and finished third in the Virginia High School League’s Class 6 state meet. Before all of that. W-L won the Arlington County championship.
A number of key W-L runners graduated from that team, so younger runners will have to perform well of the Generals hope for repeat performances this fall. Washington-Liberty opens at the Sept. 7 Monroe Parker Invitational at Burke Lake Park.
The Yorktown High girls also had strong showings last fall, placing second in the Liberty District and sixth in the region meet.
Yorktown graduated a couple of key top runners, but returns a good number as well.
On the girls private-school scene, the Bishop O’Connell Knights had a strong season last fall. With the return of some of their top runners from 2018, including Tess Brinkman and Katherine Slovak who were highly accomplished a year ago, the Knights have the potential to improve on runner-up finishes in county, conference and state championship meets.
Brinkman was the individual conference champion last fall and Slovak was second.
Alissa Keegan and Olivia Chiapetta are other key returns for the O’Connell girls.
In boys cross country, O’Connell won the county crown a year go, was third in third conference and second in the state. Ryan Lindley, Nicholas Slovak, Joe Frankino, Andres Penafiel and Evan Sarchio are key returners for O’Connell who participated in big meets during the 2018 season.
The Washington-Liberty boys were were second in the county meet and third in the district last year, but lost some key runners to graduation.
The Yorktown boys were second in the district and Yorktown runner Albert Velikonja won the individual region crown.
The Arlington County meet is the afternoon of Oct. 9 this fall at Bluemont Park.
The meet consists of all four girls and boys high-school teams in Arlington.