Winning Oakton High boys team

The Oakton Cougars had a pefect boys team score of 15 to win the Concorde District cross country meet. (Photo by Dave Facinoli)

There was one personal school record set and a rare team mark established about an hour apart by local winners in boys Concorde and Liberty district high-school cross country championships, also region qualifiers on April 8.

In the Concorde meet, the Oakton Cougars compiled a perfect score of 15 for the first time in league history to win the title. That means Oakton runners took the first five places, led by champion Arnaav Tikhe in 15:28 on the 2.98-mile Burke Lake Park course. Garrett Woodhouse was second in 15:35, Zach Morse third (15:58), Elham Hug fourth (16:00) and Nelson Jenkins fifth (16:22).

It’s rare when runners from the same team place one through five in big meets.

“They were ready for this race, they looked strong and they were eager,”
Oakton coach Matt Kroetch said. “They know what they want to do.”

The Oakton boys, who won district and region championships during the previous season en route to placing second in the state, have high hopes now to repeat as region champions, then win the state.

Another coach kidded Kroetch that his first four runners were disqualified for cutting the course, which worried for a second or two.

“I knew they would know better than to do that,” Kroetch said.

Also in the meet, Oakton’s Aidan Whipp was 10th (16:47) and Quin Sehon 17th (17:30).

The Madison Warhawks were second with 53 points, led by Will Massey in seventh (16:32), Ben Baker ninth (16:43), Robbie Jenkins 11th (16:54), Matthew Nichols 12th (16:59) and Soloman Hutchins 14th (17:07).

In the Liberty boys meet, McLean High School junior Xavier Jemison won in 15:41, passing Yorktown’s Owen McArdle (second, 15:44) in the final few yards with a strong kick. The 15:41 was a school record on the course by a McLean runner, and helping his team finish fourth.

“My coach told me to chill during the race, have fun, then win it at the end,” Jemison said. “It was a little closer at the end than I wanted.”

The old school record was 15:57.

The Langley boys were third, led by the fourth of Boden Gentile (16:15) and a fifth by Jackson Ellinger (16:20). McLean’s Rowan Frew was 12th (17:08).

In the girls Liberty meet, the Langley Saxons were the team champions with 51 points, led by the fourth of Lila Waters (19:31), fifth by Lilly Fowler (19:37), ninth by Genevieve Middleton (20:09) and 12th by Elena Pesvento (20:53).

McLean’s Thais Rolly was the race winner in 17:53, running down Herndon’s Gillian Bushee (second, 17:54) right at the end. The two ran out front for most of the race, with Bushee in the lead until the end.

In the girls Concorde meet, Oakton was second with 59 points and Madison fourth with 97.

For Oakton, Rhianen Eichelbaum finished fourth (20:29), Annika Morrill 11th (21:25) and Ryann Sheehan 12th (21:26).

Madison’s top finisher was Hannah Petersen in ninth (20:54).

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