Yorktown boys runner McArdle

Yorktown's Owen McArdle trails Oakton's Zach Morse at the two-mile mark of the boys region meet. (Photo by Dave Facinoli)

Their strategy of running faster but more loose worked.

By doing so, the Yorktown Patriots achieved their goals of finishing second in the 6D North Region boys high-school cross country championship and earning a berth into the Class 6 state meet for the first time in decades, maybe ever.

The Oakton Cougars won in dominating fashion with 30 points on the 2.98-mile Burke Lake Park course in the April 15 race. Yorktown had 65, well ahead of third-place finisher Madison with 84.

“Today was a good day for us,” Yorktown coach Jacob Dumford said. “Almost all of the guys ran faster times than we did a week ago at the district meet, and we needed to do that. They showed up ready to race.”

Yorktown’s highest finisher was Owen McArdle in fifth in 15:43. Jack Levine was ninth in 16:05, 19 seconds faster than he ran at districts. Lachlan Stevens placed 14th in 16:10 (an 11-second improvement), Lucas Keith took 18th (16:35), Jack Blocher crossed in 27th in 16:58 (he ran 17:22 at districts), Josh Sokol had an eight-second improvement (17:05) to wind up 31st and Thomas Foti was six seconds quicker, 41st (17:47).

“Levine and Blocher really stepped up and made the big improvements,” Dumford said. “We wanted our runners to stay relaxed early, then be the best team out there the last mile. We knew if we did that, we would be all right.”

Yorktown finished fourth in the previous region meet in 2019.

“We had a more talented team then, but this year our runners performed better and rose to the occasion,” Dumford said.

In the April 15 girls region race at the same venue, Yorktown’s Piper Dean was injured and did not run. She placed third the previous week in the Liberty District meet and was second in the 2019 region meet.

Washington-Liberty’s Ally Obenberger finished 14th in the April 15 region meet in 20:26, and her teammate Rachel Mulvaney was 16th (20:30).

Yorktown’s Sofia Sheldon finished 29th (21:17), and Wakefield’s Courtney Hanley was 31st (21:33) and Brianna Breyault 44th (22:16).

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