Western boys cross country wins Region II title, four individual JD girls advance

For the second straight week, Western Albemarle’s boys cross country team put its top five in the top-40 and as a result, the Warriors came up with a Region II championship to follow last week’s Jefferson District title with a 20-point win over Loudoun County.

All five Western runners ran under 18 minutes at The Plains, the same site as the Group AA championship with Dave Taylor leading the way with his third overall performance. Back from injury, Ben Schiller did not lose a step after sitting out last week to take ninth overall. Coming in 17 th was Gavin Ratcliffe and then Adam Schiller  26 th. Alex Dejong rounded out the scoring for the Warriors with a 39th place race.

Monticello, the JD runnerup to Western, finished fifth as a team with Anthony Tamberinno leading way at 21st.

Fluvanna County’s Chris Markham earned a slot in the race with his top-15 performance last week and earned the chance to keep running by taking 15th this go around for the final individual state bid.

Individuals move on for JD girls

JD champion Fluvanna County and JD runnerup Western Albemarle failed to advance as a team with respective seventh and sixth place showings, but both squads will send a runner to the Group AA meet along with Powhatan and Monticello.

Nikki Douma took second last week to Powhatan’s Rachel Byrd in the JD meet but edged her out this time for fourth overall with a photo finish.

“It was the weirdest feeling every,” Douma said of the end of the race. “I felt like I could not go any faster. I just realized that I could beat (Byrd), that I could do this and I really want this. Somehow I found that extra push in me.”

Western’s Annie Taylor took sixth place to secure her spot for the last season of the season. Monticello senior Madeline Hermsmeier will also move on thanks to taking 14th overall.