If you haven't scheduled your physical, do it NOW!
The start of official practice is just weeks away, so make sure you have your physical and get the paperwork turned in.

Zoe Clay's Triathlon Debut
Nothing short of Spectacular
  While most of you were still sleeping, Zoe Clay set out on the 350 meter swim, 11.5 mile bike and 2.75 mile run in The Jefferson Sprint Triathlon.  It was her first triathlon and she had just started cycling outside this past week.  Most of her cycling had been in the form of cross-training on an indoor bike.  Despite her lack of experience, she destroyed the field, finishing 3rd out of everyone and first woman.  She managed to bike 19.1 miles per hour and that put her in the lead.  After that she just needed to maintain, but she managed to pass more people on the run, her specialty.  It is nice to see all that cross training come in handy.  A big congratulations to Zoe.

WAHS Girls Know how to Stay Cool
The Western Girls take a dip to cool off after their run.  The team is having a great summer of running and it is nice to take the time for a little hike and swim at Blue Hole.  
The girls ran their usual distance run, starting at The Piedmont Store and ending at the trail head to Blue Hole.  They all brought snacks to share and after a little breakfast, walked the 1.3 miles uphill to Blue Hole.  The temperature of the water lived up to it's name and it was a great way to let the legs recover in the very cold water.  Photo Creds: Caitlin Boyd

Thursdays are for More Than Just Fun
    Thursdays are more than just fun.  We have been incorporating games to build team unity, but also to work on speed.  The old way of thinking was to just do distance in the summer.  In recent years the top athletes have realized that if you ignore those quick twitch fibers all summer, they are not going to be ready to fire after several months off.  You can't expect that kick to be there in October, if you haven't pushed your top speed at some point in your training.  A couple times a week, the girls are doing accelerations and full out sprints to continue to work on
their speed in the summer.  They will also begin working on dropping their pace for segments of their run.  Again, if you run at 9 minute pace all summer, how do you expect to be racing at 6:30 pace in the fall?  That is too big of a gap to make up.  You have to train your body to run at a faster pace and that training takes time.   It is also a way to avoid injury.   By bringing the pace down a few days a week, gradually, the girls will adapt to running at faster paces and will make a smoother transition when it comes time to race.  We are also working on developing a strong core with strength training on Mondays and Thursdays.  If for some reason you can't come on one of those days, make sure you are doing lunges, squats, ab work, push-ups and Thera band work to continue working on strength.  A strong core, means less chance of injury.  Our goal is to keep you healthy so you can reach your goals.  

Happy Fourth of July
Great Turn Out for Summer Running

  Summer running is in full swing.  Many are coming and going on vacations, but the girls are doing a great job of building their summer base.  They are also incorporating strength training on Monday and Thursday.  If you want to stay healthy, you have to work on your core, glutes, and upper body.   The summer is the best time to work on strength.  The team is looking impressive with lots of incoming freshman to help support the already strong upper class.  Good luck to Zoe Clay, who is going to do her first triathlon this Saturday.  With all her cross-training, she is sure to be an instant success.

Crozet Crew Gains Big Experience at Nationals
  Western entered 5 girls at Nationals this past weekend at North Carolina A & T in University in Greensboro, NC.  Only two of the five had been to Nationals before, so for most of the group it was exciting just to be there.  For senior, Averi Witt, it was her fourth Nationals experience.  She was entered in the Emerging Elite Mile and finished 12th with an outdoor PR of 5:00.33.  Her time would have placed her 13th in the Championship Mile.  She was also the top female miler from Virginia out of both the Emerging Elite and the Championship Mile.  
Katia Amos got her first Nationals experience, competing in The Freshman Triple Jump.  She had her best jump of the season and gained valuable meet experience. 
The 4 x Mile team of Alyssa Santoro-Adajian, Zoe Clay, Caroline McGahren, and Averi Witt finished 18th out of the 27 teams entered.  They barely made the qualifying time to enter and finished ahead of where they were seeded.  It was an honor just to get into the event and it gave Alyssa and Caroline their first Nationals experience as well as the much coveted Championship backpack.  After the 4 x Mile on Sunday the Girls headed to The Wet-N-Wild Water Park in Greensboro, where they were treated to thrilling rides with short lines.  It was a good way to cap off the season.  For Complete Results click here.

Seniors Rack up the Points for WAHS at the State Meet

   Western's seniors had a big day at the State Meet.  Masloff, Witt, and Tolman combined for 38 of Western's 59 points.  Averi Witt won the 1600, placed second in the 800 and anchored the second place 4 x 800.  Madison Masloff won the pole vault, with a vault of 11-0, her fourth state title.  Sarah Tolman placed second in the pole vault with 10-0.  
The pole vaulters also managed to capture 6th place with Mia Donelson who had her personal best vault of 9-6.  Melina Punsalon had her best performance, going 9-0 and finishing just out of the medals in 9th.   

  The Milers also managed to get 3 on the podium.  Zoe Clay went out fast in the 1600 and led through most of the first lap.  She and Averi Witt ran side by side through the second lap before Averi took the lead and pushed hard for the win, her third individual state title.  Zoe Clay hung on for third.  The big surprise was Alyssa Santoro-Adajian, who from the slow section managed to finish 7th.  In the 800, Averi finished second and Zoe came in 8th.  Caroline Koester, who was taking SAT's all morning, managed to place 6th in the 400, by winning the second of three sections.  The 4 x 800 team of Caroline McGahren, Alyssa Santoro-Adajian, Zoe Clay and Averi Witt placed second the night before.  They ran 9:36, a full 30 seconds faster than the team has run all year.
  It was a day with many 9th place finishes.  Grace Rainey started out the morning finishing in 9th in the 3200.  She ran one of her best races of the year, but got outkicked in the final yards.  Melina, as mentioned earlier was 9th in pole vault, but had her personal best vault and Leah Ackerman finished 9th in shot put.  The Warriors finished Fourth in the meet and was the top school from Central Virginia.  For complete results: Click here

Pole Vaulters Shine, Qualifying Four for States
  At the Region Meet this past Thursday, the pole vaulters had another amazing day.  Madison Masloff was the Region 3 A Champion in that event with a vault of 11-0.  Sarah Tolman had her best vaulting of the year to go 10-6 and capture second.  Mia Donelson had a personal best 9-0 to get 6th, and Melina Punsalon, also having her best vault of 8-9, placed 10th, but qualified by making the standard.  
  Our only other Region Champion was Averi Witt in the 1600.   She ran 5:06 and came back to place second in the 800 in 2:21.  Zoe Clay, also doing the 1600/800 double, placed third in the 1600 and fourth in the 800, qualifying for the State meet in both events.  
Caroline Koester ran her personal best time of 60.65 and placed third in the 400.  She also led off the third place 4 x 400 team.  Other team members were Katia Amos, Val Hajek, and Madison Masloff.  The 4 x 800 team of Christina Webb, Sarina Cooper, Charlotte ThomasClarke, and Grace Rainey placed 5th with Sarina running her personal best in that race.  
  Leah Ackerman placed 6th in the shot put, throwing 33-08.5.  Katia Amos had her season best triple jump, finishing 7th with a jump of 33-11.5.  Alyssa Santoro-Adajian placed 8th in the 1600 with a time of 5:25.61 with Caroline McGahren right behind in 9th.                                                                         
  Anna Harris finished 9th in the 100 with her personal best time of 13.20.   Sterling Hull ran her personal best time in the 400, running 64.27.  She has come a long way in her first year as a freshman.  
  Next week we have our State Meet on Friday and Saturday in Harrisonburg.  If we have inclement weather, Sunday will be used as a make-up day.  The banquet is scheduled for Sunday at 1:30.  There is a lot going on this week at practice.  Please see the Weekly Schedule link to your left so you don't miss out on anything.  For complete Region 3 A results Click here

Many Advance out of Conference 29
  Western ended up second behind the depth of Fluvanna's team, but that did not stop Western from having many Conference Champions as well as advancing the bulk of the team on to Regionals.  The Pole Vaulters reigned supreme again with four vaulters finishing in the top six.  Madison Masloff finished first, Sarah Tolman second, Melina Punsalon fourth, and Abby Cole, sixth.  In the 800, Western went one, three, and five, with Averi Witt, Alyssa Santoro-Adajian and Christina Webb.
 The 1600 we went one, three and sixth with Zoe Clay, Caroline McGahren, and Grace Rainey.  This was especially impressive being that Zoe has been back running just one week after taking six weeks off, due to a stress fracture.  Her time of 5:18.64 was a state qualifying time.  In the 3200 we went one, four and five, with Averi Witt, Grace Rainey, and Emily Winder.  Both Averi and Grace, had difficult doubles in the 90 degree heat.  Averi ran back to back events, winning the 800 and 3200.  Grace ran the 1600, 3200 double placing top six in both of those events.  
Leah Ackerman had a great day in the throws.  She won the shot put and placed 7th in the discus with her personal best throw. 
 Both the 4 x 800 and 4 x 400 relay teams won.  The 4 x 800 team of Alyssa Santoro-Adajian, Charlotte ThomasClarke, Christina Webb and Sterling Hull ran strong to win in 10:26.   Charlotte ran a two second PR with her lead off leg in 2:37.  Sterling came back in the 4 x 400 with team mates Caroline Koester, Madison Masloff, and Val Hajek.  
Earlier in the meet Caroline ran a personal best in the 400, running 60.84.  She placed second in that event. 
The 4 x 100 team of Anna Harris, Ella Flanders, Ashna Nitzche, and Jasmine Monge placed second. Val placed 4th in the 400 with her season best of 64.94 and Sterling placed 5th in 65.54.  Arianna Ballas placed 4th in the discus with her personal best throw of 88-05.  She also had a personal best of 25-05 in the shot put.  Ella Flanders had a personal best in the long jump.  She jumped 15-10 to place 4th and earn a trip to the Region Meet.  Katia Amos, coming back from injury, finished 5th in the triple jump with a jump of 33-05.  Anna Harris ran her personal best of 13.34 in the 100 to place 5th.  Madison Masloff ran her personal best in the 200, to finish 6th with a time of 27.74 and Ashna Nitzsche had her personal best in high jump to place seventh with a jump of 4-8.  There is talk of a bet that went down between her and Coach Tillery.  Come to practice Monday to see what Coach Tillery has to wear.  For complete results click here.  Next up Western will go back to Fluvanna Thursday for our Region 3A West meet.

Zoe Clay is Back in Action
 This past Friday, while meets were getting cancelled, first the Southern Track Classic, and then The Harrisonburg Last Chance, Coach Witt started scrambling to get a meet for some of our runners.  Luckily, there was a Tweet that went out that The Knight's Track Classic was accepting Southern Track Classic Athletes.  Since Averi was entered in STC, it was worth a try.  So Averi and Zoe got into the meet.  Zoe Clay has been out the past six weeks with her second stress fracture.  She has been training in the pool, on the elliptical and on the bike.  Many days she did two workouts a day in the hopes of returning in the best shape possible.  In just her second run in six weeks she managed to run a 2:24.83 in the 800, qualifying for The Region Meet and just missing the State standard by less than a half of a second.  Averi Witt ran the 1600, and the 800, winning the 1600 in 5:04.46 and placing second in the 800 in 2:23.83.  The next meet, Conference 29, will be this Thursday the 18th at Fluvanna.

Middle School Meet Showcases our Awesome 8th Graders
  The future looks bright for Western Albemarle's track program with three 8th graders finishing in the top four in the 800 at this past Wednesday's Central Virginia Middle School Invitational held at UVA's track.  Ella Taylor, Kate Ratcliffe, and Stella Rowe, went 1-2 & 4, running times that most high schoolers would be proud of.  Ella and Kate both ran 2:33 and Stella ran a 2:44.  Abby Coon also got some meet experience running in her very first track meet in that event.  Hermie Goings ran a 3 second personal best in the 1600 with a 6:43.  She came back later with team mates Stella, Kate, and Ella to place second in the 4 x 400.  This has been one of our best group of eight graders in recent years.  We are looking forward to many good years ahead with these girls.  


Dogwood Does Not Disappoint!
  Kate de Jong, pictured above in The Daily Progress.

  The biggest Dogwood in history unfolded this past Friday and Saturday, May 5th and 6th, under rainy and rare cold temperatures.  Most of the day temperatures hovered in the 50's, but the rain cleared, just in time to start the running events.  What resulted was amazing performances.  To give an example of the magnitude, out of the top 12 times recorded all season in the girls 1600, only one of them was not from The Dogwood.  The meet is put on by the areas schools, Western Albemarle, Albemarle, Monticello, and Charlottesville.  It is our biggest fund raiser and it took lots of parents and coaches to pull it off.  Many of the coaches arrived before 7 am and were still working at 11:30 pm.  It is a long day, but well worth it when our runners run so well.  
  Madison Masloff earned our highest place.  She finished in a tie for third with a state qualifying jump of 11-6.  The jump ties her recent personal best and currently has her ranked in a 3 way tie for 4th in the All-States division.  Madison came back later in the night to anchor the 6th place 4 x 400 which finished 6th, running 4:09.68, their season best by 4 seconds.  Other team members were Caroline Koester, Val Hajek and Katrine Berg.  

Averi Witt had our next hightest placing.  She placed fourth in a star studded field in the 1600, running a 7 second outdoor PR of 4:59.21.  Her time has her ranked 4th in The All-State division.  She came back later in the day to place 7th in the 800 from the third heat.  She ran a 3 second personal best of 2:18.29 which ranks her number one in 3A.  Our 4 x 800 team also was 4th with team members Christina Webb, Charlotte ThomasClarke, Grace Rainey and Sterling Hull, all recording personal best times.  
The Distance Medley team, the night before finished 5th, with team members Caroline McGahren, Sterling Hull, Grace Rainey, and Alyssa Santoro-Adajian.  Three out of 4 ran personal best times and one tied her season best.   Leah Ackerman placed 8th in shot put with one of her best throws, 34-10.  She continues to be a force and is moving up in the 3A state rankings.  She is presently ranked 12th in 3A.  Leah also threw her personal best throw in the discus, 78-10.
  Kate de Jong finished 11th in the 100 m hurdles and is currently ranked 5th in 3A.  Out of 146 schools and over 2,000 competitors, placing was no easy task.  Our sprint medley, finished just out of placing, finishing 9th after someone from another team stepped out in front of our girls receiving the final hand-off.  Team members were Anna Harris, Jasmine Monge, Caroline Koester and Averi Witt.  
  Mia Donelson had a personal best in the pole vault, going 8-9, a state
qualifying vault.  Grace Rainey ran a 25 second personal best in the 3200, running a state QT of 11:45.09.  Grace also set two PR's in the 800, on the distance medley relay, Friday evening and then the next morning in the 4x8.  Alyssa Santoro-Adajian, ran a 4 second PR in the 1600 to finish in 5:20.36 which qualifies her for the State Meet.  She is currently ranked 6th in 3A.  Julia Berg also managed to notch a place at the state meet, running a 2:22.62 in the 800, her first race since New Balance Nationals.  She is currently ranked third in 3A.  Julia, Katrine Berg, and Nichole Heon, all made time in their busy soccer schedule to help contribute this past weekend.  Nichole contributed on the 4 x 100 team which recorded its fastest time of the season with team members Ella Flanders, Jasmine Monge, and Anna Harris.  Nichole also ran a conference QT in the 100 m dash.  Katrine recorded a conference qualifying jump in triple jump and helped out on the 6th place 4 x 400.  
  Caroline McGahren ran a 5 second PR in the 1600 and earned a regional QT of 5:25.59.  She is currently ranked 10th in 3 A.  Emily Winder ran a 5 second PR in the 3200, running 12:18.86 and Sarina Cooper ran a 3 second PR with a 12:53.65.  
  All in all, it was an amazing meet.  The Western Girls finished 8th out of the 145 teams entered in the meet.  They were the highest placing team out of the area schools.  Louisa and Albemarle ended up in a tie for 13th.  For complete results click here.

Leah Ackerman Qualifies for the State Meet with her Personal best throw at the Charles B Gordon Invite

  Leah has been having an amazing season in Shot Put.  She had just thrown her season best by two feet this past Wednesday and she managed to add another foot to give her a personal best and state qualifying throw of 35-05.5 to place second in the invitational.  
   Despite the hot conditions we had a few others qualify for the State Meet or run personal bests.  Averi Witt started out the day by winning the 3200, running 11:09, her outdoor best by 24 seconds and a state QT.  She came back to anchor the 4 x 800, which finished second and also qualified for the state meet with team members, Christina Webb, Grace Rainey, and Alyssa Santoro-Adajian.  Grace Rainey had earlier placed third in the 3200 with one of her fastest times of the season.  Melina Punsalon tied her season best to finish second in the pole vault with a vault of 8-6.  Katia Amos finished 6th in the 300 m hurdles, knocking a few more tenths from her best time.  Sterling Hull continued to impress with a five second drop in the 800.  She is now down to 2:34.43.  
  By the end of the meet, the real feel temperature had reached 100 degrees, which made competition challenging.   The girls managed to have some great performances despite the heat.  

Masloff goes 11-6 in Pole Vault and Verbally Commits to Compete for UVA!

Madison Masloff had a huge day this past Wednesday at our District Meet in Louisa.  After many frustrating months, she cleared 11-6 to win The Jefferson District Pole Vault.  Madison had already committed to going to UVA, but was hoping to walk on the team in the fall.  Apparently the coach did not want to take chances and gave Madison a call.  A big congrats to Madison and coach Matheny for getting Madison to this level.  
  The team ended up third in the Jefferson District.  Two other pole vaulters placed.  Mia Donelson and Melina Punsalon placed 4th and 5th, both clearing 8-6.  Leah Ackerman won the shot put with a throw of 34-04, her season best by almost two feet.  Averi Witt won both the 1600 and 800 and Alyssa Santoro Adajian finished second in the 1600, running her season best time.  Caroline Koester finished second in the 400, running her
season best.  She also jumped her season best in long jump to finish 6th with 15-10.  Katia Amos finished 3rd in the 300 hurdles in her season debut.  Emily Winder was 3rd in the 3200 with an outdoor PR of 12:23.  Arianna finished 5th in discus with one of her better throws of the year.  Christina Webb ran a 5 second PR to finish 6th in the 800 with a 2:32.32 and  Caroline McGahren finished 6th in the 1600.
  Other outstanding performances came from Sterling Hull in the 400, running 65.43, a PR by a second and a half.  The 4 x 400 team of Caroline Koester, Katia Amos, Val Hajek, and Madison Masloff placed third with one of their best times of the season.  The 4 x 800 team of Sterling Hull, Christina Webb, Charlotte ThomasClarke and Emily Winder also placed third.  The 4 x 100 team of Katia Amos, Anna Harris, Ashna Nitzsche, & Jasmine  Monge finished fourth.  

The Bright Future of Western Track

The Eighth Graders traveled to Amherst on Friday and got the chance to shine in somewhat hot conditions.  We had six athletes travel and they all won some bling.  Kate Ratcliffe won the 800 in a time of 2:40 with Stella Rowe finishing second in 2:47.  Hermie Goings was fourth with a 17 second PR.  Ella Taylor won the 400, running 66 seconds.   Katie Carter was fourth in that event with a 4 second PR.  Ella came back to place fourth in the 200 and she anchored our second place 4 x 400 team with Kate Ratcliffe, Stella Row and Virginia Peng.  Virginia placed third earlier in the meet in the 1600.  There's lots of potential in this young group.   Can't wait to see what they will do next.
  Earlier in the Week the varsity squad traveled to Fluvanna to compete in a tri-meet with Powhatan.  The Warriors were missing several key members for various reasons, but it didn't keep them from racking up the points in several events.  The Warriors swept the 1600, with Averi Witt, Alyssa Santoro-Adajian, Caroline McGahren, Grace Rainey, Emily Winder and Christina Webb taking spots 1-6.  The pole vaulters almost swept the event as well.  Only one Fluvanna vaulter placed in the top 6.  The rest were Western vaulters.  Madison Masloff won the event with Sarah Tolman second, Melina Punsalon fourth, Abby Cole fifthth and Mia Donelson was sixth.  Western took 4 places in the 800 with Averi in second, Caroline in third, Alyssa in fifth and Emily in sixth.  It was the third event for all of them.  They were also in the 4 x 800 as a part of two teams which placed first and third, although only one team is permitted to score.  In that event we had three people run a personal best.  Charlotte ThomasClarke and Sterling Hull both ran 2:39 and Christina Webb had a two second PR to run 2:33.
   Western placed three people in the top six in the 400.  Caroline Koester was second, Sterling Hull was fifth and Cate Zobrist was sixth. Caroline also won the long jump with a jump of 15-6.  Her best jump in a meet, by almost two feet.   Sarina Cooper won the 3200 in a respectable early season time of 13:22.  
   Arianna Ballas placed second in the discus, throwing almost one foot farther than her personal best and earning a conference qualifying throw.  She also placed fourth in the shot put.  
   Katia Amos ran her personal best in the 200, first time under 29.0 in an open event to finish in 28.74 which placed her third.  Katia also won the triple jump with a jump of 32-6.  
   Hopefully the team will be almost back to full strength on Wednesday when we travel to Louisa for The Jefferson District Meet.

Western Places Second in Amherst Invitational
Masloff reaches new height

  Despite being down a few key people, Western managed to place second to 4A powerhouse EC Glass.  The team racked up points in the pole vault with Madison Masloff setting a personal best 11-4 for the win.  It had been a long time since Madison set a personal best, almost 11 months to be exact.  She has been adjusting to a new pole and despite the many months of frustration, she persevered and came out on top this week.  Mia Donelson and Melina Punsalon tied for fourth with their vault of 8-6.  Abby Cole was 7th in 8-0.  
   Averi Witt won the 800 after placing second to Libby Davidson in the 1600.  She also led off the second place 4 x 400 team so that Madison could finish her pole vault.  Kate de Jong finished second in the 100 hurdles, tying her personal best and she finished fourth in the 300 hurdles.  
  Western took third and fourth in the 3200 with Grace Rainey and Emily Winder.    Alyssa Santoro-Adajian and Jenna Hill took fifth and sixth in the 1600 and Jenna also finished sixth in the 800 with a four second PR of 2:31.2.  Val Hajek finished 6th as well, in the 400 and was part of the second place 4 x 400 team.  The 4 x 100 relay team of Anna Harris, Ella Flanders, Katia Amos and Jasmine Monge placed 6th as well.  Arianna Ballas placed fifth in the discus with a throw of 81-07.  Complete results can be found here.

Faith Reid Sets 300 hurdle Record
Western Wins at Albemarle

  Western's Faith Reid had the night of her life racing in the first quad meet of the season.  She won the long jump, she won the 100 meter hurdles, and the 300 meter hurdles and ran a leg on the second place 4 x 400 team.  Not only did she rack up 32 of the team's 108 points, but she smashed the school record in the 300 hurdles, running 47.3.  The previous record, 48.08 was set last year by Caroline Outlaw.  Sadly, Friday evening, as she was preparing for the next day's meet she was injured and we are awaiting confirmation of whether she broke or sprained both of her feet.  Update:  Both feet are broken and she will have surgery on Tuesday, April 25th.  She will be in a wheel chair for 6 weeks post surgery.  Please keep her and her family in your prayers.  
  We had several other individual winners at Albemarle.  Arianna Ballas set a personal best to win the discus in 83-05.   Caroline Koester ran her personal best to win the 400 in 61.3.  Katia Amos had her outdoor PR in triple jump to win in 32-05.  Averi Witt had her outdoor PR in the 3200 with an 11:33.1 and Madison Masloff won the Pole vault with a 10-0 vault.  Leah Ackerman won the shot put with a throw of 32-06.  The relay team of Alyssa Santoro-Adajian, Christina Webb, Sterling Hull and Caroline McGahren won the 4 x 800 in an exciting race which had Caroline coming from behind for the win.  
  We had many second place finishers.  The relay team of Anna Harris, Ella Flanders, Ashna Nitzsche and Jasmine Monge placed second in the 4 x 100.  Val Hajek, Katia Amos, Faith Reid, and Madison Masloff placed second in the 4 x 400.  Leah Ackerman was second in the discus.  Sarah Tolman was second in the pole vault with a jump of 9-6.  Ella Flanders took second in the long jump with a jump of 15-0.5. and Jenna Hill was second in the 3200 with a fabulous early season time of 12:04.7, her outdoor personal best.  
  In third place, we had Grace Rainey in the 1600 with a personal best time of 5:40.1, Jasmine Monge in the triple jump with a jump of 32-0, her personal best, and Arianna Ballas in shot put with a throw of 24-08, her outdoor best.  Melina Punsalon vaulted a solid early season pole vault of 8-0.  
   We had lots of early season personal bests in the 800 with Alyssa, Caroline, Sterling, and Charlotte all setting PR's in the open 800.  Charlotte also set a personal best in the 1600, going under 6:00 for the first time.  Some of our 8th graders had some excellent races.  Ella Taylor would have been 8th in both the 400 and 200 with her times of 66.5 and 29.9.  Kate Ratcliffe would have been 7th in the 1600 with her time of 5:59.5.  Virginia Peng ran an impressive first time of 6:08.4 in the 1600.  
  For Complete Results Click here.

 Season Opener at Gus Lacy

  The Western Girls took a skeleton crew to the season opener at Fork Union this past Saturday.  Many girls were away for spring break, but the few that raced, started their season off in a big way.  
  Kate de Jong had a spectacular debut in the 100 hurdles, finishing 3rd with a state qualifying time of 16.36.  She came back to try the longer hurdle event for the first time and placed 5th with a regional QT of 50.22.  Prior to all this she placed 8th in the high jump.  
  Our highest placing of the day came from our 4 x 800 team of Emily Winder, Charlotte ThomasClarke, Christina Webb, and Grace Rainey.  They placed second with a 10:37.15 which qualifies for Regionals.  Emily and Charlotte ran personal best times of 2:38 and 2:40 respectively.  Grace and Christina had just run the 3200 thirty minutes prior and still managed to run strong splits after setting personal bests in the 3200.  Grace placed 6th in the 3200 with a 12:10.76 and Christina ran a 30 second personal best, 13:18.67.  
   Alyssa Santoro-Adajian came out of her winter hiatus, running a 5:26.84 mile, scooting past several runners in the final 200 to run a regional QT.  Caroline McGahren ran an 8 second personal best in that event, running 5:31.73, and finishing 8th.  The 4 x 1600 potential for this spring's national is really looking interesting.  There are at least six runners who have the ability to go sub 5:30 this spring.  
   Madison Masloff had a strong start to the season in the sprints.  She finished 5th in the 400 and 10th in the 200 running 63.23 and 28.26 in those events.  
  Emily Winder and Charlotte ThomasClarke came back in the 800, and ran respectable after getting out too slow the first lap.  Winder ran negative splits, 82, 79, to finish in 2:41.04.  Charlotte ran 2:46.68.  There are bound to be these mishaps in these early season meets.  As the season continues, we will get a better feel for the various paces of each race.  
   The Gus Lacy Meet always has a few middle school events and this year's meet allowed us to enter two emerging stars, Kate Ratcliffe and Ella Taylor.  They ran like seasoned veterans in
the middle school 800.  They went out in 79 and came back in 81 or 82.  To manage a 2-3 second differential in an 800 shows amazing sense of pace.  We can no doubt credit their personal coach, Chuck Witt with training them well.  He has made it his mission to groom these young athletes to be the future pack for Western.  Their times of 2:40.13 and 2:41.55 placed them 4th and 5th in that race.  
For complete results of Gus Lacy Click here
   This week the team will have two meets.  Wednesday we will travel to Albemarle and Saturday we will go to Amhearst.  The Amhearst JV meet is now the following Friday, the 21st.  We will be taking all team members who have enough practice days to AHS.  (Including 8th graders).  The Amhearst meet has limited entries.  We will post those entries by Tuesday.  

Outdoor Track Team Gearing up 

  The outdoor season will be kicking off the second weekend of spring break.  We will be headed to FUMA Saturday the 8th for our first meet.  Since this is spring break, we will need to know who can attend.  Please let your coaches know by the end of the week so that we can do entries.  Take time to look at the schedule and if you know of any meets that you can not attend, let us know ASAP.  We have to enter many of these meets at least a week in advanced and some of them have limited entries.  Once we get back from spring break the meets will come fast and furious for 5 weeks.  Then it will be one just one meet a week for Conference, Regionals, and States.  If you are traveling, make sure you find a way to get in your work-outs.  It is not the time to take the week off.  
   This past Saturday we had our Bi-annual Jarman's Gap Attack.  We started at Chile's Orchard and headed up a dirt road that goes up to Skyline Drive.  It is straight up the mountain for 3 miles and then we head down to the drive,  where some of the runners continue to run for several more miles.  We had 13 girls make the journey to the top.  Zoe Clay had the fastest time and got within 10 seconds of her predicted time.  Zoe also got the Strava record for the ascent.   Averi Witt had the second fastest time up the mountain and Jenna Hill was third, running over four and a half minutes faster than her time this past August and just over a minute behind Averi.  Emily Winder was fourth, crushing her time from this past August, knocking off 4:45 from this past August's time.  Grace Rainey was right behind her, running an impressive time for her first attempt up the mountain.  How Grace has managed to evade the journey these past two years is a bit of a mystery.  
  We had a trio of 8th graders go up the mountain this year and they were impressive.  Ella Taylor led the group with an excellent first time of 38:51, Stella Rowe, who has been out playing basketball all winter, was not far behind in 40:52.  Virginia Peng had a strong showing coming in with a 41:32.  These girls could make next XC season very interesting.  
  The biggest time drop from the fall came from Christina Webb.  She dropped 6 minutes off her time from August.  We had several newbies bravely accept the challenge.  Semi Newbie: Sterling Hull, and True Newbies: Claire Kallen, Kaelyn Moore, and Sydney Jackson, all made the run.  Sydney was second in her prediction.  She was only 30 seconds off of her predicted time.  
  The run ended up with pancakes back at The Witt's where both Averi and Grace may have set a PR on the number of pancakes eaten at one sitting.  Congrats to all and keep up the good work.  

Record Smashing Weekend at New Balance Nationals in NYC

  Four girls traveled to New York City in search of great competition and the possibility for more school records.  They were entered in 3 events.  The Championship Distance Medley, The Emerging Elite Mile, and the Championship 4 x 800. 
 The adventure started Thursday morning at the Charlottesville train station.  Several people had never taken the train, so that was the beginning of our journey which had us taking the train, then the subway, all the way out to the Armory.  The Armory is in Upper Manhattan, and pales in comparison to the amazing facility at Liberty.  What it lacks in space, it makes up for in history.   All the greats have run here, including Steve Prefontaine.  His jersey is in a display case at the track.  The first order of business was to pick up the packets and the coveted NB Nationals Backpack.  Each year there are two different backpacks given out.  The Emerging Elite  backpacks
are pretty special, but then you see the Championship backpacks.  They are so much nicer, that you start to consider ways of upping your training so that you can obtain one of these wondrous accessories and gain instant cred at any future meet you attend.
After spending the night in somewhat tight quarters just blocks from The Armory, the girls got to get out for a short excursion to Time Square.  There they experienced the wonders at Ripley's Believe it or Not, before heading back to the apartment for some homework and rest.  
   Back at the track in the evening and the girls were ready to race.  They warmed up along the Hudson River overlooking the George Washington Bridge.  They watched the first of 3 heats go out blazing fast with the winning team running 12:05.  All of them thinking, "What have we gotten into."  Once the race went off it was clear that we were where we belonged, in the fast heat at nationals.  Averi Witt took it out smart, hanging out in the back of the pack before bringing our team up to 6th place at the hand-off, splitting 3:39.0 for 1200.  Faith Reid, ran a solid split of 61.56 to keep our team close to the pack.  Julia Berg, ran a personal best time of 2:19.81, dipping under 2:20 for the first time.  Then Zoe Clay took the baton and battled throughout the race to keep us with the main pack, finishing with her indoor PR of 5:04.48.  The total team time of 12:04.84, is easily an indoor school record and beats our outdoor school record by 10 seconds.  The team placed 11th out of 46 teams in the meet.  
   The next day, three of the girls took another quick excursion to Time Square to visit some shops before laying low the rest of the day.  Averi had the next race and it was the Emerging Elite Mile.  She was in the first of three heats and wanted desperately to get her first individual school record.  The race was the mile, which is roughly 1.6 seconds longer than a 1600.  The race went out slow and by the middle of the race, Averi took the lead and led most of the second half.  She was out kicked on the final lap, but managed to run a 5:00.18 mile, which converts to a 4:58.44 1600, breaking the old 1600 record, by Annie Taylor, by almost 3 seconds. Even though she was in the slowest section of three, she managed to place 7th out of the 37 girls entered in that event.   
   In less than 3 hours, Averi came back with her team mates to run the 4 x 800.  They had just set the school record at the state meet.  They were in the slowest of three sections and just made the Championship section by less than 2 seconds.  Julia took out the race in a solid time of 2:20.86, running in heavy traffic the entire time.  As she handed off to Faith, there was lots of confusion and people to dodge as the exchange marshal put the girls out on the track way too late.  Faith wove through the crowd and managed to run a 2:29 split despite the hairy start.  Then Zoe took the baton and we were looking like that team that fell off the back of the truck.  Just when it looked like she had lost contact with the main pack, she surged and in one lap covered the gap and passed 9 girls to bring us into third or fourth place, running a 2:20.1.  Averi battled back and forth to keep us into third and at the end of the race we were third in the heat and ended up in 20th place out of 31 teams and a new school record of 9:29.24.  Her split of 2:18.94, less than a half second off of her personal best.  It was the third school record out of three races and it was time to celebrate!
The girls headed into the city for a night at Rockefeller Center to see the city lights.  They were all giddy as they rode the train into Time Square.  It seemed fitting that they end their night at The Top of the Rock. 
 The girls adventure will continue Sunday as they spend some time seeing the sites before heading back on the train Monday. 
 "Chase the Bliss" has been one of our quotes this year and it is clear they caught the bliss this weekend in New York City.  All of these girls have worked very hard to get to this level and it is awesome that they got to end this season on top of their game at the biggest indoor venue in the country.

Warriors Capture 3A State Title!

  Western knew they had a shot at winning the title.  They also knew it would take everyone, bringing their very best, to make it happen.  They were not favored to win, but we knew it could happen if everyone did their part and that is exactly what happened.  We knew we could, so we did! 
Western started off the meet with a big win in the 4 x 800.  The team of Claudia Giortz-Jorgensen, Julia Berg, Zoe Clay, and Averi Witt ran a 9:30.54, breaking the 3A State Meet record, breaking the school record, and qualifying for the elite division of The New Balance Nationals.   Claudia got the relay off great, handing the baton off in second place.  Julia Berg ran her personal best split of
2:20.92, to put us in the lead.  Zoe and Averi spent their entire legs, lapping all but the second and third place teams.  It was an amazing way to start off the meet.  By the first nights end, Kate de Jong had qualified for the finals in the 55 hurdles and placed 7th in high jump.  
  Day two, and we had three more state titles.  Averi Witt won the 1600 and came back to win the 1000, both by narrow margins, being pushed by her team mates.  Madison Masloff won the pole vault with a jump of 10-6.  Zoe Clay had an amazing day to finish second in the 1600, just over a tenth of a second behind Averi.  She came back to run a smart race in the 3200, to place second in 11:32.54. 
  In the 1000, we had 2 more girls place.  Julia Berg took the lead in the final 400 of the race, as she, Averi and Lydia Goetz from Brentsville, broke away from the field.  All three of them finished within a half of a second of each other with Averi in 3:01.30, Lydia in second, and Julia in 3:01.72.  It was an 8 second PR for Julia and currently puts her 4th fastest in Western's history.  Claudia Giortz-Jorgensen finished 6th in that event, currently 10th All-Time at WAHS.  
Sarah Tolman also earned a third in pole vault with a vault of 9-6.  Melina Punsalon finished 8th in that event as once again the pole vaulters racked up a big 17 points.  The 4 x 400 also earned 3rd place, with the team of Faith Reid, Val Hajek, Katrine Berg, and Madison Masloff.  Their time of 4:10.16 is one of the fastest in recent
years and is a season best.  Katrine and Madison also contributed with Nichole Heon and Anna Harris in the 4 x 200, which finished 4th, with a School record of 1:49.42.  Katrine had a busy day as she also finished 5th in triple jump with her personal best jump of 35-04.  She was one of many who really stepped up their game to make this State Championship possible.  Her 4 x 400 split of 60.72 was a personal best and the fasted 4 x 400 split of the day.  
  We had many other people who were able to contribute to the team total of 94.5 points.  Jenna Hill was 6th in the 3200, Kate de Jong, along with her 7th place in high jump, finished 8th in the 55 hurdles.  Faith finished 8th in the 500 and Nichole Heon finished 8th in the long jump.  
 While Milestat did not pick us to be first or second, the meet preview did have this to say:
"While we are talking about depth though it should be noted that Western Albemarle might have something to say about this team title as well with their superb versatility and depth. They will however have to have their best races of the year to sneak out of Salem with a team title."  Nolan Jez

   We didn't exactly sneak out of Salem.  We came to race and we came to win. It wasn't about strategy, it was about going in and giving our best in every single race.  It was a team effort and even though we won by 8.5 points, every point mattered and every team mate who showed up to practice made this happen.  It really is a domino effect.  Each domino pushes the one in front of them and it takes us all to make big things happen.  

Western wins Region 3A West!
  Western was unstoppable Friday night, winning two out of three relays and racking up points in many events.   Madison Masloff and Sarah Tolman went 1-2 in the pole vault, racking up 18 points.  In the 1000, 6 out of 11 girls in the fast heat were wearing blue and gold.  We racked up 13 points with Averi Witt winning the event, Claudia Giortz-Jorgensen in 5th and Emma Ratcliffe in 6th.  We also took 7th and 8th place with Caroline McGahren and Julia Berg.  In the 500 we got points from Faith Reid, in third, running a 2 second PR, and Madison Masloff in 6th.  Caroline Koester ran a 6 second personal best to finish 14th.   In the 1600 Averi  won by over 20 seconds and Jenna Hill ran a 9 second PR to finish 8th.  Emily Winder finished in 12th with a 6 second PR.  In the 300, Katrine Berg ran a personal best to finish in 3rd place.  Nichole Heon finished with her season best in 8th and Katia Amos ran her personal best to finish 12th.  
   Kate de Jong had a break out day finishing second in the 55 hurdles with a personal best by over a quarter second and she finished third in high jump with a personal best jump of 5-0.  In the 3200, Zoe Clay finished second and also contributed to the winning 4 x 800 with team mates, Julia Berg, Claudia Giortz-Jorgensen, and Averi Witt.  Julia ran a personal best to get the 4 x 800 team off to a great start, splitting a 2:22.4.   The 4 x 400 finished the night with a win.   Faith Reid, Val Hajek, Katrine Berg, and Madison Masloff, ran the relay after 11 pm.  Faith got the team off to a great start, handing the baton to Val in first place and the team continued to build the lead throughout the race for the win.  Val, Katrine, Madison and Nichole Heon combined to place third in the 4 x 200.  Nichole also placed third in the long jump and Katia placed 7th.  
   The Warriors will bring a large group to Salem on Friday to compete in the 3A State Meet at Roanoke College.  The schedule is posted on the "Weekly Schedule" page.  

Warriors Win Conference 29

    Western won The Conference 29 Championships by winning every relay and nearly every field event.  Leah Ackerman had her season best throw by over 2 feet to win with a state qualifying throw of 33-7.75.  Katia Amos won the triple jump with a state qualifying jump of 34-5.25, also a personal best.  Nichole Heon won the long jump in 16-3, also a state qualifying jump.  Sarah Tolman won the pole vault in a state qualifying vault of 10-0.  The 4 x 200 team of Anna Harris, Madison Masloff, Caroline Koester, and Nichole Heon won.   Madison and Caroline, teamed up with Faith Reid and Katia Amos to win the 4 x 400.  The 4 x 800 team of Jenna Hill, Caroline McGahren, Christina Webb, and Emma Ratcliffe, lapped the entire field to win that event.  
   Many others contributed to the team score of 163 points.  Nichole Heon placed 2nd in the 55 with Anna Harris in 4th.  Nichole's time of 7.82 was a season best.  Faith Reid placed 2nd in the 500, bettering her time from this track by almost a second.  Caroline Koester placed 5th in that event, and Sterling Hull finished 7th, but with a huge personal best.  Madison Masloff placed 2nd in the pole vault and Reagan Burton was 5th.  Katia was 3rd in the long jump with Ella Flanders in 5th.  Ella's long jump was her best by almost a foot and she also placed 6th in triple jump.   In the 55 hurdles, Western took 3 places with Katia in 4th, Faith in 5th, and Kendall Foreman in 6th.  Faith and Katia had personal bests in that event.  In the 1000, Emma Ratcliffe, Caroline McGahren, and Christina Webb, went 2, 3, and 4.  In the 1600 it was very similar with Jenna Hill, Emily Winder, and Charlotte ThomasClarke finishing 3, 4, and 5.  Charlotte's time was a personal best by 6 seconds.  In the 300, Nichole and Katia finished 3rd and 6th.  In the 3200, Grace Rainey and Sarina Cooper finished 3rd and 5th.  In less than two weeks, Western will take one of it's largest groups ever to the Region Meet on February 17th and the brand new Liberty Facility.  That meet is scheduled to start at 6 pm and will finish late at night.    Many thanks to all the parents who helped out at the conference meet.  Melissa and David Winder, Tracey Hill, Julia Hawkes, Liz Ratcliffe, Mike ThomasClarke, Alice Outlaw, (who BTW, her children have graduated and she still came out to help), and Kathleen Capshaw, who organized the concession stand.  Sorry if I left anyone out.  

Warriors Run Season Bests in Nearly every Event at VT
Just before the 4x8 qualified for Nationals.  Julia Berg gets ready to lead off.
All photos from this meet are from milestat photographers.  Apologies to the 4 x 200 team.  There were no pictures available of our team.

  The Warriors traveled to Blacksburg with all 3 relay teams, two pole vaulters and 4 middle distance runners to compete in the Virginia Tech Premier Meet.  This meet only lets in the very elite, which allows for the chance to run against the very best in our state and surrounding states.  The 4 x 800 started the night out on Friday running 9:33.87.  This is one of the fastest times in school history.  Julia Berg led off with a 2:24 split, followed by Claudia Giortz-Jorgensen's 2:27 split which left us in good position in 4th place.  Then Zoe Clay got the baton and she got us in second with a 2:23 split.  Averi Witt ran anchored and closed on the Nationally known Western Branch team with a 2:18 split, her fastest ever.  Western finished second and qualified for New Balance Nationals.  The Warriors were well under the Emerging Elite standard of 9:40 and not far off the championship standard of 9:32.  

  All the relays ran season bests.  The 4 x 200 team of Anna Harris, Val Hajek, Madison Masloff and Nichole Heon ran a season best of 1:51.93.  The 4 x 400 team also lowered their season best with a time of 4:11.40.  Val, still coming back from wisdom teeth surgery, led off.  Then Caroline Koester ran her season best time of 63.5.  Madison Masloff ran her season best time of 62 flat and Faith Reid ran her personal best time and season best by more than a second, 61.3.   
   In the individual events, Faith Reid and Claudia Giortz-Jorgensen ran season best in the 1000.  Faith ran a 3:12.85 and Claudia ran a 3:08.19.  Claudia's time qualifies her to run in the state meet and is a three second personal best.  
  In the 1600 Averi Witt and Zoe Clay placed 3rd and 6th.  Averi ran just off her 1600 personal best, running 5:01.69, and Zoe ran her indoor personal best by 2.5 seconds to run 5:07.65.  To have two girls place in the top 6 in this meet is outstanding.   To see complete results:  VT Premier Results

What do you do when it is 65 degrees in January?
Polar Bear Meet!
Faith leads a sea of yellow jerseys in the 1000.
  The Indoor Track team took advantage of the incredible weather and headed to Louisa for a Polar Bear Meet.  Western loaded up the 1000, trying to get qualifying times.  Claudia Giortz-Jorgensen won the event in 3:11, an 11 second PR.  Emma Ratcliffe was second in 3:14, 11 seconds off her season best and a 4 second PR.  Caroline McGahren ran a 5 second PR, 3:15, for third place. 
 Western also took 5th and 6th with Christina Webb running a 9 second PR and Charlotte ThomasClarke running a 12 second PR.  Jenna Hill had a fabulous day, running like a clock.  She went out in 86 and proceeded to run six 91 second quarters in a row before closing in 79 to run a 16 second PR and qualify for states with a 11:52.  Jenna placed first with Emily Winder finishing second with a 15 second PR in 12:22.   Grace Rainey finished in third, right with Emily Winder in 12:22.  
   In the 55 dash Bridget Bucci and Kierstin Casteel finished third and fourth.  Kendall Foreman finished third in the 55 hurdles and Katia Amos finished third in long jump with a personal best jump of 14-4.   Caroline Koester finished in 6th in the long jump.  The awesome twosome of Kate Ratcliffe and Ella Taylor
placed 4th and 6th.  Both ran 1:30 and change.  They came back to run impressive middle school splits of 68. 6 for Ella and 69.6 for Kate in the 4 x 400.  They teamed up with Caroline McGahren and Charlotte ThomasClarke and finished third.  Christina, Emma, Claudia and Faith Reid ran the 4 x 4 "just for fun" and ended up winning the event.  

Western Dominates Jefferson District
   Western dominated the Jefferson District Meet winning with 160 points, it's nearest competitor was Louisa with 97.5 points.  It was a total team effort with Western getting points from every event.  Western had five district champions.  Katrine Berg won both the triple and long jump having her best jumps of the season in both of those events.  She went 34-4 in triple jump and 17-2.5 in long jump.  The triple jump was a personal best by over a foot and the long jump was a personal best by almost a foot.  Julia Berg won the 500 in 1:25.95 and Claudia Giorz-Jorgensen won the 1000 in 3:22.95.  This was a first time in that event for both Julia and Claudia.  The 4 x 400 team of Caroline Koester, Katia Amos, Faith Reid and Madison Masloff won easily with a time of 4:24.9  
  We had many other athletes finish in the top 6.  Kate deJong had a big day, placing second in the 55 hurdles with a state QT of 9.33.  She also placed 5th in the high jump with a jump of 4-8.  Madison Masloff placed second in the pole vault with a vault of 10-6, placed 4th in the 500 and was a member of both the 4 x 4 and the 4 x 200 with team mates Nichole Heon, Katrine Berg and Anna Harris, which placed second.  Katia Amos placed second in triple jump, tied her best time in the 55 hurdles, and was a member of the winning 4 x 4.  Jenna Hill was second in the 3200 running negative splits and contributed on the runner up 4 x 8.  Caroline McGahren was second in the 1600 with team mates Emily Winder and Grace Rainey finishing 4th and 6th.  Emma Ratcliffe finished 3rd in the 1000 and anchored the second place 4 x 8 with team members Claudia Giortz-Jorgenson, Jenna Hill, and Christina Webb.  Sarah Tolman and Melina Punsalon were 3rd and 4th in the pole vault, Nichole Heon was third in the long jump, Leah Ackerman was 4th in the Shot Put and Arianna Ballas finished just out of the top 6, but had a personal best by over 3 feet.  Anna Harris had a lifetime best in the 55, placing 5th with a 7.92.  Caroline Koester placed third in the 300 with a great tight turn time of 46.86.  Katrine Berg was 6th in that event.  Faith Reid placed 3rd in the 500, 6th in the 55 hurdles, and ran the fastest split on the winning 4 x 400.  This could be one of our most well rounded team in school's history.  Congratulations to all the girls.  Keep up the good work.

JV Girls Get Experience at Heritage
   While the varsity girls competed at Liberty the JV girls got a chance to show their stuff at the JV meet just down the road at Heritage High School.  Even though it was a small group, we had several runners place high.  Charlotte ThomasClarke won the 1000 in a time of 3:38.04.  Virginia Peng placed 6th in that event in a time of 3:56.44.  In the 1600, Kate Ratcliffe took second with an excellent indoor time of 6:01.48.  Team mate Jessica Bilchik ran a personal best time of 6:18.39 to place 6th.  The 4 x 800 team of Sterling Hull, Herme Going, Virginia Peng and Charlotte Thomas Clarke, finished second.  Several other competitors got great meet experience, Kierstin Casteel in the 300 and 55, Kayla Carter in the 500 and Arianna Ballas in the 55 dash and the shot put.  

 Mid Season 3A State Rankings
    We are about mid way through the season and very soon we will start running Conference, Regionals and States.  So I thought it would be a good time to look at where we are ranked individually. I hope this gets you excited looking at the potential for our team to do well at States.  The next few weeks are crucial to our success.  Make every effort to be at practice and be ready to work hard. 
 These are the people who are ranked in the top 12 in the 3A State:
300:  #9 Katrine Berg
500:  #5 Madison Masloff, #9 Val Hajek, #12 Faith Reid
1000:  #1 Averi Witt, #3 Zoe Clay, #4 Julia Berg, #6 Faith Reid, #7 Caroline McGahren, #11 Emily Winder.
1600:  #1 Averi Witt, #2 Zoe Clay, #9 Jenna Hill, #11 Claudia Giortz-Jorgensen, #12 Emma Ratcliffe
3200:  #3 Averi Witt, #4 Zoe Clay, #9 Claudia Giortz-Jorgensen, 11 Jenna Hill, #12 Grace Rainey
4 x 200: #6 WAHS
4 x 400: #3 WAHS
4 x 800: #2 WAHS
LJ:  #11 Katrine Berg
TJ:  #6 Katia Amos, #11 Katrine Berg
HJ:  8 way tie for 4th:  Kate deJong
PV: #1 Madison Masloff, #2 Sarah Tolman, 4 Way tie for 4th: Melina Punsalon, #8 Reagon Burton

Western Has Strong Showing at VA Showcase 
The Liberty Facility lived up to the hype as being a state of the art facility!

  The Western team got a real treat this past weekend.  The opportunity to run on a track like this usually only comes when you qualify for a national event like NB Nationals or even NCAA Nationals.  Friday was opening day for this state of the art facility at Liberty University.  The 200 meter track with hydraulic lift to raise and lower the banked curves depending on the speed of the race, had two pole vault runways in the center, two jump pits in the center, a 70 meter area to do strides, a viewing balcony on two sides as well as stands for spectators.  Even though there was over 3,000 athletes entered in the meet, there was enough space and bathrooms for all.  
The meet got off to a slow start, which caused many of the male milers to be racing at midnight, but by day two most of the races went off on time.  Leading the way for Western was Averi Witt and Madison Masloff.  The two seniors were the only two to place in the top 6, but many new stars emerged.  Madison tied for 4th in the pole vault with a vault of 10-6.  Averi placed 3rd in The Invitational Mile with a 5:09.18 and 5th in The Invitational 1000 with a 3:00.5.  The 1000 was a star studded field with two of the top 3 runners in the Nation going at it.  The winner, Sammy Watson, from New York, beat out Virginian, Rachel MacAurther for the win.  That was just one of the many exciting races with runners representing 25 different states as well as Jamaica.  
       One of the most exciting things was to see some of our younger runners
step up in a big way.  The Berg twins really made an impact in many areas.  Julia Berg started off the day running the fastest split on our 4 x 800 team, which placed 7th.  She ran a 2:23.5, which really puts our team in a whole new category. Her team mates, were Emma Ratcliffe, Christina Webb, and Faith Reid.  Julia came back later to place 16th out of 174 runners in the 1000.  Her time of 3:09.29 qualifies her for the state meet and was a whopping 15 seconds faster than last year.  Her sister Katrine was also a force, running a personal best in the 300 of 43.65, placed 19th in the long jump out of 102 competitors with a jump of 16-3.5, and ran the fastest split on the 4 x 400 team which placed 13th with a state QT of 4:12.10, a
season best by two seconds.  Her team mates were 
Val Hajek, Faith Reid, running a best time of 62.7, and Madison Masloff on anchor.  Katrine also contributed on the State Qualifying 4x200 team with Anna Harris, Bridgett Bucci and Nichole Heon.   Other runners placing high in the meet, Zoe Clay, 9th in the Invitational 3200, Sarah Tolman, tied for 10th in the pole vault, Katia Amos, 11th in the triple jump with a personal record jump of 34-2, Claudia Giortz-Jorgensen 18th in the 3200 in 12:04.7, her first time ever running that event, Madison Masloff, 19th in the 500 out of 165 competitors with a state QT of 1:22.29, Melina Punsalon, 23rd in the pole vault, Leah Ackerman, 24th out of out of 94 with a throw of 30-73/4, and Jenna Hill, PR in the 1600 in 5:39.97, 29th out of 183 competitors.  Personal records were made by Anna Harris and Bridgett Bucci in the 55 dash, 8.04 and 8.32 respectively, Caroline McGahren in the 1000 with a 3:19.39, Ella Flanders in the triple jump and long jump with jumps of 30-6.5 and 14-5.5, Katia Amos and Kate deJong in the 55 hurdles with times of 10.4 and 10.08.

Jerry Cutright Invitational

   Thursday, January 12, several girls got some experience running at FUMA in the Jerry Cutright Invitational.  We had two young champions from Western.  Eight grader, Ella Taylor, made it clear that the distance genes may have gone to her brother Joseph, but she owns the middle distance genes, by winning the 500m.  It was her first time running the event and her time was 1:32.83.  Freshman, Katia Amos, won the triple jump with a jump of 33-08. Nichole Heon placed second in the long jump with a jump of 15-10.75 and Sarah Tolman placed second in the pole vault with a jump of 10-0.   Melina Punsalon was third in pole vault with a vault of 8-6 and Reagan Burton was 5th with a jump of 7-6.  Kate deJong placed 3rd in the high jump with a jump of 4-6..  She also placed 5th in the 55 hurdles with a time of 9.91.  Mae Frank placed 4th in the 300 with a time of 47.67.  It was a great meet to gain experience or sharpen for bigger meets.  

Happy New Year!
Just thought this was a good thing to watch as we enter a New Year.  Change your way of thinking and be happier in 2017.  This is a funny Ted Talk that has strategies for being a more positive and productive person.  Let's make great things happen in 2017.

Christmas comes early to the Warriors 
at the Hokie Holiday Meet
   Western had an amazing meet at the Hokie Holiday meet in Blacksburg.  The team had to race an impending ice storm to get to the meet this past Friday evening.  There were several teams who came late and some never made it at all.  Western finished second in the meet out of roughly 25 teams.  It was a total team effort, as every sub group contributed to the team total of 91.5 points.  
  The Team showed it's dominance in the relays, winning the 4 x 2, and finishing second in both the 4 x 4 and 4 x 8.  All three teams earned state qualifying marks and we had some impressive early season splits.  The 4 x 2 team of Anna Harris, Caroline Koester, Madison Masloff, and Nichole Heon ran 2 seconds faster than they ran in all of last year's indoor season with their time of 1:52.13. 

 In the 4 x 400 the team of Caroline Koester, Val Hajek, Faith Reid, and Madison Masloff ran a time of 4:14.42, which is currently ranked 9th in the State.  All four legs ran indoor 400 PR's in the process, with both Madison and Faith going under 63!  
 In the 4 x 800, the team of Caroline McGahren, Christina Webb, Jenna Hill, and Faith Reid, placed second with all four legs running their indoor 800 PRs.  
 In the pole vault, Western racked up the points with Madison winning the event with a jump of 11-0, Sarah Tolman placed third with a jump of 10-0, and Melina Punsalon placing 7th in 8-0.  Madison and Sarah are currently ranked 3rd and 10th in the state.  
  Another area where we racked up points was in the 1600 and 1000 where Averi Witt and Zoe Clay combined to earn a total of 26 points.  Averi placed 2nd in the 1600 and the 1000.  Both times are the second fastest times in Western Albemarle history and her mile time was three one hundredths off the school record.  Averi is currently ranked second in the state in both of those events.   Zoe Clay placed third in the 1600 and 4th in the 1000.  She had a 5 second PR in both of
her events.  Zoe is currently ranked 6th in Virginia in both of those events.  
Kate Dejong finished third in the high jump with a great early season jump of 4-10.  In the 500, Val Hajek and Faith Reid finished 4th and 5th.  Val's time was a 1.5 second PR from last week and it was Faith's debut in that event.  Their times of 1:22.53, and 1:23.19 qualify them for the state meet.  Leah Ackerman placed 6th in the shot put with a throw of 31-03.5 which ties her personal best and qualifies her for conference.  Other conference qualifiers from the meet include Grace Rainey in the 1600, Caroline Koester in the 300, Jenna Hill and Emily Winder in the 3200, Caroline McGahren in the 1000, Nichole Heon in the 55 dash and the long jump, and Ella Flanders in the triple jump.  For complete results please click here.  Some photos of this meet coverage were taken from Milestat.com and were by Jon Fleming.  Please consider supporting milestat.com by becoming a member.  With membership you get access to photos and videos of most invitationals in the state and elsewhere.  We are fortunate to have such wonderful coverage of our athletes.  

WAHS Opens Up Indoor Season with 
Multiple State Qualifiers
  In the first weekend that WAHS raced, we had four individuals qualify for States and two relay teams.  Individually Madison Masloff and Sarah Tolman qualified jumping 11-0 and 10-0.  Madison won the event at Woodberry and Sarah was
fourth.  Averi Witt and Zoe Clay qualified in the 3200 at CNU.  Averi placed second in the event running the second fastest indoor 3200 in WAHS history,  10:59.86. Zoe, rapidly improving after her 6 week lay-off, qualified in 11:19.  The night before, both Zoe and Averi ran the fastest legs on the 4 x 800 splitting 2:22.6 and 2:20.9 to help the team qualify in 9:50 which is currently the fastest time in the state for that event.  The other legs were run by Faith Reid and Grace Rainey.  Back at Woodberry the 4 x 400 also qualified for states with the team of Caroline Koester, Val Hajek, Katia Amos, and Madison Masloff.
   A large number of runners qualified for The Conference Meet.  Faith Reid in the 1000, Emily Winder in the 1600 and the 1000, Claudia Giortz-Jorgensen in the 1600, Val Hajek in the 500, Caroline Koester in the 300, Grace Rainey & Sarina Cooper in the 3200, Ella Flanders in the triple jump and the 4 x 800 team of Charlotte Thomas-Clarke, Emma Bittle, Sarina Cooper, and Christina Webb ran a Regional qualifying time and was just shy of a state QT at the Woodberry Meet.  Complete results for Woodberry can be found here.  Complete results for CNU can be found here.

WAHS finishes 12th at Nike Regional
Western Poses the evening before the big day at the Wake Med Course

  Western had some unfinished business when they came to Nike Regionals.  They started the season, ranked first in Central Virginia, and after the State meet, they were ranked second behind AHS.  The two teams raced under very different conditions at the state meet.  It was understandable that the area coaches would think we were not the better team.  On paper, AHS averaged faster times.  What they failed to take into consideration was the fact that we raced with 12 mph winds and on a course that had not been packed down.  Not to mention the fact that our field of runners was not as dense being a smaller school division.  
  Not only did we beat AHS, but we put 5 runners in front of their second runner.  I think you can say we got it done.  To make it even sweeter, our #6 runner finished ahead of their #4 and our #7 runner finished just behind their 5th runner.  We ended up 12th place out of 32 teams in the 9 state region and AHS was 19th.  Averi Witt finished 13th overall, just one second shy of her personal best, in 18:17,  to earn Second Team All Region Honors.  Zoe Clay ran her fastest time of the season in 18:55.  Alyssa Santoro-Adajian finished right on her PR in 19:32, Jenna Hill finished in 19:58, and Claudia Giortz-Jorgensen rounded out the top five in 20:01.  Emily Winder ran an impressive last 400, sprinting ahead of AHS' #4 & #5 to run a 10 second PR in 20:13.  Grace Rainey rounded out the top seven, finishing just behind the AHS #5, in 20:17.
  The biggest PR of the day came from Christina Webb.  Christina had never broken 22:00 and ended up with a 22 second PR to finish in 21:43.  Avery Jordan had her second fastest time of the season, but probably her best race, finishing in 22:02.  Caroline McGahren finished 8th in the rising stars race, in 20:54. 
  It was a pleasure to work with all these hard working girls all season.  They have the work ethic and the talent to do amazing things.  Until next year!

WAHS uses Kelly Watt as a Tune Up
  The Western Team went back to Panarama to run the 2 mile course that kicked off the season.  It was fun to compare times to that first race of the season.  It was a far more relaxed atmosphere this time, but the girls still managed to run on average 10 seconds faster than their Cup time.  Some of the biggest time drops were for the girls running XC for the first time.  Ella Taylor dropped a whopping 1:13 from her time from the fall and was most improved on this course.  Jessica Bilchik, also a newbie,  dropped 1:04.  Sarah Meng and Claudia Giortz-Jorgensen both dropped 51 seconds.  Sarina Cooper dropped 30 seconds, Averi Witt dropped 29 seconds and Emily Winder dropped 27 seconds.  
  Only 4 high school girls had gone under 12:00 on the Panarama course in the past and Averi Witt became the 5th, running 11:46.  Her time is the third fastest  time behind Rachel Rose Ward, and Mattie Webb.  She finished second to Ann Mazur, a stand out runner from Notre Dame who is now an English professor at UVA.  
  Following the race the girls had a little more working out to do.  They still have one more race in Cary, NC at the Nike Regionals.  

Western Finishes 2nd at States!

  The Warriors came into the meet knowing that getting on the podium would be tough with Nationally ranked Blacksburg in our division.  The weather report was calling for 10-20 mph winds and we had the first race of the day.  The Great Meadows course, famous for not grooming their course for runners, would likely have grass that had not been cut low or beaten down.  Luckily the winds were only 12 mph at race time and the sun was out.  The Warriors were favored to get second, but we knew we had to defeat a rapidly improving Brentsville team.  It would take a team effort, where everyone mattered.  Even our #6 & 7 runners needed to get in front of their #5 to ensure success.  To make the challenge even greater, Alyssa Santoro-Adajian, who has been our number 2-3 runner all season, was in a car accident Tuesday night before the race.  Miraculously, she had no serious injuries, but it left her sore and unable to do the workouts in the final days prior to the meet.  Her status was questionable, but we had Caroline McGahren, Faith Reid and Sarina Cooper ready to step up and race if needed.
The Brentsville team went out hard.  Averi Witt hung on to their number one and Zoe Clay was with their #2 & #3 in the early stages of the race.  Jenna Hill and Alyssa stayed close behind their #2 & #3 and just ahead of their #4.  Claudia Giortz-Jorgensen and Grace Rainey were right behind their #4 and the rest of our pack stayed ahead of their #5 as instructed.  As the race went on, the Warriors continued to move up.  In the end, Averi and Zoe got ahead of their #1,  Jenna and Alyssa got ahead of their #2, #3 and #4, and Grace, Claudia and Emily Winder all managed to get ahead of their #5.  
   Western ran the second fastest team average in the schools history at the state meet and Averi ran the second fastest time on the Great Meadows course by a Western Student by placing fourth in 18:41.  The team placed second in 3A.  
   Jenna Hill was the lone warrior who managed to run a personal best with her time of 19:41. Averi and Zoe earned All-State honors by finishing in 4th and 6th.  Jenna finished 17th, Alyssa 20th, Grace 32nd, Claudia and Emily were 36th and 37th.
   The team travels to Cary, NC to participate in the Nike Regional Meet where they will go head to head with Albemarle, November 26th.  

Region 3A West:  The Return of Zoe Clay!
The Western Girls celebrate after finishing Runner-up at The Region Meet.

  It was another beautiful day for Cross-Country on November 1st at the Rockbridge course in Lexington.  The Western team's box was on the far left side and the entire field would be turning left in less than a 100 yards and onto a
narrow trail.  The team would need to get out fast to get good position and then settle into their pace.  Not accustomed to getting out that fast caused a few to go out a bit too fast 
which made for a difficult second half of the race.  Zoe Clay was instructed to go out comfortable since it was her first 3 mile run in 8 weeks.  She moved up after the mile and continued to move up towards the lead pack.  She ended up finishing 6th in the Region, just under 19:00.  Averi Witt finished 4th, in 18:51.  Alyssa Santoro Adajian and Jenna Hill finished 14th and 15th in 19:46 and 19:51.  All four earned All-Conference Honors.  Claudia Giortz-Jorgensen finished 17th in 20:13, just ahead of Hidden Valley's third girl.  Emily Winder and Caroline McGahren were instructed to stay in front of Hidden Valley's 5th girl and managed to do one better by staying ahead of their number 4, in 23rd and 30th place. Blacksburg finished with a low score of 23.  Western had 52 and Hidden Valley came in third with 100 points.  
  In the Alternates Race, Grace Rainey set out determined to get back in the top

 seven.  She ran a tough race and finished with a time of 20:46 to put her back in the number seven position.   Faith Reid finished in 22:05, Sarina Cooper in 22:08 and Christina Webb finished in 22:29.  Jenna was the closest to her personal best, running just five seconds off of her Milestat time.   Emily was next, just 9 seconds off of her personal best.  Alyssa was only 14 seconds off of her personal best from Albemarle.  Sarina was 15 seconds off and Claudia and Caroline were only 18 seconds off of their PR.  This week they will get a little more rest and after another week of not lifting, they should feel even better as they head into the state meet this Friday at 10:30 am.  Complete Results: Click here

Western Wins Conference 29!
Western Wins the Conference with a low score of 22 points.

   Western's team went out slow, on the hilly, slightly long course in Rockbridge.  The Warrior pack went through the mile in 6:45 before picking up the tempo on the hilliest section of the course.  In the front of the race, Averi Witt went out with the leaders and continued to run away from the field.  She got the chance to chase the gator, by herself, for the first time in her running career.  Alyssa Santoro-Adajian walked
down the sophomore from Broadway in the final mile of the race to finish second overall with her shoes untied for most of the race.  The rest of the pack finished in 4th, 6th, 9th and 13th with Jenna Hill, Claudia Giortz-Jorgensen, Emily Winder, and Grace Rainey.  All six earned All-Conference Honors.  Faith Reid finished 27th out of the 56 runners in the field.  
  In the JV race, the Warrior pack, once again went out smart, moving up throughout the race.  They easily won the JV section.  In fact, if you put their times into the Varsity race they would have finished 4th!  Just goes to show you how deep this team is.  So, if we had taken out our Varsity, our JV would have qualified for Regionals!  Caroline McGahren led 
the JV pack finishing second overall in a time that would have placed her 13th in the Varsity and All-Conference Honors.  Christina Webb, had her best race of the season, coming within 34 seconds of her PR to finish 4th.  Sarina Cooper was 5th, Charlotte ThomasClarke, Audrey Geis, and Avery Jordan finished 7th, 8th and 9th.  8th grader Ella Taylor rounded out the top seven in 11th place.  The pack of Jessica Bilchik, Stella Rowe, Sarah Meng, and Katia Amos finished 16-19th with Kathryn Edwards in 31st.  
  The team travels to Lexington on Tuesday to compete in the Region 3 A West Meet, which will be held at the Virginia Horse Center.  Western will bring back Zoe Clay who has been cross-training, sometimes twice a day, over the past 8 weeks in the hopes of being able to help the team this season.  It should be an exciting meet on a fast course against #8 Nationally Ranked Blacksburg.  
For complete results:Click here

Milestat Invitational Brings New Personal Bests
                 Varsity girls celebrate after impressive racing at Milestat

The Western Girls had to get up early in the morning for The Milestat Invitational held Saturday, October 15th in Mechanicsville.  The team was eerily quiet as they prepared to race.  The weather was perfect for fast racing with temperatures in the 50's and with no recent rain, the course was in perfect condition.  The pack got out with Averi Witt sitting somewhere around 15th place in the early stages of the race.  Then about halfway through the race, the pack sort of fell asleep and started to fall back a bit.  Alyssa Santoro-Adajian had bronchitis all week and they seemed to be keying off of her.  Then Grace Rainey started a surge, going by Princess Jenna Hill, who no doubt had fallen asleep with visions of homecoming in her head.  Jenna quickly woke up and picked up the pace.  The pack began to move.  Meanwhile, Averi was heading into her last half mile.  She had already ditched the likes of Doria Martingayle, a 10:40 3200 m runner, and was now closing in on some other top names in the state.  She passed Morgan Lewis of Veritas, just before crossing the line in 18:16, a 26 second PR, which currently has her ranked 16th in the state, right behind Libby Davidson!  Then the pack started coming in.  Alyssa kicked to the front in 19:45, Jenna in 19:46, Claudia Giortz-Jorgensen in 19:55, and Grace Rainey in 20:01 for a team average of 19:32.  Emily Winder was next, running a personal best for the third weekend in a row, with 20:23.  Caroline McGahren ran 20:33, and Sarina Cooper got some varsity experience dipping under 22:00 for the first time with her time of 21:53.  Six out of seven girls ran their personal best.  Claudia had the biggest drop, with a 1:03.  Grace was next with a 53 second drop, followed by Emily with a a 37 second drop.
The JV raced next and they set out determined to go after their PR's.  Faith Reid went out with the leaders and proceeded to stay focused the entire race.  She had a break through performance, running 20:10 to finish 5th, a 1:11 personal best.  The pack started coming in just under 22:00 with Avery Jordan in 21:56, Audrey Geis in 21:59, Christina Webb in 22:05, Sydney Dutton in 22:50, Ella Taylor in 23:06, Sarah Titus in 23:12, Jessica Bilchik in 23:21, Sarah Meng in 23:22, Katia Amos and Kathryn Edwards in 23:59, and Sophie Peng in 24:20.  Ten out of 12 girls ran their personal best time with Sarah Meng dropping the most with an impressive 1:41 drop, followed closely by Kathryn with a 1:31 drop.  Katia dropped 1:18, and Sophie dropped 1:13.  For complete results Click here.

Charlotte ThomasClarke is District JV Runner Up
Due to some rescheduling of the Jefferson District Meet, the Western Varsity could not compete with Milestat being a mere 36 hours later.  That didn't stop Charlotte ThomasClarke from showing her stuff in the JV race.  

Charlotte went out smart and picked off several runners in the final mile of the race to finish second on the hilly Darden Towe course with an unofficial time of 22:55.  Western's Naomi Harris completed her first 5k with a solid time and admitted that it wasn't as bad as she thought it would be.  : )  

Western Manages to Shine in Dreary Weather
Charlotte ThomasClarke, Audrey Geis, and Avery Jordan show off their winnings.

  Western had a lot to smile about after Saturday's cross-country meet.  Over half of the team managed to run personal bests despite the soggy course and rainy conditions.  In the varsity race Western was lead by senior, Averi Witt and
sophomore Alyssa Santoro-Adajian who placed 5th and 10th.  Alyssa had an amazing race, finishing just 24 seconds behind Averi and setting a new PR, 19:33, the second week in a row.  Jenna Hill finished 23rd, staying just ahead of Albemarle's pack and just one second shy of her PR.  The big surprise of the day was Emily Winder, who really
moved up on the team from finishing 7th last week for the Warriors, to finishing 4th for the team this week.  She ran a 34 second PR of 21:00,  in the less than ideal conditions.  She's been working hard in practice to stay with the pack and it is really showing in her races.  Claudia Giortz-Jorgensen finished close behind Emily, in 21:04, just 6 seconds off of her PR, Grace Rainey finished 6th for the Warriors in 21:14, and Caroline McGahren ran 21:25 to round out the top seven.  Faith Reid was our number 8 in 22:14.
  In the JV race, Western showed that our strength is in our numbers.  Western's pack of Sarina Cooper, Avery Jordan, Christina Webb, Audrey Geis, and Charlotte ThomasClarke went 3, 5, 8, 11 12, to win the JV section.  They dominated the field scoring a low of 39 to Albemarle's 82.  Ella Taylor finished 32nd, Jessica Bilchick finished 49th, and Sarah Titus finished 52nd, to round out the top 8 in a field of 188 runners.  The top 8 earned long sleeved performance fabric shirts with the win.  Six out of the top eight ran personal best times:  Sarina, Christina, Audrey, Charlotte, Ella and Jessica.
Western had 13 girls under 23:00.  More than any other team in the meet.  Only one other team came close, with 10 girls under 23:00.  Also running PR's were Stella Rowe, Sarah Meng, and Sophie Peng.  
  Of the fourteen girls who ran in this race last year, 12 improved their time and by huge margins.  The biggest over the course of the year was Sarah Meng, who dropped 4:24.  Audrey Geis was second with a 3:12 drop and Alyssa Santoro-Adajian was third with a 2:40 drop.  All great signs that this team is headed for big things.  To see complete results: Click here

Great American XC Festival brings New PR's
Western Runners Enjoy the Festival Atmosphere
Western runners Grace Rainey, Alyssa Santoro-Adajian, Caroline McGahren, & Jenna Hill enjoy the festival atmosphere.

   Western headed into The Great American XC Festival with lots of unknowns.  The team had only run one 5k beforehand and two of them hadn't even run a full 5k yet.  Then there was the weather.  With all the rain, would the course live up to its billing as one of the faster courses?  The course did not disappoint as Western had 5 girls run new PR's. 
 The biggest PR of the day came from Alyssa Santoro-Adajian, who knocked an impressive 1:11 off of her PR from FUMA to run 19:37.   Alyssa became only the fifth runner in the past 5 years to go under 20 minutes.   We hope to see a few more go under that mark this season.  Grace Rainey also had a big day with her 1:03 PR, running 20:54.  Emily Winder
knocked off 29 seconds from Wednesday's race to run 21:34 and Caroline McGahren knocked off 23 seconds from her time from last year to run 20:56.  Averi Witt had one of the smallest PR's but considering it was 3 years in the making, made it no less sweet.  She ran an 11 second PR, her previous best was at the State Meet her freshman year. Then came knee surgery her sophomore year and lots of cross-training and rehab.   Averi's time of 18:42, placed her third in the seeded section and earned her a medal and a NIKE backpack.  Jenna Hill, after having to take two weeks, off after FUMA, managed to run #3 for Western, running 20:31.  Faith Reid, was #6 for WAHS in a time of 21:33.  The team is now ranked 16th in the state out of all divisions and this is without Zoe Clay and Claudia Giortz-Jorgensen.  This week we will add Claudia back in the mix at the Albemarle Invitational.  
This past week Scrimmage Play did an article on the team.  It is quite lengthy, but it is great coverage.  Please click on the link and turn to page 9.  Scrimmage Play.

Western Lights up the Night at RVA Relays
Western's A Team preps with glow paint and glow bracelets, prior to their race.

Western's team traveled to Pole Green Park in Mechanicsville to participate in the RVA Relays.  It was a party atmosphere with music playing, light up balloons and a 
lit 2500 meter course.  The girls got into the spirit wearing glow in the dark body paint and glow bracelets.  When it came to race time they were all business.  The day started off with Faith Reid leading off on what would be the fastest split in the B/C team division.  Her time of 9:09, would have been the second fastest Warrior Split on our A relay.    Next came Sydney Dutton with a time of 10:27, followed by Avery Jordan in 10:06.  Our Fourth leg, Giulia Schiaretti, took a wrong turn, along with several other girls and added about a minute to her time.  Audrey Geis Anchored in 10:11.  The B team finished 8th out of 33 teams.  

B Team Members Audrey, Faith, Avery, Sydney, & Giulia 

Then the Extras Race began with Charlotte Thomas Clarke placing 4th in 9:58.  Sarah Titus was 12th in 10 :39, Ella Taylor was 19th in 10:49, Jessica Bilchick ran 11:02 for 27th, Stella Rowe was 30th in 11:05, followed by Sarah Meng and Kathryn Edwards in 11:13.  Sophie Peng finished in 50th in 11:24 out of the field of 133 runners.  Katia Amos raced, but was clearly still not over being sick.  
  In the A Race, Alyssa Santoro-Adajian led off in 9:15 which put our team in 4th.  Caroline McGahren ran a 9:38 split, Claudia Giortz-Jorgensen split a 9:34, Grace Rainey split 9:38, and Averi Witt split an 8:37 which placed her 4th out of all the girls in the A race.  Western finished 7th out of 19 teams, without two of our top 5 runners.  Complete results can be found at here.  In fact, you can also see videos and photos of all the races if you become a milestat member.  It is $48 a year and the pictures and video coverage of all the major, and many minor races, is well worth the price.  

The Western Girls got a week off of racing due to the fact that the Wednesday meet at Darden Towe was cancelled due to the heat.  First time, to my knowledge, a meet has been cancelled for this reason.  The girls had an amazing workout the next day at Old Trail, running 4-5 x .75 miles at race pace.  Saturday we had another strong run at Ridge Road.  This weekend, WAHS will travel to Pole Green Park in Mechanicsville VA to compete in the RVA Relays.  This should be a super fun meet where the last relays of the day will be run in the dark under the lights.  So break out your glow sticks, because this race will be different than anything we have done.  

Western Places Third at FUMA's Colonial Race and Second in the Patriot Race.
  Western's team was awarded the FUMA banner after placing high in all 4 divisions this past Saturday.  

   The temperature was climbing into the upper 80's as the girls Varsity raced in the Colonial Division.  The humidity was also hanging in the upper 80's and it wasn't long before the med tent was filling up with runners.  Western did a good job preparing for the meet as they finished strong, moving up throughout the race.  Averi Witt and Zoe Clay went out with a lead pack of 10-15 runners and slowly worked their way up to 6th and 8th place.  Several of the runners they beat were some of the top ranked runners in the state.   Averi finished just seven seconds behind #10 ranked Julia Lambert of Norfolk Academy.  Alyssa Santoro-Adajian managed to get pass one of the Fluvanna girls who was ranked ahead of her last week.  Alyssa set a PR of 20:48.   Jenna Hill had a solid race, leaving her princess crown at home and toughing it out despite two larger than quarter sized blisters forming on her heels.  Claudia Giørtz-Jørgensen had a break out performance to finish fifth woman for our team and running her personal best time of 21:48 on a morning that saw few PR's. Caroline McGahren ran a strong race to finish 6th for the Warriors and Faith Reid was 7th. Earlier in the Day, Ella Talyor finished 26th out of 117 in the middle school race. She was our lone middle schooler, but did an awesome job moving up throughout the race.
By the time the Patriot Division took off the temperatures were in the mid 90's with equally high humidity. The med tents were filled with runners taken ill from the heat. They decided, while the race was in progress, to end it early. So the runners were greeted, as they exited the woods, with the news that the course had been shortened by a half mile. This brought smiles on many of their tired faces. Audrey Geis 13th, was our top girl in the 4K race, followed closely by Emily Winder in 16th. Sarina Cooper was 19th, Avery Jordan was 24th with Sydney Dutton right behind in 25th. Sydney was awarded the coveted 5th man award. There were 224 runners in the race and Western's remaining runners were Christina Webb 56th, Sarah Titus 67th, Sarah Meng 95th, Katia Amos 103rd, Jessica Bilchick 116th, Sophie Peng 120th, and Kathryn Edwards 136th, wearing only one shoe for most of the race. This is Kathryn pictured pointing out her missing shoe in the first half mile of the race. I have to say, this was a first for me as a coach and I did not have an answer for her at the time. She and Jenna deserve the Warrior Award for the day. I would also like to say that all of the team deserves a huge pat on the back as the one and only Fred Hardy paid you all a compliment. He said he never sees WAHS runners in the med tent. He complimented you all on your smart racing, but also on the fact that WAHS athletes do not display drama. I couldn't be prouder. Hopefully that was our last nasty, hot, race of the season.

Western Girls Help at 4-miler

The Western Girls got up early to meet to run so that they could help block driveways and work at the water station for The Women's 4 Miler.  This year they were rewarded with Nike Performance T-shirts.  Our very own Nayiri Krzyszfowicz, who just graduated, ran an amazing time of 26:14 to win the 15-19 age group.
 Caroline McGahren was 5th in that age group running just under 7 minute pace the entire way.  Caroline was running in honor of her mother who is battling breast cancer.   We have had several mothers of team members affected by breast cancer so it makes sense to support this race which raises several hundred thousand dollars which is used locally.  Thanks to all the girls who came out and for their parents who got up to drive them.  We have a great group of girls with very supportive parents.

Warriors Rule at Ragged Mtn Cup

It was a a typical hot August day at Panarama Farms this past Tuesday.  The Warriors had big goals, to break the relay record and possibly put two teams ahead of all other teams.  The first team, "Minions on a Mission" were led off by Alyssa Santoro-Adajian.  With temperatures approaching 90, it was looking questionable of whether we could pull off the mission, but after Alyssa went out with her fellow Warrior, Jenna Hill in sub 13:00 splits, we knew the mission was possible.  Faith Reid and Claudia Giørtz-Jørgensen ran second leg.  Faith brought the team into second place and Claudia kept our second team, "We wish we were Gannon", very close.  Zoe Clay took the third leg and left no doubt that the record was in reach.  She ran one of the fastest times in the race history spitting 11:51.  Meanwhile, Caroline McGahren came through with a great split to put our B team in third place.  It was then left to the seniors, Averi Witt and Grace Rainey to complete the missions.  Averi ran a solid 12:15 split and The Minions were victorious running a record time of 50:42, breaking the old record by 11 seconds.  
Grace ran her best time by 54 seconds, and it looked like they were going to pull it off, but got passed in the final quarter by Ryann Helmers of AHS.  Ryann was the fourth person in the race history to break 12:00.  Even though they didn't pull off second place, they did manage to break a record of their own.  They were the fastest "B" team in the race history.  The team put eight people in the top 25.  Claudia 
Giørtz-Jørgensen finished 24th, Faith Reid was 23rd, Caroline McGahren was 14th, Grace Rainey was 12th, Jenna Hill was 8th, Alyssa Santoro-Adajian was tied for 6th, Averi Witt was third and Zoe Clay was first.  We had a third team who placed 11th out of 27 teams. All ran super times, leading off with Audrey Geis who was our most improved from last year.  She ran over 17:00 last year and 14:31 this year.  Her team mates were Sarina Cooper, Charlotte ThomasClarke, and Avery Jordan.  
In the Open Race, The Warriors continued to show their strength.  Emily Winder won in a great time of 14:09, which would have placed her 29th in the relay portion.  Sarah Titus was 6th, Katia Amos was 11th, Ella Taylor was 12th, Sara Meng was 14th, Jessica Bilchick was 16th, Kathryn Edwards was 22nd and Naomi Harris was 26th.  All ran personal best times.  For complete results  click here.  Next up for the Warriors will be FUMA on September 10th.  

The team ran their Saturday workout in Sugar Hollow and cooled off afterwards at Snake Hole.  The team is looking really strong going into our first meet this Tuesday at Panarama Farms.  Three teams will be entered in the relay competition and another 8 girls will be entered in the open race. 

WAHS X-Country Team is Coming Together
Western's team has been working hard doing weights anywhere they can find a space.  Over the summer they lifted in parking lots at both Meriwether Lewis Elementary and the WAHS parking lot.  Today they got a rare opportunity to lift in the wrestling room.  After the first two weeks of official practice the team's roster has been finalized and entries to the first meet will be submitted this weekend.

Cross-Country Camp Craziness
   Western took 15 girls to train in the cooler temperatures of Canaan Valley, West Virginia.  The girls will have run 30-40 miles by the end of the week including a tempo run, and a mountain run.  They also have done lots of crafts and team building activities.  The team is looking like it could be the strongest team in recent years.  A very exciting season is to come.  

First Week of Practice:  Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday at 7-8 am.
Thursday off, Friday & Saturday at 7-8 am.  All practices will be at WAHS this first week. 
Western had one of it's biggest groups run up Jarman's Gap on July 30th.  The fastest to the top was Zoe Clay, followed by Averi Witt and then Alyssa Santoro-Adajian and Jenna Hill in a neck and neck battle for third.  The Psychic Runner Award goes to Sarah Titus who managed to guess her finishing time within a second.  The top 14 runners head to camp this Monday to train in Canaan Valley.  

Have you scheduled your physical?
Before going to camp or attending practice you must have had a physical, and turned it in along with the signature sheet and your $75 payment to WAHS and have given it to Gina Fletcher.  Her office is to the left as you enter the gym lobby.  

Happy 4th of July!

The girls gathered this morning for a rainy run down Decca all decked out in their red, white and blue.  Once again Averi Witt reined supreme in her dressing ability.  She specializes in Americana clothing, so this was not much of a stretch for her.  The next few months are very important.  This is the time to really be consistent in your running and to start work on bringing the pace down.  Cross-Country Camp for the top 10-12 girls will be held in exactly 4 weeks from today.  And, get this . . .  The Ragged Mountain Cup is just 8 weeks away.  It will be here before you know it.  So make sure you are working on those abs, and making every run you possibly can.  

Cherie Witt,
Jul 12, 2016, 1:03 PM
Cherie Witt,
Jan 29, 2016, 8:00 AM
Cherie Witt,
Jul 20, 2016, 10:45 AM
Cherie Witt,
Jul 20, 2016, 10:46 AM