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Sign up for the Community Bridges 5k on October 20th. Join the team "Crozet XC". We will do it as a workout together. 

Varsity Warriors Second to Blacksburg
JV Crushes with 20 points
  Western's Varsity came in ranked third behind Blacksburg and Forest Park.  In the end, our 40 second spread from 1-5 was too much for Forest Park and we finished second to Nationally ranked Blacksburg.  The Panarama Course is not known for fast times so with the girls coming off two fast courses, none of the Varsity Warriors set PRs, but Michal Kipnis and Sterling Hull were closest, getting within 30 seconds of their PR's.  The Warriors were led by freshman, Jenna Stutzman, who finished 18th overall in 20:21.  Kate Ratcliffe and Sterling Hull finished 28th and 30th.  Emily Winder finished 35th and Alyssa Santoro-Adajian finished 43rd, the top #5 runner in the race.  Caroline McGahren and Michal Kipnis were 6 and 7 for the Warriors in 62nd and 65th with Blacksburg's fifth runner between them.

The most impressive performance had to come from the pack of five JV runners, who worked together for the entire JV race to finish 2-6, dominating the field.  Austin Winslow came in second, Virginia Peng 3rd, Caroline Jones 4th, Jackie Neilon 5th, and Charlotte ThomasClarke in 6th to score a low 20 points.  Jackie got within 10 seconds of her PR on the course and Austin within 20.  Several Warriors did manage to get personal records on the hilly course.  Cierra Holloran dropped an amazing 1:44 seconds off of her time to finish in 24:50.  Claire Aminuddin dropped 46 seconds.  Bella Sonen dropped 24 seconds.  Cat Beck dropped 23 seconds and Emma Blackman dropped 14 seconds.  Thanks to the Blackman's and the Bilchik's for bringing the awesome snacks.  The Warriors have a week and a half before The District Meet, which will be held at Fluvanna.  

Warriors Gain Big Meet Experience 
at Great American

  Western traveled to Cary, NC. this past Friday to get the opportunity to run with some of the best teams in the Mid Atlantic.  There were teams in our race from Florida all the way to New York.  While we weren't expecting to make it into The Race of Champions, we did.  It gave the girls the chance to practice running in a crowd of people, to be patient during the early stages, and to move up during the final mile.  Many of the girls ran their personal best times.  Kate Ratcliffe, once again led the way for The Warriors, dropping 14 seconds to finish in 19:23.  She managed to unleash her wicked kick, even with the long uphill finish.   Jenna
Stutzman
had the biggest PR, dropping 24 seconds to finish second for The Warriors in 19:34.  Alyssa Santoro-Adajian, dropped 14 seconds from last week's meet to finish with Sterling Hull in 20:26 and 20:27.  Emily Winder finished in 20:40, Caroline McGahren was next in 20:56 and Ella Taylor finished in 22:00.  
  The Varsity finished 22nd out of 26 teams in The Race of Champions.  Their average time was 20:06.  It was a two second improvement over last week, on a tougher course.  

  The Junior Varsity had another great performance with Michal Kipnis leading the way for the Warriors.  She ran an 8 second PR to finish in 9th place in 21:16.  Virginia Peng was next for the JV in 21:28, a season best.  Austin Winslow and Caroline Jones came in in 21:40 and 21:43 with Charlotte ThomasClarke finishing in 21:58, getting the top five all under 22:00.  Jackie Neilon, the lone 8th grader on this trip, had a good race finishing in 22:09, a 15 second PR.  
The biggest improvement from this race last year, to this year was Kate Ratcliffe.  She dropped 2:27 from her time from last year's Great American.  Caroline Jones had the next biggest drop, with 1:35.  Next came Charlotte ThomasClarke with a 58 second drop.  
 
  Of course what is a "Spend the Night" trip without a short shopping excursion?  The girls had a nice dinner at Paola's at 54th and then had a little time to unwind.
photo creds: Emily Winder

Thanks to all the parents who were able to make the trip to support the girls and rush them back for Homecoming.  Special thanks to The Stutzman's and Taylor's for lugging the coolers and bringing the snacks.  




Personal Records Abound as 
Western Wins Again at VTCA
  The Warriors enjoyed many big personal records at the very fast Pocahontas State Park in Richmond.  Other than the first 200 yards, the course was all dirt and gravel, along with the fact that the course was flat, led to some impressive early
season times.  The Warriors were led by Kate Ratcliffe who ran a 1:37 PR to finish in 9th place overall with a time of 19:37.   She was followed by freshman, Jenna Stutzman who ran 19:58, finishing in 13th overall.  The next duo of Sterling Hull, 20:12, and Emily Winder, 20:13, did an awesome job of moving up through the field in the final mile.  They got past a few key people which may have made the difference in our narrow victory over Glen Allen.  Alyssa Santoro-Adajian, 20:40,  rounded out the top five with Caroline McGahren, 20:49 close behind.  Ella Taylor tied her PR to finish in 21:19.  This race allowed us to run 10, which was especially good for us this year as our top 12 are really very close and this gave some opportunity for those on the bubble of making the top seven to try to run with the top seven.  Michal Kipnis dropped 1:41 off of her PR from last year, finishing as our 8th Warrior.  Austin Winslow, running an impressive second half of the race, finished right behind in her PR of 21:28, and Charlotte ThomasClarke finshed in 21:39, a one second PR.  
The final score was WA 84, Glen Allen 87, Midlothian 90.  

In the B race we saw more dramatic time drops.  Official Results are not available so these times could be off by a second or two.  Caroline Jones led the way for the Warriors in the B race, finishing 3rd overall with a personal best time of 21:33.  Virginia Peng finished in 21:34, for 4th place.  Jessica Bilchik was next for the Warriors in 23:52.  Eleanor Abell had an amazing 2 minute drop from her Darden Towe time to finish in 24:15.  Caitlin Boyd dropped just over a minute to finish in 24:18 and Julie Deacon dropped 1:47 from her Darden Towe time to finish in 25:06.  
In the JV section we had Jackie Neilon finish 4th in a PR time of 22:20.  She dropped 1:49 from her Darden Towe time.  Bella Sonen and Annie McGahren worked together and both dropped just under 2 minutes to run 24:18 and 24:19 respectively.  Cat Beck dropped 1:19 to run 24:52, Emma Blackman ran a season best 25:58, and Cierra Holloran had the biggest drop of the day, 2:57 off her best time, to finish in 26:31.  
Big thanks to The Boyd's, The Abell's, and The Kipnis' for the wonderful post race snacks.  We again, are winning with our amazing parent support.  I think it is time to get some fan gear for all these wonderful parents.  Sean Taylor, can you make that happen?


Western Wins the Overall ABC at RVA!
Western showed the state just how impressive our depth is by having the best score across all three divisions on Saturday night's RVA Relays.  Going up against many of the states big schools, Western proved that you don't have to be a 6 A school to have a dominating pack.  
The night started with the B-C race at 5:30.  We front loaded the C team in order to keep them in the race for as long as possible.  At one time we had both our teams in the top 5.  Virginia Peng and Caroline Jones had spectacular days, keeping the C team right with our B team going into the third leg.  Western Branch ended up taking the win with what was really their A team as they did not have a team entered in the Championship division.  B team members Michal Kipnis, Austin Winslow, Emily Winder, Charlotte ThomasClarke, and Caroline McGahren ran just at or under 10:00 per leg to give the team a time of 48:52 which placed them second.  Our C team, Virginia Peng, Caroline Jones, Jenna Hill, Caitlin Boyd, & Claire Aminuddin, finished second out of the C team division.  

Next up was our girls in The Extra's Race.  This is when it was starting to get dark.  This was an open race.  Jackie Neilon was the top JV runner again, finishing 24th.  She was the top 8th grader in The Extra's race.  Jordan Stone had an excellent race even after playing in a soccer game earlier in the day.  She ran 10:38 to finish 33rd and was the second 8th grader in the field.  Jessica Bilchik and Annie McGahren, finished in 58th and 64th.  Then a 3-pack of Elleanor Abell, Emma Blackman, and Cat Beck finished in 83, 84, and 85.  Julie Deacon was 98th and Cierra Holloran was 125th out of 222.  Just goes to show, you may be at the back of our pack, but it is important to keep things in perspective.  We have a very good pack!
The A team got to run in full darkness.  Sterling Hull had a strong start for us, running 9:16 to keep us close coming in with a mob of other teams.  Kate
Ratcliffe
pulled us into 5th place, running the fastest WA split of the night, 8:55.  Ella Taylor went out hard, but managed to keep us close.  Jenna Stutzman had the second fastest WA split of the night, running 9:11.  Alyssa Santoro-Adajian
ran 9:14 to keep us in 5th place.  The two second places from the B-C race, combined with 5th place in the A race, gave us an easy win of the ABC category.  Our depth prevailed.  
Most Improved from last year's RVA Relays was Caitlin Boyd.  She dropped 1:25  from her performance last year.  The next biggest time drop came from Kate Ratcliffe, who dropped 1:03 from last year.  Michal Kipnis also knocked off 55 seconds from last year's race.  We were fortunate to have great racing conditions.  
Our team as a whole showed amazing team spirit as I am pretty sure we out glowed and glittered the field.  Special Thanks to Thomas Gathright for making the trip after racing earlier in the day.  He is one of our biggest fans and probably more knowledgeable about the stats than all
of us, thanks to his obsessive milestat addiction .
Thanks to the Sonen/Shaw family for hosting this past Wednesday's run, complete with a dip in the pool and post run snacks.  Thanks to The Aminuddin's, The Hulls, and The ThomasClarke family for providing post race snacks at RVA. 
A big thanks to all the families that stayed through the end of the meet.  It is a long night, but I think it speaks volumes that the entire team stayed till the end.  I am so glad they did because they are all a part of the team victory and they all deserve to be recognized for their hard work.
  The Sonen's and Holloran family are in charge of snacks on Tuesday.  (There will only be 14 girls going).  On Saturday we will have the full team going and The Boyd's, The Abell's, & Kipnis are in charge of snacks.


Western Practices The Pack Attack
This past Wednesday at Darden Towe, the girls had a  chance to practice racing in a pack.  Most of them did a great job working together and then they worked on pushing the second half of the course.  Albemarle held out their top runners as they were scheduled to race at Oatlands this Saturday, so it really became more of a team time trial.  Official results are not available, but Western took all but two of
the top 12 spots.  Alyssa Santoro-Adajian got the win with an unofficial time of 21:26, running her fastest mile last.  She was followed by team mates Sterling Hull, Jenna Stutzman, and Caroline McGahren.  Monticello had a runner in the 5th spot and then came Emily Winder, Ella Taylor, Michal Kipnis and Austin Winslow.  Charlotte ThomasClarke and Virginia Peng finished 11th and 12th.    
 Thanks to The Becks, Neilons, and Stones for bringing post race refreshments.  
  This past week was a high mileage week for the girls.  They were all pretty tired, but kept great attitudes throughout the week.  They'll get a little rest going into The RVA Relays this weekend.  It should be a fun meet for all.  They usually recognize the team with the best A-B-and C team.  We have a lot of depth this year and we are shooting to have the top A-B-C team this year.  
The Powhatan meet has been changed from Thursday to Tuesday, Sept 25th!  Make sure you mark you calendars.  





































Western Regains the Cup!
The team of Jenna Stutzman, Kate Ratcliffe, Alyssa Santoro-Adajian, & Ella Taylor, celebrate as the first team in this past Wednesday's Ragged Mountain Cup.

The Warriors headed into this past Wednesday's Ragged Mountain Cup knowing it would be a hot one, but they also knew that they had prepared well.  The races' start time was delayed an hour due to temperatures in the lower 90's  
with the real feel temperatures near a hundred.  The go ahead to warm-up was not even given until less than 40 minutes before race time.  The girls did an abbreviated warm-up.  No complaints were heard as the girls went through their warm-up routines.   As soon as the gun went off, it was clear that the Warriors would be all business.  Fluvanna, ran their fastest leg first, as did Louisa.  They were in first and second place after the first leg.  Ella Taylor and Sterling Hull worked together to keep our teams close.  Kate Ratcliffe put us in second place and closed the gap with Louisa who was then in first place.  Jenna Stutzman pulled the team into first place and extended the lead to just over a minute over Albemarle.  Alyssa Santoro-Adajian ran
the exact same split (
12:54), as Jenna Stutzman and extended the lead against Albemarle.  Meanwhile our second team was doing an amazing job.  Emily Winder passed Fluvanna's second girl and handed off to Caroline McGahren.  Caroline passed Louisa's third girl and worked to hold off Albemarle's third girl, who just happened to be their fastest leg.  Caroline handed off to Charlotte, who held on to third place.  More great running occurred on our third team.  Michal Kipnis ran an amazing two minutes faster than her performance from last year to get our third team off to a great start.  She teamed up with Austin Winslow, Virginia Peng and Caroline Jones to finish 8th out of the 22 teams.  Virginia ran 57 seconds faster than her time trial on the course.  She and Alyssa had the biggest time drops from the time trial.  Alyssa dropped 58 seconds.  Alyssa has also managed to finish in the top 6 for three years in a row!
  As soon as the varsity race finished the open race started.  The JV girls ran in some very crowded conditions with the guys on a shortened course.  The 2200 meter course did not give the runners much time to spread out so the girls had a lot of difficulty moving up throughout the race.  
Our top JV runner was Jackie Neilon.  She did a great job moving up the entire race.  She has had a consistent summer of training and it really showed up on Wednesday.  Her time, unofficially was just under 9:30.  Right behind her was Jenna Hill, and Claire Aminuddin.   Results for the open race are still unavailable.  More to come later. 
   The Varsity girls ended up getting 8 in the top 25, earning the coveted Cup shirts with Alyssa (4), J-Stutz (4), Kate (6), Sterling (9), Ella (10th), Winder (14th), CMG (16), and Charlie (22).  Finishing just out of the top 25 was Michal (26), Austin (27), and Virginia (28).  One thing is for sure, this team has demonstrated amazing depth.  
A big thanks to the Hills and Winders for bringing snacks and for the Sonnens for bringing extra drinks and Popsicles.   Thanks to the Taylors, who brought frozen wash clothes.  Also thanks to the Stone's for bringing a post workout treat this past Monday.  This team has had such wonderful support from all the families.  It is no wonder they are so supportive for each other and such a pleasure to coach.
  The Open Race Results just became available and I've listed them on our results page.  One of the most impressive things is all of our girls finished in the top half of the field.  Another thing to consider is that three of the top 6 girls in the race were really varsity girls, (Covenant), who did not have enough upper class men to race in the Varsity race, so that really moves everybody up three places.  If they then scored the meet our JV team would have won!  So congrats to all the JV girls.  





  






The 4-Miler
Caitlin Style
  The Western Girls got up early Saturday, Sept first to block driveways and cheer for the almost 2000 women who ran the four miler.  After getting in a 40 minute run on Ridge Road, the girls enjoyed Birthday Muffins provided by Caitlin Boyd.  Then the girls headed down the road to help at the 4 miler.  We had a few girls running the race.  Annie and Caroline McGahren ran in honor of their Mom who has survived an aggressive form of breast cancer.  Kate Ratcliffe also ran with Caroline.  The fact that one in eight women will get breast cancer in their lifetime makes this such a worthwhile event.  The money raised stays locally and is this is one of the largest all women races in the country.  It is always a sight to watch this sea of pink moving down Garth Road.   There is a lot happening this week, so be sure to check out the Weekly Schedule.



Getting Ready to Race!

   Western traveled to Panarama Farms this past Saturday to go over the Ragged Mountain Cup course and run a time trial.  The time trials serve multiple purposes.  They give you a race situation so that you can practice racing without actually racing.  They give the coaches a way to measure your progress.  Many people ran several minutes faster than last year's time trial.  Last year's time trial was held after school and it was 82 degrees, so it is not a direct comparison, but still a good time drop is a good time drop either way.  We have had multiple time trials, and tough practices and the coaches will look at all these things to determine the teams for The Ragged Mountain Cup, which will kick off the season on September 5th.  
   Speaking of that date, we will also do our team pictures that day after the JV runners cool down.  The awards are given around 7:30 so you won't be out of there till almost 8 pm.  
   Also, this Saturday is our one service event of the season and we will be blocking driveways during the women's four miler.  Please do your best to be there as we need everyone's help.

Runners Take the Plunge at St. Mary's Hike
   
 
  Western's team traveled to Coal Rd. in Raphine to do a run in The George Washington National Forest and then hiked in St. Mary's Wilderness Area.  The best part of the hike was the waterfall at the end and the jump into a deep ice cold
pool of water.  Twelve of the fifteen girls made the jump into the water.  It took your breath away when you hit the cold water.  Sometimes it is fun to do something that really scares you.  The picture at the left shows just how scary.  Austin is clearly praying for Caitlin.  Meanwhile, Jonsie is just laughing.  To see more pictures of the hike and all the unique jumping styles, check out our album page.  Also, if you haven't seen Caitlin's vlog of the event, then you are really missing something.  A big thank you to the Neilon's and Carol Stutzman for driving and chaperoning the hike.  It is great to have parent involvement.  Don't ever miss an opportunity to spend time with your kid.  As an empty nester, I can tell you that this time goes by so fast and you can't get it back.  I realize that hiking isn't everyone's thing, but we will have more opportunities to get involved and I hope to see more parents out cheering on their girls this season.  They are working hard and deserve your support.
  The next four Saturday's are really going to be important training days, so do your best to keep your schedule clear so that you can be there.  Also, make sure you are coming as much as possible as this is really our last big training block before the race season starts.  Make sure you have ordered your team shorts.  Potential top seven may want to go ahead and order a pair of solid black shorts as well. Remember, just one logo, no logos on the waist band.  Uniform shirts will be handed out this week.  Links can be found on the "Weekly Schedule" page.


Wrapping Things Up at Camp
The Girls Celebrate at the Summit of the Mountain Run

  The girls have had an amazing week in Timberline, West Virginia.  They've been busy doing lots of crafts, white water rafting, dancing, and yes, running.  The final run of the week was the Mountain Run.  It is a mile to the base of the mountain and then another two miles to the top.  This year's "Mountain Goat" was Ella Taylor.  She made the 2 mile portion in 19:21.  Not far behind was a nice pack of girls running 19:25, 19:28, and 19:34, Kate Ratcliffe, Alyssa Santoro-Adajian, and Austin Winslow.  Kate was most improved from last year, knocking off 1:24 from last year's time.  There was another trio running right around a minute later, Sterling Hull, Michal Kipnis and Caroline McGahren.  Emily Winder won the prediction for this run.  She was only two seconds off her predicted time.  
   Earlier in the week at the tempo run it was Kate who led the way, running 9:33.  Then a tight trio of Jenna Stutzman 9:47, Caroline McGahren in 9:48, and Alyssa in 9:49.  Sterling was next in 9:57, Ella and Charlotte ThomasClarke came in 10:10 and 10:11.  
   Several of the girls are just starting to get rolling after taking a break from running for various reasons.  Alyssa Santoro-Adajian, Emily Winder and Jenna Hill are just starting to get strong again and have had a good week at camp.  It is so good to have these seniors back in action.  Also, sophomore, Caroline Jones, who had a great indoor track season, is just starting to gain momentum  after being involved with Lacrosse this past spring.  
   Back at home Virginia Peng who divides her time with ballet and running is starting to pick up steam and will be looking to join this growing pack.  There is also a good sized pack of 8th graders and first year runners who have been amazingly consistent this summer and will no doubt add to the strength of this team.  
   We realize that families are trying to sneak in one last get away before school starts, but we hope that the girls can keep up the training as this is the most important time to finish building that base mileage for the season.  This will be another deep team where the top seven could change from week to week.  
  

Jarman's Gap Attack
  Our annual Jarman's Gap run featured many first timers.  Out of the eleven team members, only four had run it before.  The team started at Chile's Orchard and they were staggered so that the girls could all finish close together.  First up the mountain this year was 8th grader, Annie McGahren.  Her time was the 7th fastest time of the day.

Charlotte ThomasClarke had the fastest time up the mountain, running 2:29 faster than previous years.  Ella Taylor was close behind, and Caroline McGahren's time was next.  She also won the prediction by getting within 50 seconds of her predicted time.  Michal Kipnis was just seconds behind Caroline and right behind her was Jenna StutzmanSterling Hull was 6th, running over five minutes faster than last year.  Several of the newbies had excellent first times up the mountain.  Jackie Neilon, Cat Beck, and Eleanor Abell all staying under 45 minutes.  Jenna Hill did a good job helping some of the newbies.  The good news is all the courses will pale in comparison to this one.  Congrats to all the girls and thanks to all the parents who were able to drive, run, and bike to support the team.  
Afterwards the girls enjoyed some delicious Chiles' Orchard peaches and pancakes.  We also had a special guest, all the way from Denmark, Claudia Giortz-Jorgensen.  


Getting Ready For the Start of a Fun New Season!
The official start of practice is Monday, July 30th.  Practice will be at 7 am for the first two weeks.  Make sure you are prepared for the start of practice by having your physical on file with Gina Fletcher, the AD secretary.  You should also have your signature sheet and $75 fee turned in.  You can not be at practice till those things are done.  The first meet is Wednesday September 5th and you are required to have a minimum of 20 days of practice in before you can race.  Our first meet is super fun so we'd hate for you to miss it because you didn't turn your paperwork in.  

Make sure you have at least one pair of shoes that are recently purchased.  Running shoes are only good for 300-400 miles, so for most of you that is only 3-4 months of running.  Plan on purchasing one pair per season.  It is also good to get another pair broken in before the other pair is completely shot.  Use the new shoes on easy days initially.  Never run a long day in a brand new pair of shoes.  More experienced runners may want to have two pairs of shoes to rotate between.  More experienced runners will also want to have a pair of spikes, but if you haven't raced in them before, you may want to check with us first before purchasing them.  We will start doing strides in spikes the second week of practice so make sure you have them ready to go.  

You will also want to have a watch that has a stopwatch function.  You don't need a Garmin, although I think they are a great source of motivation and information.  You  will also want to bring a water bottle to practice each day and a yoga mat.  We will try to find a storage place at school so you won't have to bring it once school begins.  It is also a good idea to bring a post workout snack.  A combination of protein and carbohydrates is supposed to help aid in recovery.  

Come ready to work hard with a great group of friends.  We promise you'll have some fun along the way.  

The Zoe Clay Interview
Finding the Right College for You

Earlier this spring I interviewed Zoe Clay about her college search and she provided lots of great information.  

1.  Tell me about the college you chose & how you chose your college.
Wake Forest is a small, private university located just north of downtown Winston-Salem, NC. Their mascot is the Demon Deacon, and their colors are black and gold (like a classy minion wearing a tuxedo). The Reynolda campus (the main campus for undergrads) is pretty small, with lots of nice walking paths through campus that branch out from the two "quads" that make up the center of campus. They also have some short single track trails for the XC teams near the track, as well as paved walking paths that lead over to Reynolda Village, which has a series of dirt trails through the woods. This accessibility to nature and trails was one of the things that stood out to me. It is close enough to downtown Winston-Salem that it isn't completely isolated, and there are lots of cool places to go in the city, but the close proximity of the woods and nearby hiking trails fosters an active, outdoor lifestyle/attitude that I noticed from talking to some of the girls on the team and their friends. In terms of academics that the school offers, their Health and Exercise science department is very advanced and extensive, covering many different pathways related to HES. This is the area of study I am interested in, at least to begin with, and I liked that the program at Wake offered so many different possibilities since I am not sure what specifically I would like to study related to HES. 
2.  Tell me about your new team & coach.  I visited Wake Forest in November and got to meet the team and the coaches. The head girl's coach is Michelle Chewens. I don't really know her that well yet, but the team really like her. What stood out to me was the relationship she has with the team. They are all very comfortable with her and can relate to her. One of the hardest parts of choosing a college was trying to find a coach that I felt I could become friends with and get along well with the way I have at Western, and I feel like I saw that between the coaches and the team at Wake. I also enjoyed getting to hang out with the team on my visit. Everyone gets along very well, and they spend a lot of time together outside of practice, which I liked. The XC/distance group at Wake is pretty young with a large Freshman and Sophomore class, but they have been very successful this year, so I am looking forward to being part of the team as it continues to grow. I have also enjoyed being able to text the other girls who will be in my class on the team next year and meeting a few of them at meets. They all seem very friendly and we have a lot of similar interests.
3.  What do you see as the benefits of competing in college? The benefits of competing in college are the schedule and structure that a sport provides. Having regular practices will give me something familiar and constant in my new routine, and I think it has helped me manage my time in high school, so I believe it will help me do the same in college, especially with the large workload at Wake. I think it also helps to have a team because this gives you a group immediately that you can get guidance from and spend time with, even though it is a completely new place. Getting to travel to different places for meets will also be cool, because I think it will keep me from getting too stuck in my own campus bubble. I also like having physical goals to work towards, and I look forward to running lots of PR's in college and challenging myself to a new level of competition. 
4.  What other schools did you consider? UVA, William and Mary, JMU (also considered but did not apply to Eastern Tennessee State University, George Mason, and Arizona State University)
5.  What advice would you give to your current team mates about the process of finding a school that is right for them.  I would say: don't worry if you feel overwhelmed or if you don't know where to start. I felt like I had no idea what I was looking for at first. Focusing on the things you know want in college, even if it's only one thing, gives you something to base your considerations off of. For me, I knew I was going to run in college, so I started with that. I also knew I was interested in some kind of PT, kinesiology, HES kind of academic program. These two things were the main criteria I had for the first few colleges I looked at. After doing a few visits and seeing more campuses, I got a sense of the other things that I liked and disliked, which is my second tip. If it is possible and you are even slightly interested in the college, try to visit it. This is so much more helpful than reading about it online. If you can't visit, do some research, and also talk to people who know about the college. The WAHS guidance counselors are a great resource, as are teachers, family, friends, neighbors, etc. The coaches are also extremely helpful to talk to. If you are interested in running in college, they have great advice and they know a lot of details about all the different colleges and their athletics. Even if you're not interested in running in college, the coaches are still extremely helpful. Remember: they went to college, so they know what the process is like, and they've helped tons of people on the team find a place to go. They are great at answering questions, or if you're just thinking things out, they can give good advice and listen to your stream of thought. Related to this, it helps to write stuff down. Whether you like lists, or word docs, or journals, etc. I am not a journal/list person, but I found that being able to see the pros and cons and my thoughts about each college helped me work through my decision without having to remember everything and hold it all in my head. Lastly, don't worry about finding the PERFECT college.  In the end, there is more than one college where you will be happy. If you've narrowed it down and you're having trouble deciding, just give it a rest for a few days, and then come back to it a little later. If the colleges are similar, go with your gut, because at this point, it is not a life or death situation and you will not completely ruin your future by going to one rather than the other. Once you make your decision, fully commit to it, because this is the final step in ensuring your happiness.  In the end as long as you are present there and focus on the things you like and challenge yourself, you will catch your bliss.


SUMMER FUN DOESN'T HAVE TO BE A RUN

Several of the team members spent the day hiking at White Oak Canyon.  Earlier the group did a hike at Old Rag.  Hiking is a great way to see secluded areas, but it is also a way to cross train.  Hiking forces you to use muscles that may not be used in your daily runs.  It utilizes glute strength and forces your core and stabilizers to work to keep your body balanced on uneven terrain.  To read more about it:  3 Ways Hiking Really Does Improve your Running and Hiking Muscles vs Running Muscles.  


State Meet Slowed by Storms Parked Over Harrisonburg
  The 2018 State Meet ended up being a marathon event.  The conditions were cool and rainy and the meet was interrupted a number of times due to lightening.  The Western girls did a good job of keeping their focus and managed to come out with some good performances.  Mia Donalson had the highest team placing, finishing 2nd in the pole vault, which was done in rainy conditions.  She still managed to do one of her best vaults of the
season, 9-6.  The 4 x 800 team finished third with Ella Taylor on lead off leg, Caroline McGahren second, Sterling Hull on third leg and Zoe Clay running anchor.  Zoe managed to run our fastest leg despite this being her third run on land in over 6 weeks.  Her performance is a testament to her hard work put in mostly by herself or sometimes in a weight room full of stinky football players.  The ability to stay focused during injury, when you have to cross-train by yourself is in the end, what will determine your success.  Zoe has been the poster child for work ethic over the past several years.  Her feet might look small, but her shoes will be tough to fill.  
  In the 1600, Kate Ratcliffe came in seeded 8th, but had a break out performance to finish third with a three second PR.  She got to have her first interview, by the local CBS station and she handled the press like a veteran.  Leah Ackerman had one of her best throws of the season to finish 4th with a throw of 38-00.75.  Megan Futty and Reagan Burton got 6th and 7th, vaulting 8-6.  Caroline Koester placed 7th in the 400 running 61.34.  Caroline McGahren ran a personal best in a rainy 3200 to finish 9th in 12:18.28.  Sterling Hull placed 8th in the 800 and Kate deJong placed 8th in the 100 hurdles.  So every girl we took to the state Meet managed to make the podium.  Even though things got a little tiresome with all the delays at state meet, the girls kept good attitudes and ended the season with some good races.  Click here for complete results.

Western Region 3C Runner Up
  Western was without several key players this past Wednesday at the Region 3 C meet, but because of it's depth and diversity, was able to finish as the Region 3C runner-up.    We had several people come up with some big points for us.  Kate de Jong, who splits her time with soccer, managed to get two third places.  One in high jump and one in the 100 meter hurdles.  She placed 6th in the 300 hurdles and also eeked out an 8th place
finish in the long jump.  Caroline McGahren had a huge day, running her best time in the 1600 and right on her best time in the 3200 in some pretty hot conditions.  She placed 3rd in the 1600 and second in the 3200.  Kate Ratcliffe placed second in the 1600, running a personal best time of 5:27.27.  In the 800, we also took second and third, with Sterling  Hull dropping a big three seconds to get under the state qualifying time in 2:24.55.  Ella Taylor also ran her best time of 2:27.96.  Caroline Koester, was a bit under the weather, but still managed to get fifth in long
jump and an 8th in triple jump.  The pole vaulters once again racked up the points taking first, third, sixth and seventh with Mia Donelson, Megan Futty, Reagan Burton, Sarah Leonard, and Gloria Leo.  Mia had an awesome day, going over 10 feet for the first time and getting the win.  Arianna Ballas had a great day in the discus, throwing 101-01 to place third.  Leah Ackerman placed 5th in shot put.  The 4 x 400 team of Sterling Hull, Ashna Nitzsche, Ella Taylor and Elizabeth Davis placed 5th and the 4 x 800 team of Hanna Saur, Charlotte ThomasClarke, Chiara Martelli and Hermie Goings placed 7th.  For complete results click here.


In Every Season a Little Rain Must Fall

  This past Wednesday, Western traveled to Fluvanna for our District Qualifier.  Despite, less than ideal conditions, many girls managed to run personal bests.  In the 1600, Caroline McGahren worked with her team mates to pace them through to huge PR's as the clouds let loose a deluge.  Sterling Hull dropped 12 seconds to run 5:42.83 and Ella Taylor dropped 9 seconds to run 5:44.42.  The trio took first, second and third and then came back in the 800 to place second, third and fourth, less than 45 minutes later.  Sterling and Ella came back in the 4 x 400 with Ashna Nitzsche and Caroline Koester to win the 4 x 400 in their season best time of 4:27.71. 
Caroline Koester also won the open 400 in 62.65, she won the triple jump in 24-10.5 and placed third in the long jump.  Ashna placed third in high jump, fifth in triple jump and 6th in long jump.  
   Leah Ackerman won the shot put with a throw of 35-9 and placed 5th in discus.   Arianna Ballas placed fourth in both shot put and discus.  
  The pole vaulters also took second, third and fourth with Megan Futty, Sara Leonard, and Gloria Leo.  It was a difficult day to vault in the rainy conditions, but the girls all managed to hit respectable heights.  
  One of the more exciting races was the 4 x 800 where Hannah Saur led off with a huge PR split of 2:43, putting us in second place.  Juliana Scott ran sub three and so did Chiara Martelli, which was an 11 second PR for her.  Hermi Goings took the baton with a Monticello runner closing fast.  The Monticello runner caught Hermi on the final 100 meter stretch and Hermi fought her off to claim second for the team.  

Fluvanna Invite a Washout!

  The Fluvanna invitational started off well with Leah Ackerman winning the shot put with another great throw of 37-04.  The 4 x 800 team loaded up with Caroline McGahren, Kate Ratcliffe, Sterling Hull and Ella Taylor.  Both Kate and Ella set personal records as the team ran their fastest 4 x 800 of the year, 9:59.31 to place second.  Caroline McGahren also had time to run her season best 1600 for the win in 5:31.92.  Arianna Ballas placed 4th in the discus with a throw of 96-0, one of her best throws of the season.  
  The pole vaulters also had a great day with Megan Futty getting her best jump of 9-0 to place 5th.  Reagan Burton vaulted 8-6 for 8th and Abby Cole finished 9th with an 8-0 vault.  Caroline Koester placed 5th in triple jump with 33-01 before the meet had to be called because of thunderstorms.  While it was a bit of a disappointment to end the meet with many events left to run, most of the girls managed to have a good time despite the weather.  


Western's 8th Graders Impress at Middle School Meet
  The 8th graders traveled to UVA for The Ragged Mountain Middle School Meet.  They got the opportunity to run on a very nice track and came away with some great performances.  The official results are still not available, but I can give you some of the highlights. 

 In the 1600 Jenna Stutzman won the race, with an outdoor 
personal best of 5:33.  Michal Kipnis was third, finally breaking that elusive six minute barrier running 5:53.  Caitlin Boyd also smashed her PR, running 6:33.  In the 4 x 400, our team of Michal Kipnis, Josie Clay, Caitlin Boyd and Jenna Stutzman came in third with all four of the girls running PR splits.  Thanks to Ragged Mountain's team of volunteers for putting on a great, well run meet which was free to enter. 




Western's Team is Coming Together

  This past week was full of amazing performances and milestones.  To start off the week we had two of our female athletes sign with college teams along with three
guys.  Leah Ackerman signed with Denison University in Ohio where she will continue with the throws.  Zoe Clay signed with Wake Forest to run cross-country and track.  We wish them the best of luck with their new teams.

                                             
 It was quite a week for Leah.  Not only did she sign, but she set a school record in the shot put, throwing 39-10 at The Jefferson District Meet on May 2nd, breaking The District Meet record as well.  Congratulations to both Leah and Coach Wolfe as they have put in many hours for the past two years, not just in season, but over the summer and it is awesome to see all that work pay off.

  The throws were amazing at Lousia.  Arianna Ballas broke the 100 foot mark in the discus for the win with her throw of 101-2.  Leah Ackerman placed 6th and Jessica Walker placed 7th in that event.  

  Others placing high at the District meet were Caroline Koester in the 400, running 62.48 for 2nd.  The 4 x 400 team of Caroline Koester, Cate Zobrist, Sterling Hull, and Ashna Nitzsche placed second.  In the pole vault we had three girls place with Mia Donalson clearing 9-0 for fourth, Sara Leonard clearing 8-9 for 5th, and Megan Futty in 7th with a vault of 8-6.  Charlotte ThomasClarke finished 6th in the 800 after running her personal best time in the 1600 which placed her 8th.  Ashna Nitzsche also placed 7th in the 100, running her one of her best times of the year.

Future Stars compete at The Harrisonburg JV Meet
  We had several track athletes compete in Harrisonburg on May 2nd in a JV meet which showcased many of Western's future talent.  In the pole vault, Gloria Leo won the event with a vault of 7-0.  Caela Talmadge and Carey D'arte finished tied for third with of 6-0 vault.  Jenna Stutzman won the 800 with a time of 2:36.8.  She also ran on the winning 4 x 4 and the second place 4 x 8 team.  Michal Kipnis finished 3rd in the 1600 and was a part of the winning 4x4.  Sophia Park won the 1600 in 5:47.6 and was also a member of both the 4x4 and 4x8.  
   Kenedi Anderson placed second in high jump with a jump of 4-2.  She also placed 4th in long jump with a 13-4.5 foot jump and placed 6th in the 100m dash.  Josie Clay was 7th in the 400 and was a member of the winning 4x4.  Hermi Goings was 7th in the 800 with her personal best time of 2:52.8 and was also a member of the 4x8 team.  Catilin Boyd placed 7th in the 1600.  What made many of these performances more impressive was the fact that Henley field day preceded this meet on the hottest day of the year.  Congrats to all the girls.

Dogwood Gives Western Big Meet Experience

  Every year most of Virginia's top runners from all over the state converge at UVA for one of the biggest and deepest fields on the east coast.  Many of the top runners in neighboring states also attend.  This year we had a team come all the way from San Francisco.  That team is coached by Western Alumni,  Carin Ward.  Carin was a part of three state cross-country championships in 1993, 1994, and 1996.  The team was also nationally ranked for two of those years.  She is also an individual state xc champion.  She coaches at a school of less than 400 students and somehow manages to create a 4 x 800 team that broke 8:00 yesterday to place second.  Carin took over the WAHS team as head coach in 2002 after being an assistant coach for two years.  She went on to coach Western to three more cross-country team titles. 
  
Western's team had many fine performances.  Mia Donalson had the highest placing in the meet finishing 5th with her personal best jump of 9-9.  Megan Futty placed 11th and Sarah Leonard placed 13th in that event.  Kate deJong had an outstanding day in the jumps, finishing 7th in high jump with a jump of 5-0.  She also had a great performance in long jump, jumping 16-6.  Kate also ran in both the 100 and 300 meter hurdles. 
The Distance Medly team of Caroline Koester, Caroline McGahren Sterling Hull, and Ella Taylor,  placed 8th.  Caroline Koester also ran her best time of the season in the open 400 with a 60.89.  Caroline McGahren ran her lifetime best in the 800 after taking SAT's all morning, running a 5 second open PR time of 2:25.71.  Sterling was right behind with a time of 2:27.01, a six second personal best.  They went one and two in their heat for an exciting race that had the announcer going wild with the local teams leading most of the heats in the 800.  Ella Taylor, after seeing her team mates success, took off with 300 meters to go and gapped the field in her heat, winning easily in 2:28.64, a 4 second personal best.  Earlier in the 1600, Kate Ratcliffe ran her personal best time by six seconds to finish with a 5:29.31, and was the third fastest freshman in the meet.    
  Leah Ackerman placed 9th in the shot put, with her second best throw ever 39-0.  Arianna Ballas had her personal best throw in the shot put with her throw of 29-03.  
  Many thanks to Alec Lorenzoni, Charlie Hurt & Cass Girvin for putting on such an amazing meet.  A big thanks to all the parents who volunteered to work the meet.  Many did more than just one shift.  It takes a lot of people to put on a meet of that size and Western always makes a big contribution to the volunteer staff.  This is the team's biggest fund raiser by far and we couldn't do it without all the parent volunteers.

Western Competes at JMU

  The Western team traveled to Harrisonburg to compete at the Valley's City County Invitational.  It was the first high school meet ever held at JMU's new track facility and it was a real treat to compete in such a fine facility.  Western finished in third place in the nine team meet, behind East Rockingham and Turner Ashby.  Several Warriors took home first place.  Leah Ackerman continued her string of outstanding throws with a win in shot put.  She threw 36-11.75 and came back to get a 7th in discus with a throw of 80-03.  Caroline Koester won the 400 with a time of 63.58.  She placed second in triple jump with a jump of 33-09 and ran a leg on the 4 x 400 team which placed third and placed 7th in long jump.
  Caroline McGahren won the 1600 with a time of 5:34.34, ran a leg on the third place 4x4, and placed 6th in the 800.  We had two other warriors place in the 800.  Sterling Hull placed second in dramatic fashion, going out in 78, then dropping the pace to a 73, passing a number of runners on her second lap to finish in 2:31.62.  Kate Ratcliffe was just a few steps behind Sterling most of the way, finishing in third with a 2:33.27.  Both Kate and Sterling were a part of the third place 4 x 4.
  In the pole vault, Sarah Leonard and Megan Futty placed third and fourth, clearing 8-6 and 8-0 respectively.  Ashna Nitzsche placed 5th in both the 100 and 200, running her personal best times of 13.55 and 28.38.  She also placed 4th in triple jump, 5th in the long jump. and 7th in high jump.  Arianna Ballas placed 4th in discus with a throw of 93-05, and 8th in shot put.  Emma Blackman placed 7th in the 100 hurdles with a personal best time of 20.58 and came back to place 11th in the 300 hurdles.  Juliana Scott ran a personal best in the 1600 to place 8th in 6:24.29.  Hermi Goings was right behind her in 9th, also running her personal best.  To see more results Click here.

Many Great Performances in Louisa and in Lynchburg

  The competition heated up this past Wednesday as the Warriors headed to Louisa.  Caroline Koester, pictured above, had a solid meet, earning two first place finishes.  She won the triple jump with a leap of 33-03, which qualifies her for the Region meet.  She also won the 400 with a Region qualifying time of 63.01. 

 One of the most exciting events was the women's shot put.  Leah Ackerman won the event with a four foot personal best of 39-04.  That throw qualifies her for the state meet and put her in the top ten in all divisions in VA.  Arianna Ballas also had a great day in shot put, throwing a personal best of 29-01.5, good enough for 4th place.  In the discus, the same duo came out 5th and 6th with Arianna throwing 84-11 and Leah throwing 84-0.  

In other field events, Ashna Nitzsche won the high jump with a personal best jump
of 4-10, which qualifies her for Regionals.  She also placed 4th in the 200 and 6th in the 100.  In the poll vault Western took 3rd, 5th and 7th with Mia Donalson and Melina Punsalan, both going 8-6, and Megan Futty vaulting 8-0.  All those vaults qualify them for Regionals.

The 4 x 800 team of Ella Taylor, Sterling Hull, Charlotte ThomasClarke, and Caroline McGahren won with a state qualifying time of 10:09.44.  It was a good race the entire way as Louisa and Fluvanna ran loaded teams.  All of our girls ran personal best splits en route.  Charlotte came back to capture the 800 title, while Caroline, Ella and Sterling, went 3rd, 5th and 6th in the 1600.  Emma Blackman ran a great first 300m hurdles, finishing 5th after placing 7th in the 100m hurdles.  

On Friday, the Middle School kids headed to Heritage High School to compete.  The official results have not been posted yet, but WAHS impressed with Michal Kipnis winning the 1600 in just over six minutes.  Not far behind was seventh grader, Jordan Stone, who ran just under 6:30.  Caitlin Boyd, just coming back from her concussion vacation, ran right around 6:50.  In the 800, Sophia Park placed second, running 2:40.  Jordan Stone ran around 2:46 to place third, and Michal was right behind her in 2:47, unofficially.  Lilly Clark dipped just under 3:00, and Audrey Park, was not far behind her.  Michal, Lilly, Audrey, and Sophia came back to place second in the 4 x 400. 

On Saturday, a few athletes competed in the Joe Curcio Meet.  Notable
performances were made by Leah Ackerman in the shot put, placing third.  Mia Donalson, tied her personal best of 9-0 in the poll vault, She placed third and received a State qualifying mark.  
Sarah Leonard went 8-0 and placed 6th.  In the Discus, Arianna Ballas placed 8th with a throw of 86-10.  


 

Western Kicks Off the 2018 Season with a Win at AHS

  Western won the City County Meet this past Wednesday against Albemarle, Charlottesville and Monticello.  The poll vaulters racked up the points with lots of young pole vaulters.  Melina Punsalon, the lone veteran of the group, won the event with an excellent early season vault of 9-0.  Sarah Leonard and Megan Futty jumped 8-0 to place second and third.  All three have already qualified for the Region meet.  Hannah Grace Leo and Gloria Hoover both cleared 7-6 to place 4th and 5th and Jessica Walker placed 6th with a vault of 7-0.  All great early season performances.  
  Caroline Koester won the long jump with a jump of 15-5.5.  She also placed second in the triple jump, 5th in the discus and anchored the 
second place 4 x 4.  

  Leah Ackerman won the shot put (32-9.5), and placed second in the discus (95-11).  Arianna Ballas won the discus (96-6), and placed second in the shot put (26-8.5).  Ashna Nitzsche won the 200 with a time of 29. 56, placed third in the 100, 14.26, and placed 5th in high jump.  
 
 
Ella Taylor won the 800, and placed 7th in the 1600.  Sterling Hull placed second in the 800, 6th in the 1600 and was a part of the 4 x 400.  Zoe Clay won the 3200 in 11:31.67 and just minutes later anchored the 4 x 400.  Caroline McGahren placed second in the 3200 in 12:24.98.  She also got the wonderful experience of being a "Surprise 4x4 Member," just moments after her race.  While her split was nothing special, her attitude about it was.  Charlotte Thomas Clarke was third in the 3200 with a great early season time of 12:52.85.

  Other noteworthy, but unofficial, results were some of our amazing 8th graders.  In the 1600, Jenna Stutzman ran 5:42.74, a great early season time.  In the 3200 Sophia Park ran 12:54.84 and Michal Kipnis ran 13:06.49.  Their times would have qualified them for the region meet had they been eligible.   

Small but Mighty at Gus Lacy

  It was prom Saturday, so many of our girls were unable to attend the Gus Lacy Meet.  We did have a few girls compete and all had solid performances despite the windy, although spectator friendly weather.  Our highest placing came from Kate Ratcliffe in the 1600.  She ran a Region qualifying time of 5:43.7.  Charlotte Thomas Clarke finished 11th in 6:03.66.  In the 800, Ella Taylor lowered her open PR to 2:33.94 and Sterling Hull did the same with her 2:35. 97.  In the Pole Vault, Sarah Leonard continued to improve with her vault of 8-6, good enough for 7th place.  Megan Futty was right behind her with a vault of 8-0.  

Western Senior Interview
  Since so many of our runners may want to consider running in college, I thought it would be good to learn from those who have just gone through the process.  So here is part one of our senior interviews.
Leah Ackerman

Tell me about the college you chose & how you chose your college.  Leah: "I will be attending Denison University in Ohio. A lot of my family has gone there and all have loved it. I was against even going to check it out but my dad wanted me to meet the track coaches and I ended up loving it. It is a liberal arts school and I haven’t decided my major but am thinking environmental science."

Tell me about your new team, coach.  Did you get to meet them?    Leah:  "I met both the head track coach and the throws coach on my trip out to Ohio they were both great and answered all my questions. The throws coach even set up an on-campus lunch to meet some of the other throwers. They talked about student life and how it work with track. I am looking forward to improving in all areas including shot and lifting." 

 What do you see as the benefits of competing in college?  Leah: It sounds like the coaches give you a well rounded experience. I love being on a team because of the friendships you make. Also I realize that college is a whole other level of competition and look forward to working with teammates that can challenge me in practice."

What other schools did you consider? Leah: "It was a hard decision to make but my second choice school was Christopher Newport, which I most likely would have thrown at as well. "

What advice would you give to your current team mates about the process of finding a school that is right for them.  Leah: "If you want to do track in college don’t wait for them to talk to you. Look up their stats and see if you are in their range of exceptances and email them with your competition stats. If you go and tour their campus you could meet them and have any questions answered." 



Spring Training Includes a Little St. Patty's Fun
  The Warriors take a break from their busy schedule for some St. Patrick's Day Fun and Games.  Spring Break is less than 2 weeks away and we have our first meet scheduled during spring break.  Make sure you have let your coach know if you will not be available as entries will have to be in shortly.  There will be limited entries in the first two meets so it is important that we leave those spots available to people who will actually be able to attend those meets.  Email you coach so that we have that information in writing.
  Continue to check the weather as there is more crazy March weather ahead.  Picture day is scheduled for Monday, March 19th.  (Tomorrow!)  Wear your Warrior Gear or at least Blue and Yellow.  Meet out on the track, unless it is raining.  

Jenna Stutzman sets School Record for the Indoor Middle School Mile.  Unofficially 5:25.7 and 11th place.


3A State Meet
Warriors Capture Both Boys and Girls Team Title
The Warriors Celebrate after capturing both the team titles at the 3A State Meet.

  Going into the state meet the Warriors knew that they all had to be at the top of their game.  Team statistician, Chuck Witt had scored the entries and only one point separated the Warriors from the Phoebus Phantoms.  The Phantoms had a lot of scoring power in a freshman phenom, Jahnelle Saunders.  The Phantoms had several other high caliber athletes, mostly in the sprints and jumps, but Western, managed to score points in 13 out of 15 events.  This ability to score across all areas proved too much for the Phantoms and Western pulled ahead for the win, 92.5 - 86.  
 
Western won several events.  Zoe Clay scored big points for the team, winning the 1600, the 3200, and anchoring the winning 4 x 800 team.  Helping with the score in the 1600 was a trio of Western runners placing 4th, 5th, and 6th.  Alyssa Santoro-Adajian, after being sick most of the week,  managed to place what she was seeded in fourth.  Caroline McGahren and Kate Ratcliffe managed to run PRs to finish ahead of their seed to place 5th and 6th.  Caroline also led off the winning 4 x 800.  Ella Taylor and Julia Berg were also members of the winning 4 x 800.  

Julia captured a state title of her very own.  After watching her twin sister shine last week, she stepped up her game and got some recognition of her own.  Julia went out in the 1000 determined to win the event after
placing third last year in a very close race that came down to the final straight away.  Julia had that race in the back of her mind as she set out to take the fire out of everyone's legs, pushing the middle part of the race, and leaving nothing to chance.  She won in a season best time of 3:04.9.  Caroline McGahren and Alyssa Santoro-Adajian managed to score points in the 1000, coming back after the 1600 to place 7th and 8th.  
  Another big point scorer for the team  was Kate de Jong.  Kate placed 4th in the 55 hurdles, setting the school record,
running 8.81.  She also had her season best in the high jump of 5-0, not missing a single jump until the bar hit 5-2.  She finished in 6th place in the high jump, and 7th place in the long jump with a jump of 16-0.5.  Kate was also a part of the 7th place 4 x 200 with team mates, Ellie Cox, Anna Sojka, and Elizabeth Davis.  
  In the poll vault, Reagan Burton and Melina Punsalon combined to place 4th and 6th, jumping 8-6 and 8-0 respectively.  Leah Ackerman proved she can come through when it counts.  She finished way above what she was seeded in the shot put to finish 5th with a throw of 35-6, one of her best throws of the season.  
  
Katrine Berg had a rough start in the long jump after winning it a week ago.  Showing a lot of character, she set her focus on her next events and then began to rack up some points.  She finished 4th in the triple jump with a jump of 35-01.75.  She also finished 4th in the 500 in 1:19.60, which was just a few hundredths off her best time, performed on a banked track.    Katrine came back at the end of a long day to anchor the 4 x 400.  She had already hurt her toe during the triple jump competition, but managed to run a solid split to earn 6th place in the 4 x 400 with team mates, Julia Berg, Elizabeth Davis, and Maeci Frank.  

  Emily Winder, coming back after being out sick during regionals, managed an 8th place in the 3200.  Maeci Frank finished just out of the scoring in 9th in the 500, Kate Ratcliffe and Ella Taylor finished 10th and 12th in the 1000.  Maeci, Kate, and Ella are all freshman, so just to make it to states is quite an accomplishment.  All three contributed to the score in either relays or in individual events.  When you consider that we took 16 girls to state and all 16 contributed to the score.  Everyone did the work that needed to be done to win a state title.  So many other girls on the team pushed those 16 girls during the season and that is what made this good team great.  Well done ladies!
  


Western Wins Region 3 C
Katrine Berg Top Female Performer
Katrine Berg kicks hard to the finish while Coach Tillery looks on in awe.

 The Warriors brought their "A" game to Liberty.  Many athletes ran personal best times and we had two girls who were individual Region Champions.  Katrine Berg
put on quite a show, winning the long jump, the triple jump, the 500 and she anchored the winning 4 x 400 with team mates, Elizabeth Davis, Maeci Frank, and Ella Taylor.  Zoe Clay won the 1000, and less than 20 minutes later toed the line to win the 3200 meter run.  We had several girls finish runner up.  Kate de Jong finished second in the high jump and the 55 hurdles and she was also third in the long jump.  Alyssa Santoro-Adajian finished second in the 3200 and Maeci Frank finished second in the 500 with a 2 second PR.  Caroline McGahren finished second in the 1600 narrowly out leaning Emily Smeds of Fluvanna.  Caroline also ran a personal best time in the 800, dipping under 2:28 for the first time on the second place 4 x 800.  Running with Caroline, was Kate Ratcliffe, Julia Berg and Sterling Hull, who also ran a personal best indoor time.  Reagan Burton placed second in the poll vault, going a personal best of 9-0.  

Julia Berg finished third for the Warriors in the 1000, with a season best time of 3:06.12.  Caroline Koester finished third in the 300 with her personal best time of 43.52.  Koester was also a part of the 4 x 200 team of Ellie Cox, Ashna Nitzsche, and Elizabeth Davis, which finished third in a time of 1:51.87.  Their time was a full 6 seconds faster than their previous season best.  All athletes who finished in the top three qualified to go on to the state meet.  Leah Ackerman finished 4th in shot put with a state qualifying mark of 35-0.

Ella Taylor finished 5th in the 1000, but qualified by time, running a 1 second PR and becoming the 6th member of the team to qualify for the state meet in that event.  Other big PR's were Caroline Jones' 3200 time of 12:38, which placed her 6th, a 22 second PR and Charlotte ThomasClarke's 12:49, 3200, a 15 second PR.  Elizabeth Davis ran a 1.5 second PR in the 300, running 45.3, good enough for 7th place.  Ellie Cox ran a personal best in the 55 dash and the 55 hurdles, Hermi Going ran a 6 second PR in the 1000, Juliana Scott ran a 7 second PR in the 1600, and Sidney Jackson threw a foot farther than her personal best in shot.
  The Warriors scored a total of 155 points for the win, a full 46 points ahead of second place Heritage.  Other Warriors contributing to the score was Megan Futty and Melina Punsalon, 4th and 5th in the poll vault, and Kate Ratcliffe, 6th in the 1600.  Complete results

Western Girls Advance over 90% to Regionals
Ella Taylor on her final 200 in the 1000 with her Dad cheering her on for the win.  #digdeep  

  We couldn't have had a better day at The Jefferson District Meet.  While we didn't have some of our major players, we still managed to finish second to Louisa and we qualified almost everyone who competed to the next level.  In the process we had three Individual District Champions and one relay that won.  We had many PR's which is outstanding when you consider we have been spoiled running on Liberty's state of the art track.  On Heritage's 12 laps for the mile track, PR's are hard to come by, but somehow many girls made that happen.  

Leah Ackerman started off the day with a win in shot put.  She has had rock steady performances all season and won with a throw of 34-04.  Ella Taylor had her first major win running 3:22.02 in the 1000 meters.  

Caroline Koester won the 300 with a time of 46.07.  She also was third in the triple jump, jumping her personal best of 33-07.5, just a half inch off of the state qualifying mark.  She placed 5th in the long jump with one of her best jumps of the season, 15-02.  Finally, she was also on the second place 4 x 200 team.  She had a busy day.

Maeci Frank finished third in the 500, running a great time on that track, 1:25.81.  Sterling Hull had a break through performance in the 500, dropping 4 seconds off of her best time to run 1:28.07.   In the 300, we not only placed Koester, we had two others place in the top 8.  Elizabeth Davis finished third in 47.49 and Anna Sojka finished 7th in 47.51.  

Emily Winder and Kate Ratcliffe went 3rd and 4th in the 1600, running a smartly paced race moving up throughout the race.  Reagan Burton and Megan Futty placed 3rd and 6th in the poll vault, jumping 8-6 and 7-6 respectively.  Caroline Jones and Charlotte ThomasClarke worked together throughout the race to place 4th and 5th in the 3200.  Caroline ran a 15 second PR in the process finishing in 13:00.26.  Arianna Ballas had one of her best throws of the season placing fifth with a throw of 27-03.5.  In the high jump, Ashna Nitzsche and Elizabeth Davis combined to place 6th and 7th, both clearing 4-6, which is a personal best for Elizabeth.

The 4 x 400 relay team won with a 4:24.91.  Elizabeth Davis led off and had a tough time after being boxed in, but put in a stellar move to break out on the final lap to hand off to Ella Taylor with us in good position.  Ella moved us up to second place, passing Albemarle in the process.  Zoe Clay got the baton next and brought us into first place.  Maeci Frank, extended the lead for the win.  Ella Taylor and Zoe Clay also combined with Ellie Cox and Caroline Koester in the 4 x 200 to place second.  It was Ella and Zoe's first time running the 4 x 200 and they did a great job of faking it as sprinters.  The team ran a great time, for that track, 1:59.89.  

Other notable performances:  Emma Blackman ran personal bests in both the 55 hurdles and the dash  She finished with a dramatic dive, or more of a trip over the finish line in the hurdles. She popped up like a champ, even though she technically had already finished.   She deserves the Warrior Award of the day.   Juliana Scott ran a 23 second personal best in the 1600.  Hermie Goings and Claire Kallen ran personal best times in the 1000.  For complete results: Click here.  

Field Events Impress at Fred Hardy
  Kate de Jong had an amazing day at Fred Hardy, but it wasn't her usual events that got her noticed.  In her first time in competition in long jump, Kate jumped 16-06.5 for the win, a state qualifying jump, which currently ranks her 6th in 3A. 
She also placed 7th in the 55 hurdles, and participated in the high jump competition.  Leah Ackerman had a solid 35-00.5 foot throw in shot put, which placed her 3rd.  Caroline Koester also had an outstanding day in the jumps.  She placed 5th in the long jump with her personal best of 15-05.75 and had a strong performance in the triple jump, finishing with a 32-01.0 jump.  She also had a solid time in the 300 of 45.17.  In the pole vault, Megan Futty had her personal best vault, jumping 8-0, just 3 inches shy of state







qualifying.   


Bridgett Bucci had a good day, running a 10.33 in the 55H, 8.27 in the dash and triple jumping 28-0.5,  Sarah Leonard had one of her best poll vaults of the season going 7-6.  (photo cred: Milestat.com)
 



Western takes it outside for the Louisa Polar Bear Meet

  The Warriors took the opportunity to get some state qualifying times this past Wednesday in Louisa at The Polar Bear Meet.  In the 1600, both Caroline McGahren and Kate Ratcliffe got under the standard to notch their second event for the state meet.  They ran 5:34 and 5:35 to place first and second.  Jenna Stutzman, only an 8th grader was only one second off the state QT, running 5:38.  In the 500, Zoe Clay ran an impressive 1:21.38 which was a state QT and ranks her top 5th in 3A.  Alyssa Santoro-Adajian placed second in 1:25.29, less than a half second off of state qualifying.  She and Zoe came back to run qualifying times in the 3200.  They both have qualified in the 1000, 1600, and the 3200 along with Zoe's 500 QT.  In the 1000, Western swept the event with Ella Taylor winning in 3:16.  Charlotte ThomasClarke was second, Sterling Hull 3rd, Kate Ratcliffe 4th, Caroline McGahren 5th, and Emily Winder was 6th.  
  Ellie Cox finished second in both the 55 hurdles and the 55 dash, running a personal best of 10.42 in the hurdles.  
In the 300 Western took the top four places with Maeci Frank for the win in a PR 45.93, Ashna Nitzsche was second, Elizabeth Davis third and Anna Sojka was 4th.  In the 500, Caroline Jones finished 4th and came back in the 3200 to finish 6th with personal bests in both races.  Elizabeth Davis placed 4th in Long jump and Ashna also placed 5th in high jump.  Other notable performances were Michal Kipnis, running a personal best of 6:03 in the 1600.  Other people running personal best times were Hermie Goings in the 1600 and the 1000, Jenna Stutzman, Clarie Kallen, Michal Kipnis, and Elizabeth Higgenbotham in the 1000.  Our 4 x 400 team of Ella Taylor, Caroline McGahren, Emily Winder, and Sterling Hull, managed a second place finish even though it was the third running event for all four of them.  

Wally Gilbert Becomes a Waiting Game
  The Wally Gilbert was originally scheduled for December, but because of some bad weather it was rescheduled for January 20th which just so happened to be the weekend of The VA Showcase, the largest meet on the East Coast that weekend.  The Warriors sent half of the team to each meet.  The Wally Gilbert meet was poorly organized, in the tight facility.  Many events were delayed, not just minutes, but hours, which made warm-ups complicated to say the least.  The girls stayed positive and managed to still post some great times.  The 4x8 team of Sterling Hull, Caroline Jones, Anna Sojka and Charlotte ThomasClarke placed third with a time of 11:27.  Elizabeth Davis placed third in the 300 and Ashna Nitzsche finished 6th in that event.  Charlotte ThomasClarke and Caroline Jones came back in the 1000 to finish 4th and 5th.  Sterling Hull came back in the 500 to finish 7th.  Bridgett Bucci finished 8th in the 55 hurdles and tied her PR in the 55 dash.  Elizabeth Davis and Emily Flanders both had their best long jumps of the season, jumping 13-11 and 13-5 respectively.

A dozen State Qualifying performances 
at VA Showcase
 
The Warriors were looking amazing, wearing their new uniforms for the first time at the Virginia Showcase this past weekend.  The meet draws teams from all over the east coast and is one of the biggest high school meets in the country.  Our runners did more than just look good, they really took things to a new level this weekend.  Katrine Berg had a huge weekend running an amazing 4 second personal best in the 500, running 1:19.57, which is currently #2 in the State 3A division and less than a second off of the school record.  Her performance placed her second out of 106 entries.  She also placed 5th in the triple jump, just minutes after finishing her 500 and 9th in the long jump the previous day.  Katrine was also a part of our distance medley team which placed third in the Invitational DMR.  The other team members were Alyssa-Santoro Adajian, Julia Berg, and Zoe Clay.  
  Zoe
 came back to anchor our second place 4 x 800 team with Alyssa, Julia, and Caroline McGahren.  Their time of 9:54.51 is a season best by 15 seconds and is currently the 7th best in the state in all divisions.  Zoe also placed 8th in the Invitational 1000, running just off her personal best time after getting a rough start in the crowded field and literally starting in last place.  She ran in lane two most of the race, passing about 10 runners in the course of the race.  
 
Leah Ackerman placed second in the shot put.  Kate de Jong finished 10th in the high jump, qualifying for the state meet.  Kate also ran a season best and state QT in the hurdles.  Emily Winder was 10th in the 3200, running a 12 second personal best and qualifying for the state meet.  Alyssa Santoro-Adajian, Caroline McGahren, and Kate Ratcliffe all ran state qualifying times in the 1000 with Alyssa and Kate dropping 3-5 seconds off of their personal best times.  Ella ran a 4 second PR and just missed qualifying by half a second.  Ella came back, less than an hour later and dropped half a second off of her 500 time.  Both Kate and Caroline set PR's in the 1600 with Kate winning her heat in dramatic fashion, running a 75 second split on her last quarter.  Caroline Koester ran a PR in the 300, just missing the state QT by a half a second. During the meet the girls got to witness several National records.  One of the most impressive was the 5000, where Kate Tuohy, from New York, ran a 15:37 5000, going through the mile in 4:54 and going through the 2 mile in 9:54.  She lapped the entire field three times.  For complete results click here.


Jerry Cutright Invitational
   
  Earlier in the week the week, the girls traveled to Fork Union to compete in the Jerry Cutright Inviatational.  The pole vaulters finally got a chance to shine as they took four of the top six places.  Reagan Burton jumped 8-9 and Melina Punsalon jumped 8-3 to place first and third.  Their jumps qualify them for the state meet.  Sarah Leonard had an outstanding jump of 7-9 to finish 5th, showing she has the potential to join the ranks of Western's stellar poll vaulters.  Rapidly improving, Megan Futty, jumped 7-3.  All of the poll vaulters had their personal best jumps.  The Warriors had several high placings.  Katrine Berg won both triple jump and the 500 and placed second in the long jump.  Leah Ackerman won the shot put with one of her best throws of 35-9.5.  Maeci Frank won the 300 in a great first time of 46.15 and Elizabeth Davis and Anna Sojka were close behind in third and fifth.  Kate de Jong and Ashna Nitzsche went second and third in the high jump.  Kate deJong also placed second in the 55 hurdles with Bridgett Bucci in 3rd, Ellie Cox in 5th and Bella Karr in 6th.  Ellie and Bridgett also placed 6th and 7th in the 55 dash, running personal best times of 8.1 and 8.14 respectively.  The 4 x 200 team placed second, running one of their best times of the season with team members Bridgett, Ashna, Ellie, and Caroline Koester.  Koester also placed 4th in the long jump.  Emily Flanders placed 5th in the triple jump and also 6th in the high jump.  For complete results click here.

Premier and Heritage
Big Race weekend for the Warriors
  The Warriors were busy racing in three locations this weekend.  The varsity boys went to St. Christopher's, the JV boys and girls went to Heritage, and the varsity girls went to Liberty.  Many runners were racing for the first time and several runners ran PR's and hit state and district qualifying times.  At the Premier Meet, Zoe Clay had our highest placing, finishing second in the 3200 with a state QT of 11:16.34.  Julia Berg had a great race in the 1000, after the entire field went out at a pedestrian pace, it became an all out kick to the finish.  Julia's time of 3:11.46 placed her fourth and qualifies her for the state meet.  Leah Ackerman placed 7th in the shot put with a
state qualifying throw of 35 feet even.  Kate de Jong placed 9th in both the high jump and the 55 hurdles.  She also ran a leg on our 4 x 200 team.  We had several PR's in the meet.  The following people set PR's:  Emily Winder and Caroline Jones in the 1600, Bridgett Bucci and Ellie Cox in the 55 hurdles, Sterling Hull in the 1000, and Ella Taylor in the 500. The 4 x 400 team of Maeci Frank, Ella Taylor, Julia Berg and Zoe Clay ran a state qualifying time of 4:22.
During the meet the girls worked on their bracelet making skills.  The quilt they are sitting on was made back in the early 90's by some of our team members.  Nostalgia!
  Meanwhile, back at the Heritage meet.  The JV girls were making a name for themselves.  Sophia Park won the 1600 with a time of 6:00.74.   Michal Kipnis placed second in the 1000 in a time of 3:44.63.  Elizabeth Davis and Maddie Snow went 4th and 6th in the 500 with times of 1:34.54 and 1:36.90.  The 4 x 800 team of Juliana Scott, Michal Kipnis, Hermi Goings, and Elizabeth Higgenbotham placed 5th. 
Kenedi Anderson and Elizabeth Davis went 7th and 8th in the high jump.  Anna Sojka and Emma Blackman ran great times in the 300 considering that particular track, finishing up in 49.72 and 51.05 respectively.  The Heritage track is a 12 laps to the mile track, so with it's tight turns, it is not known for fast times, but even considering all that, the JV girls ran quite well and gained some great experience.  Sincerest apologies from the coaches on the late bus departure for the JV meet.  There was a communication disconnect and the bus left a half an hour later than was previously designated.  We want you to know that we respect your time and we will try harder to communicate with the boys coaches to confirm schedules.  Please check out all the photos from the Premier meet on our album page.  Check out complete results for Heritage and Liberty Premier.  Make sure you keep an eye on the weekly schedule as there are three more meets this week.  

Western Places 2nd in The Bulldog Invitational

  The Warriors finished second in The Bulldog Invitational with 49 points behind powerhouse Highland Springs.  The points came from many events: shot put, triple jump, hurdles, relays and distance races.  
  Zoe Clay came back from break in excellent shape, finishing first in both the 1600 and the 1000.  She also ran a leg on the second place 4 x 400 team.  Zoe's times in the 1000 (3:02), 1600 (5:11), and 3200 (11:05) have her ranked 1st in 3A.  Her 1600 time has her tied for second in all divisions of the state. 
The 4 x 4 team of Julia Berg, Ella Taylor, Zoe Clay, and Katrine Berg finished with a state qualifying time of 4:16.82  
   The 4 x 800 team also placed second with Alyssa Santoro-Adajian, Ella Taylor, Caroline McGahren, and Julia Berg, running a state qualifying time.  Alyssa came back later in the day to place 5th in the 1600 with a state QT of 5:32.  Emily Winder placed 5th in the 3200, just missing the state QT by less than a half a second, running a 5 second PR.  Leah Ackerman placed 6th in the shot put and Katrine Berg placed 7th in the triple jump.  Kate de Jong placed 8th in the 55 hurdles in a state QT time of 9.16. 
  Several Warriors showed they did the work over the holidays, running personal bests.  Ella Taylor dropped 2 seconds in the 1000.  Charlotte Thomas Clarke ran a 9 second indoor PR and bettered her outdoor PR by one second.  Kate Ratcliffe dropped 15 seconds off her indoor PR in the 1600 and dropped 7 seconds off of her outdoor PR.  Ellie Cox shaved a few hundredths off of her 55 dash time.  Bridgett Bucci dropped 3 tenths off of her 55 H time.  Julia Berg dropped almost a full second off of her 500 time, just missing the state QT.  Ashna Nitsche had her personal best in competition in the long jump.    
For Complete Results.  Photo Cred:  Milestat photographer: Mary Ann Magnant.  

Leah Ackerman Opens Up Indoor in a Big Way
   Senior, Leah Ackerman opened up her indoor season in a big way, launching the shot put 38-3 inches for a new school record.  Her throw currently ranks her second in the 3A division and 9th in all divisions in the state.  It is also almost five feet further than she threw in all of indoors last year and almost three feet further than she has ever thrown in competition.  Leah finished second in Thursday's competition at Liberty University.  
  The next highest team placing from The Holiday Classic was the 4 x 800 team of Sterling Hull, Caroline Jones, Charlotte ThomasClarke, and Julia Berg.  They finished 7th.  Charlotte came back much later in the evening to place 9th in the 3200 with a 42 second indoor PR of 13:04.88.  Katrine Berg also earned a 9th place finish in the long jump with a solid early season jump of 16-0.  She also earned two 11th places with a 33-5 triple jump and 43.98 in the 300.  Maeci Frank also earned an 11th place in the 500, running a state qualifying time of 1:24.49.  Reagan Burton placed 11th in pole vault with a jump of 7-0.  
  A big congrats to Arianna Ballas who threw 29-1, just under four feet farther than her indoor PR from last year.  Coach Mike Wolfe's throwers are really starting to shine after a year of hard work.  Congrats to him.  For Complete Results click here.  Our next meet will be January 6th where the team will be back in full force.

  Congratulations to Zoe Clay, Alyssa Santoro-Adajian, Emily Winder, Caroline McGahren and Jenna Hill for earning All-Central Virginia Honors by The Ragged Mountain Poll.  Click the above headline for the article by The Daily Progress.  The Warriors ended the season tied with Albemarle after our amazing state meet performance where Western's entire top 5 came in time-wise,  ahead of Albemarle's number two runner.  While we did not race head to head, it was clear that at least on that weekend we peaked just right for The State Meet.  


Young Guns Not to Be Outdone
Jenna Stutzman, Charlotte ThomasClarke, Sophia Park, & Michal Kipnis made their own trek to the wonderful facility at Liberty.  They were racing as our club team, Crozet Crew since it was not a VHSL event.  The distances they raced were a little different, but they raced like seasoned veterans.  In the 1500, Jenna, walked down the leader on the final lap to win the event in 5:19.4, a national qualifying time in the middle school division.  Charlotte ThomasClarke had a super race, running 5:28.3.  Sophia Park, coming off a week of cross training, ran 5:29.7 and Michal ran 5:47.8.  They didn't have much time before the 800 was ready to start.  Once again, Jenna managed to catch the leader on the final lap for the win in roughly 2:41.  Charlotte was next for the Crozet Crew finishing in 2:44 which ties her indoor PR, Sophia ran 2:45 and Michal ran 2:54.  Those are all amazing times for this time of year.  No official results are available at this time.  

Warriors Kick Off the Indoor Season
with 4 x 8 State Qualifier
  Pictured above:  Ella Taylor, Kate Ratcliffe, Caroline McGahren, & Alyssa Santoro-Adajian
  
  The Warriors started the season off with a bang on Friday night, December 1st, winning the 4 x 800 relay with team members Caroline McGahren, Ella Taylor, Kate Ratcliffe, & Alyssa Santoro-Adajian.  The team ran a state qualifying time
of 10:09.82 which is currently the top time in the state.  Then Zoe Clay and Emily Winder set to work in the 3200.  Zoe ran an excellently paced race to win in 11:05.13 which qualifies her for the state meet and has her currently ranked third in the state.  Emily set her personal best time, running 12:17.97, just 5 seconds shy of state qualifying and good enough for 5th place.  
   The girls then headed to Chipotle and on to the glorious Sleep Inn so they could prepare to continue the success the next day.  
   First up was the 1000.  Freshman, Kate Ratcliffe and Ella Taylor were entered as the 6th and 7th seed and managed to finish 3rd and 5th in their first time ever running that event.  Ella came back to run the 500 and she placed 7th, running a 2 second personal best time of 1:28.63.  
 
The milers were up next and it was probably one of the most exciting races of the meet.  Emily Smeds of Fluvanna took the race out and a pack of three followed, including Alyssa Santoro-Adajian.  The three pack caught Smeds about halfway through the race and the lead changed several times between Alyssa and Jett Davidson of E.C. Glass.  Alyssa showcased her amazing scooting ability as she dropped a 36 second last 200 to gap the field for the win in 5:26.10.  Her time qualifies her for the state meet.  Caroline McGahren ran a seven second indoor PR to finish in  5:40.32 and 5th place.  Her time was just 3 seconds shy of a state QT and likely a regional QT.  Still awaiting those standards.  For complete results: click here.  (Photo Cred: CMG).


Warriors Set Six PRs at Foot Locker South
 
 The Warriors traveled to Charlotte, NC in hopes of getting one last shot at some personal bests on the McAlpine course which is known for it's blazing fast times. The day started out with the older girls, Audrey Geis, Avery Jordan, and Caroline McGahren.  All three of them ran personal best times with Caroline narrowly missing her goal of breaking twenty, running 20:02.  Avery Jordan dropped 8 seconds from her big personal best at states to run 20:48.   Audrey dropped 19 seconds to dip under 21:00 for the first time in her life, running 20:56.  It was a great way for seniors Avery and Audrey to finish their high school running careers.  In the next race we had Zoe Clay and Alyssa Santoro-Adajian, racing in the ultra competitive seeded race where the entire top 10 ran 17:31 or better.  While it wasn't the best race for either of them, they gained experience going out fast in a crowded field.  
Next up was the Freshman/Sophomore race where Ella Taylor and Charlotte ThomasClarke both set new PRs.  Ella dropped a couple of seconds off of her time, while Charlotte managed to drop a whopping 38 seconds to go under 22:00 for the first time, running 21:40.  Finally after a long wait, it was time for Sophia Park to race.  She had been out at the course for 3 hours, which is never ideal, but when it came time to race she went to work.  She went out in sub 19:30 pace through the 2K.  While we were initially
concerned, Sophia managed to hold her ground and finish with a big 35 second PR, running 20:29, the fastest time for a Western 8th grader in recent years.  All the older girls stayed to support Sophia and cheer her on.  That is what makes this team so special.  They really go out of their way to be there, out all over the course, for their teammates and it is no doubt a large reason for our success.  Up next the distance girls will have the opportunity to get in one track meet before they take a much deserved break from racing and start building their distance base again.  







Warriors Continue the Grind as they Prepare for 
Foot Locker 

  A dozen Warriors toed the line at The Kelly Watt Race, held November 18th at Panarama Farms.  The race was a good opportunity to keep tuned up for the up coming Foot Locker Race in Charlotte.  The Warriors did not rest for this race, but still posted some great times.  Zoe Clay won the women's division in an unofficial time of 11:49.  Alyssa Santoro-Adajian was third in a time of 12:30.  Caroline McGahren bettered her time from the fall by 28 seconds, dipping just under 13:00 for a course PR.  Emily Winder was right behind in 13:03.  Ella Taylor also set a course PR, running 13:15 and dropping 25 seconds.  Sophia Park, with her sister right on her heels for the first quarter of the race, dropped an astounding 1:53 from her fall time, to finish in 13:18.  Jenna Stutzman, in her first race with the Warriors, ran 13:30, a time that would have put her 7th on the team this past fall.  And get this, she is just an 8th grader.  Avery Jordan ran a course PR to finish in 13:35.  Charlotte ThomasClarke, knocked an amazing 43 seconds off of her time from the fall to finish in 13:36.  Audrey Geis continued to improve with her time of 13:27.  Michal Kipnis also took off an amazing amount of time and improved by 1:51 to finish in 14:29.  Jessica Bilchik ran a course PR to finish in 14:48 and Lilly Clark finished in 16:28.  Results were unavailable at the time of this writing.  All above times are unofficial, but within a second or two.  


Western for the Win by One Point!
    It was a story book ending to what was an amazing season.  The girls received the "Game Plan" and going into the race they knew what they had to do.  Knowing what to do is the easy part.  Executing the plan flawlessly is what makes this team special.  Coming into the race, Hidden Valley had six girls who had broken 20 minutes on a very fast course.  We knew it would be difficult to get our entire top five in front of their number 4, 5, and 6.  We also knew that we didn't have to.  With having our top two runners together scoring less than Hidden Valley's top runner by herself, we knew we had a little wiggle room.  We just had to keep our number four and five close.  By having our number four and five runners finish right behind Hidden Valley's number four and five, we could still win.  
Western's Zoe Clay and Alyssa Santoro-Adajian did their job.  By placing second and fifth, the two runners together scored a total of seven points.  Hidden Valley's top girl was 8th.  Emily Winder came in just two places behind their number three runner.  Caroline McGahren finished right behind their number five runner and Jenna Hill, kicked past one runner in the final stretch that sealed the deal.  She beat that girl by one second, so it really did come down to one second and just one point which separated the two teams.  We knew the results were incredibly close and when Hidden Valley was announced as The Runner-Up, the crowd went wild.  They were projected to beat us by more than thirty points.  In the process of winning, five out of seven girls ran personal best times.  Six of seven ran season bests.  Alyssa dropped 21 seconds, Emily dropped 19 seconds, Caroline dropped 27 seconds, Audrey Geis dropped 7 seconds and Avery Jordan dropped 26 seconds.  Of the four girls who ran in last year's state meet, Alyssa had the biggest drop, running 1:03 faster than last year's state meet.  Emily was close behind, improving 54 seconds over last year's state meet.  We had three girls earn All-State Honors.  Zoe, Alyssa and Emily, by finishing in the top 15, (2nd, 5th, and 13th).

   The Warriors had a lot of support throughout the season.  We had parents bringing incredible post race snacks, dragging coolers, sometimes a half mile or more.  It is not just the girls who had to be up for the challenge.  The parents did a great job of getting girls to all the various running locations throughout the summer and fall.  Then there was the support of all the younger runners.  We had an awesome group of girls, who would be top seven on many of the teams who ran in the state meet.  They pushed our top runners throughout the season and then cheered relentlessly, motivating our top girls to dig deeper then they thought they could.  Next year, several of them will get the opportunity to represent Western as we graduate three of the top seven.  Three great team leaders who have given so much to the team over the years, seniors Audrey Geis, Avery Jordan, and Zoe Clay.  It has been our pleasure to work with all these incredible girls throughout the years.  State Meet Results

Warriors Win Regionals
Five Warriors Earn All-Region Honors

   The Western Albemarle Warriors ran their best race this season to win the Region 3C Meet in Lexington this past Thursday.  In the process twelve girls ran in the twenty-ones or better and twelve girls ran personal best times.  Zoe Clay won the individual title, winning by 38 seconds over freshman, Emily Smeds of Fluvanna.  Alyssa Santoro-Adajian finished 4th with a time of 19:17, dropping 14 seconds off of her personal best. Emily Winder also dropped 14 seconds and finished in 6th place with a 20:09.  Jenna Hill finished in 11th place with a 20:25 and Caroline McGahren finished in 13th with a 20:39, earning All-Region Honors.  Avery Jordan finished 21st and Kate Ratcliffe finished 38th out of the field of 69 runners.  The Team scored a low 35 points to second place team Broadway with 59 points and Fluvanna was third with 73 points.  The top three teams move on to states.
   In the open race, the JV Warriors dominated again, taking the top six places.  Their team average of 21:19.6 would have placed them 6th place in the Varsity race.  Sophia Park led the way, running 21:04 which places her 8th in the state out of middle school runners ranked on Milestat.  The JV girls had only a 36 second spread from their top runner to their 5th runner.  Audrey Geis was second, running a four second PR in 21:15, Ella Taylor PR'd for the second week in a row, this time dropping a whopping 40 seconds to run 21:19.  The string of PR's continued as Virginia Peng was next, running a 29 second PR to finish fourth in 21:20.  Caroline Jones ran a 33 second PR to finish 5th in 21:40 and Austin Winslow ran a 22 second PR to finish 6th in 21:41.  Charlotte ThomasClarke tied her PR of 22:18 and was next for the Warriors.  Izzy Shaffrey dropped 29 seconds to finish in 22:23.  Michal Kipnis ran a PR for the second week in a row, dropping another 9 second to run 23:09.  Jessica Bilchick ran another solid race, finishing in 23:09.  Emma Blackman ran her second best race of the season to finish in 25:46.  Lilly Clarke dropped a big 3:34, having not raced since our home meet.  Caitlin Boyd dropped another 13 seconds to finish in 26:04.  
  Next up for the Warriors is our State Meet on November 11th.  There will be a bus departing from WAHS at 9 am and we'd like to get as many team members to go as possible.  It will be an exciting race and we will need the team there to support the girls.  Race time will be 1pm.  For complete results click here.  


Western takes Second in The Jefferson District
  The Warriors finally got a chance to run in cooler conditions which led to many personal records among the JV section.  The Varsity was led by Zoe Clay, who set the course record in 19:02.  Alyssa Santoro-Adajian was second for the Warriors and ran 20:11 to place third.  Caroline McGahren had her best race of the season, running just three seconds off of her PR, to finish seventh in 20:36.  Jenna Hill finished 13th in 21:02.   Avery Jordan was fifth for the Warriors in 21:43 and Audrey Geis was 6th in 21:59.  Kate Ratcliffe was running a great race, sitting right behind Jenna when she rolled her ankle.  The Warriors finished second to the home team, Fluvanna by just one point.  

JV Sweep Top Six Spots for a Perfect Score

  The rested JV squad, gave us an inkling of what is to come for the varsity.  Over half of the JV team set PR's on a course that runs at least 30 seconds slower than most courses.  The team was led by Emily Winder, who is coming back after being sick.  She and 8th grade sensation, Sophia Park, ran 21:36 to take first and second.  Their time would have placed them 20th in the Varsity race.  They were followed by four more Warriors as Western perfect scored the JV section.  Virginia Peng finished up third in 21:56, Ella Taylor placed fourth, running just under 22:00 for the first time.  Austin Winslow finished fifth in 22:05, and Caroline Jones finished sixth in 22:07, a 14 second personal best.  Charlotte ThomasClarke finished 10th in 22:36.  Michal Kipnis ran a 16 second PR to finish 17th, running 23:14.  Izzy Shaffrey finished just behind Michal, running 23:16 in 18th place.  Maddie Snow dropped another 28 seconds off of her personal best, running 23:46.  Jessica Bilchick was next in 24:16.  Emma Blackman, ran her best race of the season, running 1:32 seconds faster than her lifetime best.  Caitlin Boyd ran her best by 54 seconds, and Chiara Martelli was most improved, taking 1:45 off of her personal best.  For complete results click here.

25 Years Ago, District Champs 1992
  It was 25 years ago that Western's Cross-Country team won the District Meet with some familiar looking faces.  You might spot Coach Katie Pugh, along with guidance councilor, Erin Rittenhouse.  This week our team will run our District Meet at Palmyra's fun Pleasant Grove course.  Be prepared to run in great conditions as the high is projected to be 61 degrees.  The course has great variety.  The first part weaves through a grass trail with high grass on either side.  Then crosses a road and along soccer fields into the woods on a narrow dirt path that will make you feel like a trail runner for about a mile.  Be prepared to bring your new Boathouse Jacket because it will drop down into the 30's that evening.  
  As we enter into post season, it is time to be diligent about keeping yourself healthy.  Keep your body fueled with healthy foods and post workout snacks that are a combination of protein and healthy carbs.  Make sure you are washing your hands with soap, not drinking out of other people's water bottles, and washing those water bottles with soap on a daily basis.  Keep fingers out of your eyes as that is an easy way for germs to enter the body.  Make sure you are getting ahead on homework on the weekends so that you minimize late night homework during the week.  Being a good student athlete takes self discipline in every aspect of your life.  The pay off is worth it.  We don't aim to be average.  We want to be exceptional and we have the talent and the work ethic to make that happen.  Go Warriors!

Western finishes 2nd in AHS Invitational
  Western ran much better this week on the hilly course at Panarama.  The varsity squad, running 8 this week, finished second to Albemarle High School.  Many girls ran huge course PR's.  Zoe Clay, Caroline McGahren, and Audrey Geis all took almost fifty seconds off their course PR.  Zoe's time of 18:20 is the 9th fastest in the history of the race.  The race has been on this same course for at least 18
years.  Zoe finished second overall, running one second off her lifetime best.  Emily Winder had a great day, dropping 30 seconds from her course PR and coming within six seconds of her lifetime best.  Emily was third for the Warriors behind Alyssa Santoro-Adajian who finished in 18th place.  Jenna Hill was fifth for the Warriors after rolling her ankle in the first mile of the race.  The Princess once again showed her toughness as she hung on to finish the race.  Kate Ratcliffe was back to full form after a bout of anemia.  She tied her personal best, running 21:14.  Audrey Geis and Avery Jordan finished seventh and eighth for the team with Avery running her personal best on this course by 32 seconds.  
  The JV squad also finished second to Albemarle.  They did an awesome job running as a pack and many ran personal bests.  They were once again led by Sophia Park in third place, running just three seconds shy of her personal best.  Austin Winslow, Ella Taylor, and Virginia Peng finished in 6th, 7th, and 8th place.  Austin ran her personal best by four seconds and Ella ran her best by two seconds.  Charlotte ThomasClarke ran her lifetime best by 27 seconds, finishing 10th overall.  The PR's continued with Caroline Jones running a 36 second PR, Izzy Shaffrey running a 54 second PR, Jessica Bilchik, running a 31 second course PR, Michal Kipnis running a whopping 47 second PR, and Emma Blackman running a 39 second PR.  Caitlin Boyd took the prize, running a whopping 3:55 PR.   Once again, if you removed the upper classman from the JV race, the Warriors would have won the JV division.  The ability to run well on a hilly course speaks volumes for the team's strength.  Looking forward to more fast times on the 25th when the Warriors travel to Palmyra for The District Meet.  For complete results click here.




Fun Times at Great American
  Girls take time to have a little pre-race fun
  The Western girls traveled to Cary, NC, to race in The Great American Cross-Country Festival.  The girls were in the The Race of Champions this year and performed very similar to last year's team, averaging 20:06, while last year's team averaged 20:08.  Zoe Clay had the top finish for the Warriors finishing in 23rd place.  Her time, 18:43 was 12 seconds faster than her time at the end of the season at Nike Regionals.  Next for the Warriors was Alyssa Santoro-Adajian, then Caroline McGahren, who ran 18 seconds faster than her time at this same meet last year.  Then came Emily Winder, who ran 41 seconds faster than her time at this meet last year.  Avery Jordan set a new PR and ran 40 seconds faster than her time last year at Nike Regionals.  Audrey Geis filled out the top seven.  
In the JV race, Sophia Park had another impressive performance, with her time of 21:39.  It is the fastest 8th grade time in the past five years.   Then there was a nice pack running between 21:50 and 22:18 with Kate Ratcliffe, Virginia Peng, Austin Winslow and Ella Taylor.  Charlotte ThomasClarke and Caroline Jones came in right around 23:00 to fill out the JV seven.  If you removed all the upperclassman from the JV race, our True JV team would have finished third, ahead of powerhouse Blacksburg and Albemarle HS.  A big shout out to The Winder, Park, Hill, Jordan, & Taylor families for making the trip to support the team.  For complete results click here


Seniors Step up Big for the Win at Home
  The home meet this past Wednesday was in less than ideal conditions, with temperatures hovering right around ninety degrees.  That did not stop the seniors from stepping up in a big way.  A few of our key players were under the weather and seniors Avery Jordan and Audrey Geis finished 5th and 6th for the Warriors, their highest team finish of the season.  The Warriors were once again led by Zoe Clay, who smashed the old course record, running 19:08 on the home course, which is known for it's tough hills.  Alyssa Santoro-Adajian also had a stand-out day, beating the higher ranked Fluvanna runner, Emily Smeds and also running one of the fastest times on our course, 19:59, to finish second.   Caroline McGahren finished 6th overall in 21:39, with Jenna Hill in 7th, 21:44.  Avery Jordan, Audrey Geis and Virginia Peng finished 9, 10, and 11th to fill out the top seven.  

Newbies showing great potential
  Not to be outdone, the Newbies ran tough on a sizzling day, to show they have what it takes to be great cross-country runners.  Leading the way for the Newbies was Sophia Park, running 23:04, placing 17th overall in the race which was mixed with both varsity and junior varsity.  To give you an idea of how impressive that time is, Zoe Clay ran 23:07 as a freshman on that same course.  Austin Winslow was close behind in 20th place with a time of 23:39, Izzy Shaffrey, placed 22nd in 23:47, and Jonsie (Caroline Jones), was 26th in 24:19.  
  The Warriors won the meet with a team low, 25 points, second place was Louisa with 55, and Fluvanna was third with 56 points.  Complete results can be found here.

WAHS Girls in the Glow at RVA Relays

  In what had to be the most exciting finish in recent history, Western's A team finished second in the RVA Relays.  The WAHS girls led off with Alyssa Santoro-Adajian who ran one of the top times of the night finishing in 8:50, unofficially.  She had us in third place.  Caroline McGahren took over, running a 9:17 split, which kept the team near the front.  Jenna Hill moved us into second, running a 9:13 split, handing off to Winder.  Emily Winder managed to put us into first place, running a 9:14 split, with Maggie Walker just a couple of seconds behind.  It looked like we were safe, with Zoe Clay extending the lead to almost seven seconds.  Then the Maggie Walker girl surged after the mile and over took Zoe.  Then on the small hill leading to the finish line, Zoe accelerated and came up on the Maggie Walker girl, but the girl had quite a kick and Western came in second.  Zoe Clay fought hard till the end and ran the 4th fastest time in the race's history, 8:12.  Her time was only one second behind what Rachel MacArther ran last year.  
  Earlier in the evening, the team of Ella Taylor, Virginia Peng, Kate Ratcliffe, Audrey Geis, and Avery Jordan finished fifth in the B/C race.  Four of the girls ran within a couple of seconds of of 9:55, with Avery Jordan running the fastest split in 9:48, unofficially.  (Full Results not available at this time).  The coaches have been saying all along that any one of the top 12 could be top seven on any given day and this proved that point.  To put an exclamation on that, Charlotte ThomasClarke, ran 9:48 in the Extras race, finishing third overall.  An exciting pack of Newbies followed.  Sophia Park, Austin Winslow, and Caroline Jones were all near the front with times of 10:03 - 10:07 unofficially, finishing 9th, 10th and 11th.  Then not too much later came another small pack of Madie Snow, Jessica Bilchik, and Izzy Shaffrey, all right around 10:32-10:38, finishing 21st, 23rd, and 26th.  Michal Kipnis had one of her best races, finishing just under 11:00.  Chiara Martelli, Emma Blackman, and Lilly Clark all came in right around 11:45, and Caitlin Boyd, in her first race of the year, finished in 12:48.  
Complete results will be posted here.


Western Packs it in at Quad Meet
  The Warriors have had a good week of training, with one race on Wednesday, which was used more as a practice race.  The girls worked on going out under control and then trying to stay with their pack.  The Team was once again led by Zoe Clay, Alyssa Santoro-Adajian, and Jenna Hill.  They have emerged as a solid one-two-three.  Emily Winder has been showing up consistently in the number four spot, but after that it has been a number of different people occupying the number 5 spot.  This week it was Avery Jordan leading the pack of 5 runners who ran with each other through most of the race.  
  Since Albemarle held out their top runners, Western easily won the meet, taking the top four places.  In fact, WAHS dominated the field, occupying all but three places in the top 16.  The complete results can be found here.
    We have another solid week of training before Saturday afternoon's race at Pole Green Park in Mechanicsville.  That race will be another relay style event for our top ten with each leg running 2500 meters, (Just over a mile and a half).  There will be an "Extras" race for the remainder of our runners, also 2500 meters.  Since the Championship race runs at 8:50 pm, it is a very different atmosphere.  There will be lights strung up along the course and music playing.  Be ready to glow and have some fun.  The team has been working very hard and it will be a great way to celebrate our hard work.  More information on the race can be found here.  
    This meet is put on by Milestat.  If you haven't discovered this amazing website, you need to take a look.  There are pictures and videos of almost every invitational.  Each girl has a stat page.  In order to access some of these things, you must be a member.  Please consider supporting milestat as it is a wonderful resource for our runners.  

Western has Strong Showing at Knights Xing
  The Western girls took advantage of cool weather and a flat course, to post some fast early season times.  While they were not expected to be the top 3A team, they ended up being the second Virginia team in the race, finishing 3rd behind Nationally ranked Blacksburg and Milton from Georgia.  Zoe Clay, once again led the way for the Warriors, setting a new PR of 18:19, finishing third overall and getting her first milestat interview.   Zoe Interview.
Alyssa Santoro-Adajian, ran her personal best time of 19:31 to finish 12th and earn one of the medals.  Jenna Hill (30), Emily Winder (37), and Caroline McGahren (59), filled out the top five, but right behind Caroline, was Kate Ratcliffe in 60th place and Audrey Geis in 64th place.   Our depth once again proved to be too great.  Hidden Valley was projected to be the top 3 A school, but they ended up in 6th place overall.  Virgina Peng, Avery Jordan and Ella Taylor finished out the top ten, posting solid early season times.  

  The JV runners did an excellent job packing it in to finish second in the White division.  Christina Webb had an outstanding day, running her personal best time of 21:56, to lead the JV runners. 
 Five Western runners finished in the top 25:   Christina Webb (8), Austin Parks (11), Jessica Bilchik (14), Caroline Jones (19), and Charlotte ThomasClarke (25).    Izzy Shaffrey, Maddie Snow, Michal Kipnis, and Emma Blackman finished 34th, 44th, 49th and 92nd out of 126 runners in the race. Outstanding for their first time running a XC 5k.  Most improved from last year, was once again Ella Taylor, who dropped 55 seconds off her previous best from last year.  Audrey Geis continues to consistently improve, dropping 39 seconds off her previous best.  Jessica Bilchick dropped 36 seconds off her time from last year.  For complete results from milestat, Click here.  


WAHS Places 2nd at Ragged Mtn Cup
Zoe Clay Breaks Course Record
    AHS and WAHS both ended up going under the old team record set last year by Western's team of Zoe Clay, Alyssa Santoro-Adajian, Faith Reid and Averi Witt.  The teams took advantage of the cooler than usual August temperature to post some impressive early season times.  Jenna Hill got out well for Western's Team JAAZ and had us coming in close to the leaders.  Alyssa Santoro-Adajian did a great job of moving us up, knocking off over 20 seconds off of last years time, despite having a fever the day before.  Avery Jordan did her best to keep us close, knocking off a full minute from her time from last year.  When Zoe 
Clay took the exchange we were over 30 seconds behind AHS and possibly 40 seconds behind Fluvanna.  Zoe went right to work and managed to close the gap on Ryann Helmers, ranked 3rd in the state in preseason rankings.  Zoe's time of 11:27 was 4 seconds off Rachel Rose Ward's time from 2005.  Team JAAZ finished 21 seconds behind AHS in 50:30, 19 seconds faster than the old team record.  Our second team, "Tuna Fish Sandwich", had a few surprises of it's own.  Caroline McGahren ran a solid first leg, after missing more than a week of training due to having her wisdom teeth pulled.  She handed off to Virginia Peng who is in her first season of cross-country.  Kate Radcliffe took the third leg, running a spectacular time of 13:06, our fourth fastest time of the day.  It is also Kate's first XC season.  She handed off to Emily WInder, who ran a strong leg to put the girls in 5th place in the team standings.  On the third team, "Lake sharks", Audrey Geis, who is consistently one of our most improved, dropped over a minute from
her time from last year, she handed off to  Ella Taylor who finished more than two minutes faster than her last year's time, earning most improved status.   Charlotte ThomasClarke also dropped almost a minute from last year's time for leg three.  Christina Webb ran the anchor leg to finish 11th overall out of 27 teams.  We had six girls make the top 25 and earned the coveted Ragged Mountain Cup Shirt.  1. Zoe, 4. Alyssa, 10. Jenna, 14. Kate, 18. Winder 22. Caroline M.  and Ella and Audrey were less than 10 seconds out the the top 25 in 30th and 33rd place.  
  The JV runners also managed to place several in the top 25 of the JV race.  Caroline Jones was our top JV finisher in 5th place with a time of 14:32.  Austin Winslow was 6th in 14:44.  Jessica Bilchik was 9th, Sophia Parks 
was 14th, and Izzy Shaffrey was 19th.  Michal Kipnis dropped over a minute offof her time trial time and Emma Blackman dropped over 3 minutes off of her time trial time to earn most improved from the time trial.  While some of these girls could get discouraged from running with so many impressive runners on a daily basis, one only needs to look at the results to see that Western's girls all finished in the top half of the 284 boys and girls entered in the JV race.  The results are posted on our results page.  Thanks to the Geis' and the Jordans for bringing snacks to the meet.   The team will travel to Salem next Saturday to race in the Knights Crossing.  
  Congrats to Caroline McGahren and Austin Winslow who ran this past Saturday in the Women's 4 miler.  Caroline ran 27:53, averaging just under 7 minutes per mile and Austin ran 29:17 for a 7:22 per mile average.  Many thanks to the girls and parents who helped out on Saturday.  






Team is Coming Together for First Meet
  The Western girls pose for a picture at Snake Hole after their distance run.

   This is a big week as Western gets ready to start the racing season.  Many of the girls have put in 30 plus miles per week in preparation for the race season.  The season will go by fast.  For most of the girls the race season only lasts two months.    The first meet will be at Panarama Farms in Earlysville.  The varsity race is done relay style.  Each girl will run two miles before handing off.  Four people are on a team and Western will enter three teams.  There will also be several individuals entered in the JV race.  The Varsity Race is set to go off at 5 pm and the JV race will go off around 6:15.  
   What many of you may not realize is that Panarama Farms is the home of the Murray family.  They open up their farm for us to practice and race, several times a year.  You will see Mr. Murray drive around on his gator during the race.  They keep the course mowed, pay for porta john facilities, as well as the cost of trash removal and many other unseen expenses.  In support of them, they will be collecting donations from the spectators as they park.  Please be sure to tell your parents to be ready to donate as they enter to park and if you see Mr. Murray on his gator, be sure to tell him thank you.  We are lucky to have such an amazing course to run on each year.  
  Audrey and Avery are on snack duty.  Please check the link to the left and let your parents know when they are responsible for snacks.


  We are just a little over a week to our very first meet and this team is looking ready.  They just ran their longest run of the summer at Piney River Trail in Nelson with team members running between 5 and 9 miles.  Shout out to Audrey Geis who ran 10 miles at the beach.  Beach running can be tedious, when you can see that pier or water tower for several miles before you actually get there.  Many thanks to Helen Boyd, Kris and Sean Taylor, Melissa Winder, Ed Blackman, and Tracey Hill for making the trip out to Piney River.  We have an awesome group of supportive parents.  
  Lots going on this week.  Be sure you check the schedule and bring spikes when indicated.  It is important to wear spikes a few times before racing in them.  Spikes have a much lower heel to them and if you don't gradually get used to them and just race in them, you will run the risk of injury.  All the camp girls should have spikes.  Newbies should hold off for the time being.  
  Thursday we are traveling out to Panarama to check out the course.  Please make sure you check the Weekly schedule so you know when and where to be picked up.  Girls should make sure they have a full water bottle and a snack.  Things like nuts, granola bars, fruit, bagels are good choices.  A good post workout snack will help you prepare for your next workout.  

Just In from Midlothian:  
Zoe Clay Wins Pink Power Triathlon!

  In just her second triathlon, Zoe Clay won the Pink Power Triathlon this morning in Midlothian.  The all woman triathlon had approximately 275 women in the field.  Zoe won by over a minute.  She covered the 400 m swim, 11.9 mile bike and 5k run in 1:03:58.34.  She biked right at 20 mph, a full one mile per hour faster than her last triathlon, 5 weeks ago.  She ran 19:20 on the 5k.  Definitely shows the merits of cross-training and just how strong Zoe is right now.  A big congrats to Zoe.  For complete results Click here.

Western Gearing Up
Just Over 2 Weeks till Ragged Mountain Cup
               Western's Girls on Friday Fun Day Ultimate Frisbee Team.

   Western's Girls have been training hard all summer and the team is coming together nicely.  The team has about 25 members presently and the roster will be finalized by the beginning of next week.  The first meet is just 16 days away and we have an impressive group.  Twelve girls attended camp and any one of them could be part of the top seven on any given day.  That is how tight this group is.  Zoe Clay is the obvious team leader.  She has a cross-country 5K personal best of 18:22, and is likely one of the top runners in Virginia.   She will come into the season under the milestat.com radar, but it won't be long before she shows everyone just what she is capable of.  Next on the team is a much improved Alyssa Santoro-Adajian.  She has had a great season of training and has consistently been a solid #2 in all the work-outs.  After that it is anyone's guess.   Juniors, Jenna Hill, Emily Winder and Caroline McGahren along with Senior Avery Jordan have been most consistent in the work-outs.  Their leadership in the pack will be crucial to this team's success.  There are several others that will be vying for those top spots.  Seniors, Audrey Geis and Christina Webb and sophomore Charlotte ThomasClarke have also improved tremendously.  There is also a pretty awesome trio of freshman who could keep the upper class-men on their toes.  Ella Taylor, Virginia Peng, and Kate Ratcliffe are rapidly improving and give this team unprecedented depth.  
  There are a lot of exciting newcomers to the team and almost all of them can run a strong five miles.  They have clearly prepared well and will help our JV squad be one of the top in the state out of all divisions.  

Western Girls Already Looking Amazing
   The girls finish their camp time trial and celebrate.  It is the deepest team in school history.   A Record 11 girls were under 10:15 in the "tempo run".  Zoe Clay led the way with a personal best time of 8:26.  She bettered her last year's time by 10 seconds.  Next came Alyssa Santoro-Adajian.  She is fresh off her camp experience in Oregon and ran 22 seconds faster than last year.  Jenna Hill was next, dropping 12 seconds off of last year's time.  Caroline McGahren came in next with a 29 second time drop.  Avery Jordan rounded out our top 5 and was the last of our runners to break 10:00.  She ran 9:58 a full minute faster than last year and 30 seconds faster than the year before.  The next 6 runners all came in within 11 seconds of each other and were led by Emily Winder in 10:04 (-38), Virginia Peng in 10:05, Christina Webb in 10:05 (-43), Audrey Geis in 10:10 (-36), Charlotte ThomasClarke in 10:11 (-1:00), and Ella Taylor in 10:14, her first year at camp.   
  The coaches have been marveling all summer about what a tight group this is and the time trial really backed that up.  The last time we had a team with this depth was the 1994 team that was Nationally ranked.  Now that team had two sub 9:00 runners and more girls running in the low 9:00's, but they only had 10 runners under 10:15.   We had 11 with a 12th potentially, who was out sick.  So, lots to look forward to this season.  Especially with lots of new talent coming in this year.  The team's future is looking bright for years to come.  

Zoe Sets School Record for Jarman's Gap Ascent
Team looking impressive
   
    After our Jarman's Gap ascent this past Saturday, the team is looking strong.  The girls use a staggered start so that ideally they finish at near the same time.  This year we had a big surprise as an 8th grader was first up the mountain.  Austin Winslow ran up the mountain in what ended up being the 5th fastest time of the morning.  She never walked once on the relentless climb and that is impressive for anyone, yet alone an 8th grader.  Just as exciting was Zoe Clay's time of 29:10.  Her time is the fastest recorded WAHS female time.  The next best time of the day of returning runners was Emily Winder's 34:10, followed by Ella Taylor's 35:49 then Virginia Peng''s 37:10, then Austin's 37:47, Audrey Geis' 38:24 and Charlotte ThomasClarke's 38:36.  Christina Webb ran a 15 second PR to finish in 42:35.  Newbies Caitlin Boyd and Emma Blackman did a great job on their first attempt.  We had several girls absent for the run, so it will be great to see the depth upon their return.  We have our deepest team in recent years which means our JV team will be amazing.  
  

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.


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Cherie Witt,
Sep 30, 2017, 11:32 AM
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Cherie Witt,
Jan 29, 2016, 8:00 AM
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Cherie Witt,
Jul 20, 2016, 10:45 AM
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Cherie Witt,
Jul 20, 2016, 10:46 AM