Congrats to the Guys on their 5th place Finish at Nationals!

Meanwhile, The Girls hit the Track at Liberty

  Western girls had the opportunity to get in a couple of races before going on their winter break from running.  Several started off the season with PR's and state qualifying times.  In the 1600, Jenna Stutzman got 3rd and Sterling Hull 4th finishing in 5:22.35 and 5:22.42 both PRs and both state qualifying times.  Sterling came back in the 1000 to place third and run another
PR and another state qualifying time in the 1000.  Katia Amos also got a third in shot put, throwing her indoor best of 30-09.  

Freshman, Jordan Stone ran a personal best 3:23.47 to place 7th in the 1000. 

Another freshman, Elizabeth Strobach placed 8th in the pole vault.  She jumped 8-6 which also qualifies her for the state meet.  Elizabeth Davis ran a PR in the 300, just missing the state mark, but making the regional QT.  She also got a regional qualifying mark in the long jump, 15-8.  
We had three girls race down to Lynchburg after taking SAT's and got in an early season 3200.  Charlotte ThomasClarke ran her personal best time of 12:49.28.  
This upcoming week we have two meets so hopefully we can get everyone who is ready to race in a competition before the winter break.  

Oregon Bound!

Western Albemarle Boys Qualify for Nationals

When this senior class came in as freshman they were touted as the most impressive group of freshman Western Albemarle had ever seen.  They immediately made an impact and have been a part of several state titles.  It has been a long road for them, lots of injuries and cross-training, but it all came together this year, just in time to finish out their high school cross-country career on top.  Joe Hawkes has been the top dog for most of this time, but he fell victim to injury and had to learn to deal with being number two on a very successful team.  Meanwhile, Jack Eliason, who seems to be the most durable of the group, steadily rose to the top of this squad.  Stuart Terrill, has had a rocky couple of years after coming on the scene as a phenom his freshman year.  This year he has managed to make a huge impact by working himself back to the number three spot.  Will Bonner started to make an impact last year and this year solidified the number four spot.  Those four seniors along with Joseph Taylor #5, Thomas Kallen #6, and Owen Shifflett did what no Western team has ever done.  They qualified for Nike Nationals in Portland, Oregon.  They finished second to last year's National Champions, Loudon Valley.  LV scored 80 and WA scored 117.  They will compete next Saturday, December 7th.  Complete results  
Since her brother was racing, Ella Taylor decided to jump in the Invitational Race and running in some pretty icky conditions ran one of her fastest times of the year, 21:09.  Congrats to Ella and her family.  Must have been an exciting weekend.

Kelly Watt Race

(Just when you thought the season was over)

The Western XC girls + one sprinter girl came and ran The Kelly Watt 2 mile Race at Panarama Farms.  For some it was a workout and for others it was a chance to see how much they'd improved during the season. 

 It was quite a bit colder this time, but that didn't stop two of our runners from dropping over a minute off of their time from the beginning of cross-country season.  Nora Wood and Amelia Sims dropped 1:13 and 1:12 off their time from early September, finishing in 14:50 and 14:51.  The next biggest drop came from Anna Kate Simpson.  She cut 53 seconds and finished with 14:47.  Sienna Collier dropped 42 seconds, Ella Taylor dropped 31 seconds, Cat Beck dropped 22 seconds, Caroline Jones dropped 18 seconds and Charlotte ThomasClarke dropped 11 seconds.  Eleanor Abell ran within 30 seconds of her time, which is super impressive since she just got back to running after her recent stress fracture.  She must have done an amazing job with her cross-training.  

Jenna Stutzman placed second among the women and Ella was 4th.  Jonsie also made it in the top 10.  Also running in the meet we had Maureen O'Hearn, Jessica Bilchick, Layla Bouber and Emilie Tueting who has been working out with the sprinter/jumper group.

Complete Results

Western Earns State Runner Up In Competitive 3A Competition

The Western Albemarle girls celebrate their runner up podium wearing Rudolph pajamas and carrying this year's team mascot Fernando.

The Western Girls entered the meet knowing three teams were vying for the team title.  They knew it would take everyone having their best race in order to pull off a win.  The night before the meet,  after a brief but successful trip to Target, the girls headed to the meeting where The Game Plan would be revealed.  

Chuck Witt, AKA Master Strategist was on his A game as he explained what each girl's role must be in order to pull off the upset.  The girls were eager to hear Coach Witt's plan for them and even the alternates had a role to play in giving the girls the best chance possible.  

The top three did an awesome job, following the plan.  They had a plan to try to do what no other WA Girl's team has done and that was to have three girls under 19:00.  They almost pulled it off, with Jenna Stutzman surging in the final 1200 meters to move into second place.  Sterling Hull moved into fourth and the two of them went under 19:00 for the first time. The two of them made the top 12 All Time at Western Albemarle.  Jenna's time of 18:46 puts her in 9th place on The All-Time list and Sterling's time of 18:55 puts her 11th all time.  Kate Ratcliffe was still with them going in to the final mile and managed to place 8th, running a personal best time of 19:14, but the upper respiratory infection that lingered the past few weeks may have hampered her efforts to break 19.  All three girls earned All-State Honors.
The pack of Jackie Neilon, Caroline Jones, and Ella Taylor, worked together through most of the race as instructed.  Charlotte ThomasClarke stayed in contact early on.  Hidden Valley's entire pack of five was in front of them and they had to stay close to Hidden Valley's 4 and 5 in order for us to make the Podium.  Jackie and Jonsie stayed strong through the last mile and were able to finish just a few places behind Hidden Valley's girls which allowed us to stay in second.  The Maggie Walker depth ultimately won out.  They had the individual winner as well as five girls between our two packs.  They are coached by Jim Holdren who has been coaching for a legendary 59 years.  They also enjoy the benefit of being a Magnet School which draws from the entire city of Richmond and boast a 66 member roster.  They do lose their top runner and a couple more of their top seven, so despite these advantages, they are still beatable by a dedicated group.  With many young runners on our squad, we have the potential to make this happen.  

I want to say a special thanks to our dedicated parents.  I believe we have the strongest parental support in all my years of coaching.  To have parents give up their Saturday to get team members to the meet to cheer on our team when their child wasn't even racing, goes above and beyond.   The parents do a great job of cheering for all the girls and some literally get in a work-out racing around to support the girls in as many locations as possible.  All the snacks provided have been tremendous and I know a lot of thought and effort went into getting those healthy snacks out to the course.  It is no coincidence that this team is one of the nicest groups to coach with such positive role models in their life.  Well done parents.  Your job is not easy, but nothing of value rarely is.

Complete State Meet Results

Scrimmage Play Article on States

Daily Progress Article on States

Region 3 C Champs!

Western's Girls and Boys team won the 3C Region this past Wednesday.  The boys went an impressive 1-6 to perfect score the meet.  The girls went 1-4-5-13 and 23 to win.  They were led by Sterling Hull, who came back after placing 3rd in the district to dominate the Region.  The girls all ran a smart race, getting out conservative because the the course's looming hills.  
Sterling took the lead with less than a mile to go and managed to pull away comfortably before the finish, running her season best time of 19:26.  Jenna Stutzman was fourth for the Warriors in 20:02 and Kate Ratcliffe was fifth in 20:03.  Jackie Neilon continues to hold the fourth spot with a time of 21:03.  Charlotte Thomas Clarke was fifth for the Warriors in 21:42.  Jordan Stone was right behind Charlotte in 21:45 and Ella Taylor finished in 22:04.  
In the Alternates race the trio of Caroline Jones, Cat Beck and Sienna Collier, went 1-2-3.  Jonsie ran 21:30, Cat 21:39 and Sienna 21:51.  Those times would have placed them in the top 25 of the Region Meet.  All ten of the girls have the capability of running next week at the State Meet.  The girls will head up to Salem on Friday to view the course and they will race at 1pm on Saturday.  

Western Wins Jefferson District

    Western ran with two of the top seven sitting out and still managed to win The Jefferson District meet with a score of 46.  Louisa was second with 65 and Fluvanna and Albemarle tied for third with 86 points.  The course had it's share of rolling hills and varied terrain.  Many girls still managed to post solid times.  Sterling Hull led the Warriors with a third place finish, finishing in 20:20.  Jenna Stutzman finished in 20:59 for fifth.  Jordan Stone finished in 21:19, just 38 seconds off her PR, for 9th, Caroline Jones ran 21:38 for 13th, and Charlotte ThomasClarke ran 21:44, 36 seconds off of her PR for 16th and Sienna Collier finished in 22:33 in 25th place.  
It turned out to be an even bigger day for Sterling as she got a call from the JMU coach and she was invited to join their team next fall.  We are all so happy for Sterling and can't wait to see her wearing the Purple and Gold uniform next fall.  

The JV team was led by Cat Beck.  Cat finished 4th in the race with a time of 21:55.  Most of the girl's were about a minute off of their PR's or times from the previous Saturday's meet.  Cat had a strong race, being just forty four seconds off of her PR.  Hailey Hodson had probably the most impressive race of the day, running within 13 seconds of her personal best to finish second for the JVs, in 22:55.  Grace Cook was next for the Warriors, running within 39 seconds of her PR, Amelia Sims was next in 23:38, and Anna Kate Simpson was our fifth runner finishing in 24:17.  Jessica Bilchick ran within 22 seconds of her time from Milestat to finish 6th for Western, Maureen O'Hearn was 7th, just 30 seconds off of her season best.  
  While this is the end of the official season for all but the top ten, there are still more races to come.  The Kelly Watt Race, will be held at Panarama Farms the Saturday before Thanksgiving and this is on the exact same course at The Ragged Mountain Cup.  It is always fun to see how much faster people have gotten during the season.  There is less than three weeks till the State Meet and five weeks till Nike Regionals in Cary, NC.  We are hoping to take a group down there to race and cheer on the guys team since they have a legitimate chance of making it to NIKE Nationals.  
For complete Results: click here.

Big Time Drops at Milestat

  The Western Girls went to Milestat to set some personal records and the fast course, on a perfect day, did not disappoint.  The team on average dropped 46 seconds from their times from last week's meet.  Many girls dropped more than a minute off of their personal best times.  The biggest personal record of the day came from Sienna Collier.  Sienna dropped an amazing 1:45 off of her previous best to enter a whole new level of running.  Nora Wood was right behind, dropping 1:43 off of her previous best.  In the Varsity race, Ella Taylor had the biggest personal record with a 52 second personal record.  The next biggest drop came from Jackie Neilon with a 34 second personal best.  
  Jenna Stutzman led the way for the Warriors, finishing in 19:21, which was a 13 second personal best.  The lead pack of Jenna, Sterling Hull and Kate Ratcliffe, had a little difficulty getting out and had to work hard throughout the first half of the race, just to get near their race pace.  Last week these three ran incredible times on the hilly AHS course, but this week, it was the second half of the pack that shined.  Jackie Neilon (20:09), Ella Taylor (20:27), Jordan Stone (20:41), and Charlotte ThomasClarke (21:08) had their best races of the season all running personal best times.  With the addition of Caroline Jones (20:35), and Sienna Collier (20:36) in the JV section, we now have eight girls under twenty-one minutes.  The Varsity finished 8th out of 43 teams and beat Maggie Walker by just one point.
  The lead pack in the JV race, got out good and continued to move up throughout the race. 
The trio of Caroline Jones, Sienna Collier and Cat Beck all finished in the top 25 with Jonsie in 5th, Sienna in 7th, and Cat in 23rd.  Ameila Sims continues to move up each race.  She was our JV's number four runner and she ran 22:37.  Eighth graders Hailey Hodson and Grace Cook were right behind in 22:42 and 22:49 respectively.  Anna Kate Simpson and Nora Wood ran together for most of the race, but AK really pulled away in the final 600 to run 23:34.  Nora with one of the biggest PR's of the day finished in 23:53.  Jessica Bilchik, Maureen O'Hearn and Layla Bouber finished strong with both Maureen and Layla dropping over a minute off of their previous best.

  Of course there was plenty of team bonding the night before the race.  The girls continued their pre-Halloween race tradition with great style.  Somehow we managed not to get kicked out of the Wal-mart and left without incidence.
  After the race, there was much celebration to do, so we headed to one of the favorite shopping spots in Richmond, Short Pump, for some much needed shopping and food.  The girls were happy to spot this Boathouse sign, since the Boathouse order, after much anticipation, finally arrived this week.  The girls looked awesome in their team gear and of course the parents did as well.  ; ).  
Speaking of parents, a big thanks to The Neilon's for driving their big van and to both John Neilon and Michael ThomasClarke for enduring an afternoon of shopping.  It was a long, fun day, but much needed.  Now as we enter spirit week, it is important to keep things in perspective.  There is still a good two weeks of hard training, for the top 10, before we start the real taper for states.  Make sure you are eating healthy, and getting enough rest.  Get as much of your studying done as possible on the weekend so you are set up for a good week.  For complete results of The Milestat Invitational click here.

Western Girls Varsity Runner-Up, JV Wins at AHS

 The Western Girls were mentally ready for the days challenge.   Panarama Farm's course is not known for personal records, but somehow many girls managed to do so.  The course was dry and the weather was good.  The girls prepared mentally by practicing how they would run over the top of the "Big Hill" and get going again.  Most of this practice was done at Mint Springs
Farm.  The girls did just that and managed to put together awesome races.  The Varsity had three girls in the mid 19s, with Kate Ratcliffe in 19:28, Sterling Hull in 19:28, and Jenna Stutzman in 19:35.  All three were within 10 seconds of their personal records on much flatter courses.  Then Jackie Neilon was next, running a 25 second personal best.  Jordan Stone came in as our #5 running a 6 second personal best.  Ella Taylor was our # 6, running almost 2 minutes faster than last year on this course.  Charlotte ThomasClarke was our #7, running 17 seconds faster than last year.  Maeci Frank ran within 16 seconds of her PR as our #8.  
The JV girls went out very conservative.  Maybe a little too conservative, but they managed to really move up.  The timing system allows us to see just how much they moved up throughout the race.  As you can see, if the race ended at 2K we would have had 144 points and would
have been in 5th place.  By 4K we had moved into 1st place and we were down a whopping 75 points.  In the last 1 K we continued to catch people and ended with a score of 61 for the win.  The girls were given some awesome swag for winning.  The top 8 got performance fabric long sleeved tops.  Almost all the JV runners ran personal best times.  Cat Beck was in 6th place in a time of 21:54, Caroline "Jonsie" Jones was right behind in 7th place.  Sienna Collier was 14th running 22:28, Hailey Hodson dropped 1:20 off her previous best to finish in 23:13.  Amelia Sims and Grace Cook both came in with 23:30.  Anna Kate Simpson ran 23:49, her best.  Maureen O'Hearn, Nora Wood and Layla Bouber all ran their Pesonal bests as well.  We found it also interesting to look at the individual splits.  The second mile in this course is always a good bit slower than the first.  These girls ran almost even splits which means they may have gone out a little too slow and next week on a flatter course they will want to get out a little better.  The important thing is after getting out a bit slow, they continued to move up throughout the race and still ran solid times.  

For a more in depth look at the results you can click here.

We got a little media attention as well.  Check out the NBC 29 coverage here.  Also the Daily Progress is here.  DP Sports    Scrimmage Play will also be doing an article later.  We will keep you posted.  Congrats to all the girls.  Their hard work is starting to pay off.  Keep up the focused practices.  We've got a lot more fun and fast racing ahead.

WAHS Places 4th at VTCA Invitational

            The team traveled to Pocahontas State Park this Saturday to compete on the marvelous forest trails at the VTCA Invitational.  The meet kicked off with our varsity A team of

Sterling Hull, Charlotte ThomasClarke, Kate Ratcliffe, Ella Taylor, Jenna Stutzman, Jackie Neilon and Jordan Stone in the Championship race at 9am.  Sterling finished 10th with a time of 19:50, a 22 second improvement from last year.  She was followed by J-Stutz (20:13), Kate (20:34), Jackie (21:08), Jordan (21:12), Ella (21:21), and Charlotte (22:03). The freshman duo of Jackie and Jordan both had big PRs, and Jackie improved 1 min 16 seconds from the previous year.


            The Varsity B race had some fantastic performances by WAHS girls, despite the bus arriving 30 minutes late. The girls moved fast to get organized and do their warm-up, drills and strides before the gun went off at 10am. The team was lead by Maeci Frank, who finished in 22:01, followed closely by Cat Beck (22:14) and Sienna Collier (22:21). Cat had the biggest improvement from last year, dropping a whopping 2 minutes and 41 seconds! 

Amelia Sims had a huge PR, dropping from the 25 min. range down to 23:43. Anna Kate Simpson also had an impressive PR of 24:11. The Varsity B team was rounded out by strong performances from Nora Wood, Jessica Bilchik, and Maureen O'Hearn. 

            Two hours later our trio of 8th graders  competed at high noon, a few minutes after the start of the JV Boys race.  The temperature had soared to about 88 degrees by the time these girls ran.  Nonetheless, both Hailey Hodson and Grace Cook surged out and got into good position going around the first fields, heading into the woods in the top 15. We had talked about “not falling asleep in the woods” and that one of the ways to ensure that you are still pushing hard enough in the woods is to constantly pass people. Well, they definitely put that into practice as when then came out of the woods with 600m to go, they were in 6th and 11th place, and maintained those places to the end of the race. Hailey finished in 24:16, Grace in 24:48, and Layla Bouber in 30:05. Please note that the times on Milestat are incorrect, as the race only had 1 clock going and did not adjust the girls’ times to reflect that they started about 5 minutes later.

            A big thank you to the Varsity A parents that drove down very early to transport girls in the first race, and to all of the parents that came out to support the team—the new fan gear looked great! Also, a special thanks to Michal, Eleanor, and Jonsie for their enthusiasm and videography skills.

            The team will be focusing on training rather than racing for the next few weeks as our next meet isn’t until the Albemarle Invitation on October 12 at Panorama Farms.  We will be keeping the mileage relatively high and the workouts tough, but this will serve us well down the road in the later meets of the season.  This middle part of the season can be challenging both physically and mentally, so it is important that you keep doing all of the things necessary to keep you healthy.  Eat right and be as organized as you can with your schoolwork so that you can get enough sleep. Prioritize what is important.  

Western Places 2nd in Both The A and B Divisions
At The RVA Relays
Jackie Neilon hands off to Maeci Frank after passing several runners and bringing our B team into second.

The Western Albemarle Girl's team glittered up for another RVA relays.  It was a little sweaty during the B/C relays, but that only made the glitter stick better.  The girls B team led off with Charlotte ThomasClarke, who put the team into 3rd place after the first leg.  She handed off to Cat Beck, who ran almost a minute faster than last year to keep the team in good position.  Caroline Jones dropped time
from last year's race and handed off to Jackie Neilon.  Jackie ran 50 seconds faster than last year to split 9:31.  She brought the team into second, ahead of new 3A rivals Maggie Walker.  Maeci Frank hung onto second place, fighting off a rapidly approaching Maggie Walker runner.  The B team finished second.  The C team was made up almost entirely of Newbie runners.  Sienna Collier ran an impressive split of 10:03 which had our C team among the top C teams after the first leg.  Then we had Nora Wood, Jessica Bilchik, Amelia Sims, and Anna Kate Simpson, all running 7:40 pace or better.  They finished 24th out of 39 teams and ahead of several B teams.  Other Newbies, Maureen O'Hearn and Grace Cook ran solid times in the Extras race.  Even Virginia Peng, showed up to run the open race and ran a solid 10:03.  
The big race of the night is always the A Relay.  It is run under the lights and is always super hyped.  Sterling Hull led off the team and ran 31 seconds faster than last year to get our team in the thick of the lead pack at the hand off. Her split was the third fastest RVA split by a WA athlete in school history.   Ella Taylor, had to hurdle a girl right after taking the baton, but being a hurdler, she handled it with grace, and carried on as if that was an every day occurrence in XC. 
Kate Ratcliffe
, dropped time off of her great time from last year, bringing our team way up, running the fourth fastest time in school history.  She handed off to Jordan Stone who kept us in first place throughout her leg.  Jordan's split, 9:17, just so happens to be what Sterling ran last year.  Ocean lakes had their top girl last and our lead wasn't enough to hold her off.  Jenna Stutzman ran seven seconds faster than last year, bringing our team in, in second place.  The Ocean Lakes girl, Mosley, owns a 5:00-1500 PR and had the second fastest split in the relays this year.  A little too much for Stutzman to fight off, THIS YEAR.  
We have the absolute best fans on the course.  So many parents go above and beyond.  A special thanks to Mike ThomasClarke for picking up the batons after we forgot to bring them.  Just looking at his shirt will tell you that he does as much
work as the runners, covering every part of the course possible.  He makes a huge effort to cheer every runner on our team.  The Neilons pictured are also helpful in driving the kids at various practices, making sure the coaches are well hydrated and even fed.  Brett Stone had the idea for fan gear and I have to say, these shirts turned out amazing.  We may have to make a second order.  


 Several girls made the trip up, even though they were not racing.  They were so helpful, making sure the girls in every race felt just as important as the A racers.  Can't thank them enough for cross training through their injuries and still making time to be with the team at races.
  Shout out to Thomas Gathright who, even though he is a student at Virginia Tech, made the trip.  He knows a good time when he sees one.  Thomas has made the trip to RVA to cheer the girls on before and it is impressive that he is still a fan of the girls team and trains with us throughout the summer.  

Western Wins Cavalier Classic
  Western ran it's first 5k of the season this past Saturday at Panarama Farms.  There were two teams from Texas and a small field from Virginia.  Sterling Hull led the team placing 3rd overall in just over 20:00.  Jenna Stutzman came in 4th in 20:14 and Kate Ratcliffe came in 7th in 20:45.  Ella Taylor was fourth for us, running 21:34 and Jordan Stone ran  a personal best by almost 2 minutes, finishing in  21:40Cat Beck ran a personal best by just over two minutes, finishing in 21:59.  Caroline Jones was our 7th runner finishing in 23rd place with a time of 22:14.  Western Albemarle won with 46 points followed by Saint Catherine's with 64 and Kincaid H.S. from Houston, TX was third with 67 points.  

 We had several girls entered in the open race.  
Hailey Hodson led the way, running 25:24.  Grace Cook was next in 25:50, Maureen O'Hearn was next in 26:57.  Layla Bouber finished in just over 29 minutes.  
  For several girls it was their first XC 5K.  Congrats to Maeci Frank 22:21, Sienna Collier 22:22, Amelia Sims 25:05, Grace Cook and Layla Bouber.  All are off to a great start.  
  We have two meets this week.  One at MHS on Wednesday and then the RVA relays this Saturday.

For complete results click here.

Western in the Pink
Volunteer at The Women's 4 miler
The Western Girls woke up early both Friday and Saturday in order to get their run in so they could volunteer at the Women's 4 miler.  Hoards of women show up
every year to race and help raise money for Breast Cancer.  The money is used locally at UVA.  

The event is special as the race is an all women's race and it is both competitive and fun with many dressing up.  Many people run in honor of those living or for those who may have died from breast cancer.  One in eight women will have breast cancer in their lifetime, so everyone knows someone who has been affected.  
The Western girls donned all the pink they could find and set out to block driveways or hand out water near the 3 mile mark.  
Of course the girls found ways to have fun, dancing to Lizzo's "Juice", which was this year's camp dance.  The older girls did a great job of teaching some of the newbies the dance.  

It was great seeing so many team Mom's out there running.  I managed to get pictures of a few. Catherine McGahren ran as did daughters Annie and Caroline.  It is wonderful seeing Catherine so healthy after battling an aggressive form of breast cancer, just a few years ago.  

One of our top Mom runners was Sara Neilon.  She ran a solid 7:40 pace, well under her goal of 8 min.  


Exercise is one of the ways you can help prevent breast cancer so the impact of
this race is even more impressive as the training program run by Ragged Mountain Running Shop gets hundreds of women running who have never run before.  We owe a big Thank You to the Lorenzoni's as they have had a busy week, putting on The Ragged Mountain Cup as well as The Women's 4 Miler.

Western Girls Runner Up at the Cup
Western Girls had a great day, but were narrowly defeated by AHS.  What was impressive was the fact that we matched up to AHS almost perfectly.  When you consider the fact that their team has 45 girls and our team has 22 you realize we may be small, but we are mighty.  Western put two girls in the top 5 with Sterling Hull and Jenna Stutzman.  AHS had the top runner and then had 6th, 8th 9th and 11th.  Meanwhile we had 3, 5, 7, 12, 13, 14, and 16.  So basically our last two scorers were right behind their number 5,  In XC you score the top 5 runners.  It will only take two of our three girls to run 10 seconds faster and we come out on top.  Can't wait to race them again.  
Birthday girl, Kate Ratcliffe was 7th overall for us and she was followed by, freshman, Jordan Stone, Maeci Frank, and another fast frosh, Jackie Neilon.  Jordon managed to hold on to the the white jersey and Sterling held on to the yellow jersey.  Our teams finished second, fourth and 10th.  

Albemarle's teams finished first, 5th and 9th.  Our first team, "Team Fernando",  was Jenna Stutzman, Ella Taylor, Kate Ratcliffe, and Sterling Hull.  Fernando is this year's team mascot.  He was an important presence at camp and he continues to support us in his own special way.  
The second team was made up of Maeci Frank,  Charlotte ThomasClarke, Jackie Neilon, and Jordan Stone.  They were the top "B" team in the race and finished 4th out of 25 teams.  Our third team was made up of Caroline Jones, Cat Beck, Annie McGahren, and Eleanor Abell.  They were the second "C" team in the race.  

The Open Race was not scored, but of course, team statistician, Chuck Witt, scored the race and our girls would have won.  They were led by freshman, Sienna Collier in 7th, Jessica Bilchik 11th, Michal Kipnis 15th, Anna Kate Simpson 16th, Nora Wood 20th, Aimelia Sims 22nd and our only 8th grader, Hailey Hodson in 25th.  All our runners finished in the top 25 in a field of 119 runners.  For complete results go to our results tab on the left.  Don't forget to check the photo album page later today for more pictures.

Getting Ready for the First Meet
Last Year Western had the fastest team in the Ragged Mtn Cup.

  Western's team's have been made and the excitement of the first meet is upon us.  Ragged Mountain Cup is held at Panarama Farms, in Earlysville.  The first race is the relay race.  Each member runs 2 miles before tagging off.  Each team has 4 team members.  It is always an exciting way to kick off the season.  This year's teams will be:
Team A
1. Jenna Stutzman (10th)
2. Ella Taylor (11th)
3. Kate Ratcliffe (11th)
4. Sterling Hull (12th)

Team B
1. Maeci Frank (11th)
2. Charlotte ThomasClarke (12th)
3. Jackie Neilon (9th)
4. Jordan Stone (9th)

Team C
1. Caroline Jones (11th)
2. Cat Beck (9th)
3. Annie McGahren (9th)
4. Eleanor Abell (10th)

We feel very confident that these teams are ready and will do well.  In addition we have Jessica Bilchick (12th), Michal Kipnis (10th), Sienna Collier (9th), Anna Kate Simpson (9th), Amelia Sims (9th), Nora Wood (9th) and Hailey Hodson (8th) in the open race.  The open race is also two miles.  They are calling for rain on race day so we will need to be prepared with rain gear to stay dry before the race and some extra dry clothes for after the race.  An extra pair of socks to put on right before the race is nice if you are wearing spikes.  Make sure you have a full water bottle to take to the race.  You should have spikes in your shoes if you are planning to wear them.  If you don't be sure to ask for some on the bus ride over.  Since we are racing at 5:00 and 6:15 for open, you should be able to eat your normal lunch, but this is not a time to try something new.  Those racing at 6:15 might want a light snack around 3 pm.  Ragged Mountain Running Shop puts on this race and there is almost no entry fee.  Out of respect for the race directors and other runners, please plan on staying till the end for the awards.  They are usually over around 7:30.  Come ready to bring your positive energy to support your team mates and get ready to show off all your hard work.
  Lastly, one policy that parents and students need to be aware of:  If a student wants to ride home after the meet with another student's parents, they must email the AD, Steve Heon, to say that the student has permission to ride home with ________ after the meet.  Steve's e-mail is sheon@k12albemarle.org  

Taking a Leap of Faith at St. Mary's Wilderness Area
  The girls had a great distance run on Coal Rd. then got in a hike up to the water falls in St. Mary's Wilderness Area.  Not a single car passed us during the run on Coal Rd.  The road is hilly, but quiet and is a great place to get in a long run.  From there the girls hiked the 2.25 hike up to the falls.  The falls are pretty special because there is a pretty cool jump into a very small, but deep pool of cold water.  All the girls did a great job of displaying unique form on their jumps.  Here are a few examples:
Want to see more crazy jumps from the day?  Go to our photo album page and check out all the pics and videos.  Big Thank You to Sara Neilon and Kris Taylor for driving the girls.  It was so nice for them to fit in two big vehicles.  It really helps with team bonding.  We appreciate you giving up your entire Saturday morning.
One of the team members learned a good lesson on Saturday.  First of all, when you get a new pair of shoes it is best to wear them on at least 3 EZ days before you try to go long in them.  Especially if you are changing the brand or style of the shoe.  Getting a second pair before the first pair wears out is always a good idea.  While we are on the topic of shoes, it is important to realize that they only last for 300-400 miles.  Most of the girls will need a new pair every three months.  
  Our first meet is just over a week away.  Make sure all your registration, and $75 has been turned in so we can put you on the roster.  

Team Looking Strong After Some 
Good Summer Running
Many of Western's girls are coming into the season after logging 30-40 miles for most of the summer.  This is probably one of our most consistent groups.  Two of
the most consistent runners on the team has to have been seniors Sterling Hull and Charlotte ThomasClarke.  Sterling was our top runner in the tempo run, while Charlotte was second up the mountain, a good 1:09 faster than last year.  Both were great leaders at camp and they helped create one of the most united teams in memory.  Sterling and Charlotte did a great job mingling with different team members, keeping the cabin tidy, working hard during workouts, taking the strength training and stretching seriously.  
They set a great example for all our camp Newbies.  

Ella Taylor was also very helpful at camp.  She was the top person up Jarman's Gap the week before camp and she managed to keep the polka dotted "Queen of the Mountain" jersey on the mountain run at camp.  She proved that even though she was away for part of the summer,  she still got in the hard work on her own.  Ella has always had a great work ethic and it really shows up on hill days.  

We had a lot of camp Newbies this year.  The top Newbie in the tempo run was Jordan Stone.  Cat Beck was our top Newbie up the mountain.  But what was really exciting to see was how close the girls stayed with each other on every run.  This is a tight group which will make for a great pack.  

During the week of camp the girls were busy doing camp crafts.  This team is pretty serious about our crafting.  They tye dyed shirts and spike bags, made travel pillows, beeswax food wraps, Sculpey beads and pens.  Lots of bracelets were made as well as running logs.  They white water rafted, took hikes, picked blueberries, set goals, learned about team traditions and lots of other fun activities.  
The Camp Scavenger Hunt is
always a competitive fun event.  This year, the infamous Baby Katie was found by Jackie Neilon.  While you may not understand this strange tradition, know that it is a big deal.  
On the last night the girls performed their team dance to a packed crowd at Save-A-Lot.  (Ok, they may have been busy shopping, but they were there and some even looked our way).  Then the girls went out for pizza and ice cream before heading back to clean and pack.  
Special thanks to Sara Neilon for giving up a week of vacation time to be our camp nurse.  We couldn't of made it without her and her 14 passenger van which carried all the camp supplies and over packed bags from 12 teenage girls.
Thanks to Coach Katie for organizing camp and enduring all the late nights.  This is a huge undertaking and each year Coach Katie manages to keep it fun.
Thanks to all the Older girls and guys who came up to support the team and help usher in a new year.  
Meanwhile back at Western, a few new team members are already making an impact and will no doubt add a lot of personality along with competitive fire to the team.  Maeci Frank, who became a standout 400/800 runner this past year, is giving cross-country a try and will be a good person to have on these flat speedy courses we will be running this year.  We also picked up a promising young runner who will be joining us from Southerland, Sienna Collier.  She will be in the ESA Academy.  If you know of anyone else who is planning to run, get them out ASAP.  The first meet will be August 27th so we will have to finalize the roster by the end of next week.

Jarman's Gap Attack!

Thirteen Girls and a few weary parents made the climb up Jarman's Gap to experience the 3 miles of relentless climb to the top.  The girls have trained hard all summer and the depth of the team is evident.  Ella Taylor had the best time up the mountain and will wear the polka dotted jersey for the Mountain run.  Next up the mountain was Sterling Hull.  Then came Bella Sonen.  I hope Albemarle realizes the gift they are getting.  Next came seven girls who were all within 30 seconds of each other.  They were led by freshman, Annie McGahren.  Next was another freshman, Jackie Neilon, then Charlie ThomasClarke, Kate Ratcliffe, Virginia Peng, Maeci Frank, and Jenna Stutzman.  Eleanor Abell and Elena Hunt came next followed by Caitlin Boyd.  It was one of our best year's up the mountain in terms of depth.  

Afterwards the girls finished up by running down the parkway and got in a total of 6-8 miles.  The girls headed back to Chile's Peach Orchard and put down a few plates of pancakes and peaches.  It was a beautiful day to be outside.  The first meet will be The Ragged Mountain Cup, exactly one month from this day.

Western Finishes the Season 3rd in the State
Mia Donelson flying well over the bar in the Pole Vault.

Western's Girl's Team came into the state meet seeded 5th.  Because of team statistician Chuck Witt, we knew that it would be a tight battle between teams 2-5. 

The team started off with a bang winning the 4 x 8.  They ran a season best by 25 seconds.  Ella Taylor did a great job getting out and Jenna Stutzman continued to keep us close.  Maeci Frank ran catch up leg and was able to catch all but one of the teams ahead of us.  Sterling Hull closed the deal and extended the lead, running sub 2:20 for the second time in her life.  
The next morning the 3200 went off with Emily Winder seeded 11th.  She ran an outdoor personal best, 12:07 and ended up 8th giving us one more point towards the total. 
Emily Winder going out with a large pack in the girl's 3200

Meanwhile the pole vaulters were starting to get rolling.  Western had four vaulters in contention.  Mia Donalson, Megan Futty, Reagan Burton, and Gloria 
Leo.  Mia, tied her best jump of the season, and the senior finished second with a jump of 10-9.  Megan jumped 9-0 and secured 6th place.  Reagan placed 9th and Gloria 11th with a vault of 8-6.  

The Warriors continued to rack up points.  In the girls 1600, Sterling Hull ran one of her fastest times of the season to place second in 5:14.  That time put her 16th out of all divisions run this past weekend.  Kate Ratcliffe, had one week to sharpen after taking several weeks off due to tendinitis.  She ran a smart race and came up in fourth place.
Kate Ratcliffe and Sterling Hull going out in the 1600.

In the 400, Elizabeth Davis came up big.  She wasn't even in the fastest heat, but managed to tie for 6th place with her time of 61.2, gaining points we weren't supposed to get.                                           

The Warriors had three girls entered in the 800.  Only one was seeded in the top 8, but we managed to get two places with Maeci Frank running 2:22.2, finishing third and Jenna Stutzman, running a personal best 2:24.36 to place 6th.  Ella Taylor finished just out of placing in 10th.  

Going into the 4 x 400, we were in second place, but there were several teams, all withing 4 points of us.  One in particular, Christiansburg, was only 1.5 points behind us.  The girls came into the 4 x 400 seeded behind Christiansburg.  The team of Ella Taylor, Sterling Hull, Maeci, Frank, and Elizabeth Davis, all ran their best times and a season best 4:07.26.  The fastest time in 12 years.  They finished 4th.  It wasn't quite enough to beat Christiansburg, but good enough for our team to hold onto 3rd.  For complete results click here.
This team has been special in many ways.  I have to say the leadership of long time team members like Caroline McGahren, Mia Donelson, Reagan Burton & Emily Winder have been remarkable and their spirit will live on as our younger members try to emulate all the positive things they have done.  Our team is supportive and inclusive.  We embrace our differences and tease each other like the family we are.  Thanks for all this year's memories. Can't wait to create new memories next year.   

Western Region 3 C Runner Up
Western's 4 x 400 Team ran the fastest time since 2007.  Maeci Frank, Sterling Hull, Elizabeth Davis, and Ella Taylor.

Western had many great performances this past Thursday night at Turner Ashby high school, but it wasn't enough to beat powerhouse, Heritage High School.  Mia Donelson was the lone Region Champion in the pole vault.  She vaulted 10-9, a personal record and led a large crew of Western athletes in the pole vault.  Megan
Futty, pictured to the right,  had her season best vault of 10-0 to place 3rd, Reagan Burton placed 5th with 9-6, Gloria Leo and Sarah Leonard tied for 6th, vaulting 8-6.  Emma Blackman finished just out of scoring in 9th place with 8-0.

Sterling Hull placed second in the 1600, running 5:15 and came back in the 4 x 400 to help the team to a second place finish.  The team of Maeci Frank, Sterling Hull, Elizabeth Davis and Ella Taylor, ran the best time in the 4 x 4 since 2007.  Ella and Sterling both ran personal bests and both Maeci and Elizabeth split 61 seconds.  
Jenna Stutzman and Ella teamed up to finish 3rd and 4th in the 800, both setting personal bests and earning them a spot at States.  Charlotte ThomasClarke ran one of her best 800s of the season to finish 8th.

Emily Winder and Caroline McGahren placed 3rd and 5th in the 3200.  Caroline, just missing qualifying by place, after being clipped from behind.  She led most of the first mile, but was unable to get back into the lead pack.  

Our throwers just missed qualifying as well.  Katia Amos was 5th in the disc and Vakirah Barbour, pictured to the left, finished 5th in the shot put.  Both girls have come a long way this season and we will miss having them next week at states.

Maeci Frank ran a personal best in the 400, placing 4th with a 61.03.  Elizabeth Davis finished 6th in that event, but came back to place 4th in the 200, making it to the state meet in that event.  Elizabeth has a qualifying time for the 400 as well.
For complete results click here.

Next Friday and Saturday we head to Lynchburg with a big crew to compete in the State Meet at Liberty University.   

Western Wins Regional Qualifier
Mia Donelson on her approach, just before going 10-6 to win the pole vault.

Western qualified nearly everyone entered in this past weeks meet and will be taking a huge squad to Regionals.  The pole vault girls hit the runway with determination as Mia Donelson led the way to win the event in 10-6.  Gloria Leo and Reagan Burton tied for second with 8-6.  
In the long jump, the Western duo of Elizabeth Davis and Maeci Frank had their best day of jumping ever.  Elizabeth won the event with 16-8 and Maeci placed second with 16-0.  Elizabeth also placed third in high jump with her personal best jump of 4-8.
Sterling Hull placed first in the 3200, running a 20 second personal best, then came back 5 minutes later to run a personal best in the 4 x 400, splitting 62.6.  Thus proving that a hard warm-up will not hurt your race.  Other members of the second place 4 x 400 team were Maeci Frank, Elizabeth Davis and Kendall Foreman.  
Caroline McGahren won the 1600 after running a season best 800 on the 4x800.  Other members of the winning 4 x 800 team were Jenna Stutzman, Hermi Goings and Emily Winder, who ran a PR of 2:35 on her leg.  Emily came back to place second in the 1600, Jenna was third in the 1600 and Eleanor Abell and Caitlin Boyd ran personal best times in the 1600 to place 7th and 8th.  
Ella Taylor won the 800 and came back minutes later to place 4th in the 3200. 
Charlotte ThomasClarke placed third in the 800, running a personal best time of 2:35.48.  
Ashna Nitzsche placed second in the 200, fourth in the 100, and ran a leg on the second place 4 x 100 team with Emma Blackman, Claire Mitchell, and Elizabeth Davis.  Ashna also placed third in the triple jump with her personal best jump of 31-0.5 and tied for 5th in the high jump.  
In the throws, Vakirah Barbour placed second in the shot put, going over 30 feet for the first time and third in the discus.  Katia Amos placed second in the discus, throwing almost 90 feet and 5th in the shot put.  For complete results click here.

Middle School Girls Shine at
Ragged Mountain Middle School Meet
 The team of Hailey Hodson, Cat Beck, Jordan Stone and Jackie Neilon after the 4x400.

The Middle School team has been working hard all season with few chances to race, but they got a chance to shine at the Ragged Mountain Middle School Meet, which was held at UVA this past Tuesday.  They got to meet a few future team mates, Hailey Hodson pictured above, who won the 400 with a time of 68.32.  They also met a rising 9th grader from St. Anne's who will join us this summer in preparation for cross-country.  
Jackie Neilon ran a personal best in the 1600 to place third in 5:44.98.  Bella Sonen set a personal best in that event, running 6:02.21.  Cat Beck was 13th in a time of 6:12.73. also a personal best.
In the 800, Jordan Stone was just off her personal best time to finish third in 2:37.34.  Jordan is gearing up for next year, when our 4 x 800 is predicted to be one of the top in the state in all divisions.  
Hailey, Cat, Jordan, and Jackie came back to place fourth in the 4 x 400.  The meet was enormous in size and the girls got lots of good competition.  The weather was breezy, with perfect temperatures for running.  Can't wait to see what these girls will do next year when they are able to race more.

More Incredible Time Drops

The Western girl's continued to make strides and set personal bests.  One of the most impressive performances of the week had to be that of Maeci Frank in the 800.  She tried the event for the first time this week, getting boxed in, but still running a respectable 2:29.78.  Then this past Saturday she ran like a season veteran hitting a state qualifying time of 2:21.8.  The 800 was a good event for a lot of people this week.  Elizabeth Davis tried it for the first time and ran 2:34.43 which is a Regional QT.  Stella Rowe had a 9 second personal best, running 2:43.  Both Hermi Going and Eleanor Abell also ran their personal best in The Louisa Meet #3.  Charlotte ThomasClarke also ran a PR this week in the 800 on Saturday at Glenn Allen, 2:36.75.
 Sterling Hull ran her open 1600 best at The Glenn Allen meet, finishing up in second place, running 5:12.51.  In that same meet, the 4 x 800 team of Elizabeth Davis, Sterling Hull, Ella Taylor and Caroline McGahren ran a season best by 9 seconds, running in 10:05.53, finishing third.  
Ella ran a personal best in the 300 hurdles prior to running the 4 x 800.
Elizabeth finished in 5th in the 200 with a great time of 26.76.  Also running a PR this week in the 200 and 100 was Ashna Nitzshe, running 27.95 in the 200 and 13.42 in the 100.  Claire Mitchell ran a personal best in the 100 with a 14.45.  
Vakirah Barbour threw a personal best in the shot put this past Friday night in Fluvanna.  Katia Amos was 4th in the discus and Vakira was 7th in the disc.  
Emily Winder ran right on her season best in the 3200 to finish 5th at Glenn Allen.  Mia Donelson took 3rd in the pole vault with a 10-0 vault and Emma Blackman finished 8th clearing 8 feet at the Louisa meet this past Tuesday.  Both Megan Futty and Reagan Burton cleared 8 feet at the Fluvanna Invite to finish tied for 4th.  
In my post Dogwood week haze, I forgot to thank all the parents and runners who helped to put on The Dogwood Track Classic.  It has become the biggest meet in Virginia and we couldn't do it without all the supportive parents and runners.  Also a Happy Mother's Day to all the great team Mom's.  We have some of the nicest girls on this team so it tells me they have some great role models.  Thanks for all you do to support their running and this team.

Things are Heating Up
Dogwood Did Not Disappoint!
What you look like after winning an event at Dogwood.

The Western Albemarle girls have had an impressive week to say the least.  The DMR team of Kate Ratcliffe, Elizabeth Davis, Ella Taylor and Sterling Hull won the DMR at Dogwood and qualified for the Emerging Elite section at NB Nationals.  They did this with 3 out of 4 runners setting PR's.  The most
noteworthy was Sterling Hull, who popped a 5:09.1 in the 1600.  It was a big 14 second time drop which puts her at a whole new level.  She was fortunate to be running with a Deep Run girl who came in with an almost identical personal best and the two of them pushed each other the entire way.  Sterling managed to surge at just the right time and got the win.  They all got really nice embroidered back packs for their effort.
That same evening Michal Kipnis and Charlotte ThomasClarke got to compete in great conditions.  Michal knocked about 9 seconds off of her personal best and Charlotte ran a season best and earned a regional QT.  
  In the long jump, Katrine Berg put down her soccer ball for the day and jumped just a half inch shy of the state qualifying distance.  She also placed 7th in the triple jump with a state qualifying jump of 35-9.5.  Kate deJong also got regional marks in both the long and triple jump.  
Kate Ratcliffe ran an amazing time in the 1600, 5:17.4 to qualify for the state meet, running a 7 second PR.  
Sterling ran a 3 second PR in the 800 to go under 2:20 for the first time.  Her time is well under state qualifying.  Both Jenna Stutzman and Ella Taylor ran 2:27, their open PR's and they are closing in on the state QT.  
Maeci Frank ran a personal best in the 400, winning her heat and qualifying for the state meet in that event. 
The pole vaulters got great big meet experience with Mia Donelson leading the way with a vault of 9-6, Reagan Burton 9-0, and Megan Futty 8-6.  All of them have already qualified for the state meet.   For complete results click here.

JV Gets Chance to Shine in Harrisonburg
Many personal bests were set under great conditions.  All the 800 meter runners set personal bests in one of the most exciting races of the night.  Jordan Stone ran negative splits, out kicking the field in the final straight away to win with a 6 second PR of 2:36.  Bella Sonen set a personal best, winning the first section, running 2:51.5 to finish 7th overall.  Cat Beck finished in 8th running a one second personal best.  Those three teamed up with Jackie Neilon to win the 4 x 800, where Jackie ran her personal best time of 2:45.  

Kenedi Anderson
ran her personal best in the 100, to place 7th and also placed 2nd in both the high jump and the long jump.  
Elizabeth Strobach placed 2nd in the pole vault with a vault of 8-0 and Gloria Leo finished third with 7-6.  

Jackie Neilon
 placed 3rd in the 1600 and was a part of the 2nd place 4 x 400 team of Cat Beck, Stella Rowe and Jordan Stone.  Stella Rowe ran her PR in the relay after placing 4th in the open 400.  Jordan came back just minutes after her 800 to run a 65.2 split!  
Eleanor Abell ran a personal best in the 1600 to place 6th and Caitlin Boyd finished right behind in 7th.  
Sarah Going placed 5th in the discus and 6th in the shot put and Lucy Evans ran a personal best in the 100.
To see complete results click here.

Western Places 2nd behind Louisa at 
The Jefferson District Meet

Western had many great performances in Louisa on April 30th at the District Meet.  
Sterling Hull placed first in both the 1600 and the 800, running a personal best and state QT in the 1600.  She also came back to run a personal best time in the 4 x 4, splitting 63.2.  Kate Ratcliffe placed second in both of those events, running right on her 1600 best.  Caroline McGahren finished third in the 1600 and 5th in the 800.  Emily Winder was 6th in the 1600.  
Elizabeth Davis placed 5th in the long jump, and second in the 200, just missing the state mark with a 26.81.
Ella Taylor, placed 2nd in the 300m hurdles with a personal best time of 52.24.  Maeci Frank, Ella Taylor, Sterling Hull and Elizabeth Davis ran a state qualifying time in the 4 x 400 and won with their time of 4:13.77.  
In the throws, Vakirah Barbour set a personal best in the discus to place 3rd in 89-07.  She also placed 7th in the shot.  Katia Amos had a personal best in the shot put, just shy of the regional cut off.  She placed 4th in both the shot and discus.  
Reagan Burton finished 5th in a competitive field of vaulters, jumping 9-0.  Sarah Leonard was 7th.  
The 4 x 400 team of Michal Kipnis, Charlotte ThomasClarke, Eleanor Abell and Stella Rowe finshed 4th with Michal dipping under 2:40 for the first time.  The 4 x 100 team of Emma Blackman, Claire Mitchell, Gloria Leo, and Ashna Nitzsche placed 5th.  Ashna also placed 8th in the 200.  Claire tied her personal best in the 100 and set a new personal best in the 200.  For complete results click here.

Many Personal Bests and New Qualifiers at Louisa
Western had a great opportunity with near perfect conditions at Louisa to show off all their hard work.  Sterling Hull ran boldly in the 800, taking the lead right
from the beginning.  She was challenged once by an Albemarle girl, but she let it be known that it was her day to win.  She ran a two second personal best and a state qualifying time of 2:22.7.  Sterling came back less than 30 minutes later to finish 5th in the 3200 with a regional QT.
Katia Amos was our only other first place finish, throwing a personal best 95-05 in discus, a regional QT. Katia also placed second in the shot put with a 30-05 throw which is her outdoor personal best by a foot and a half.  
 What both of these young ladies have in common is a strong work ethic and a consistent practice attendance.  They have been great role models for their team mates.  
Another good example of
hard work are
Seniors, Caroline McGahren and Emily Winder.  They worked together through the early stages of the 3200 and they ended up second and third with regional QT's. Caroline's time was a 17 second personal best.  Kate Ratcliffe came back from placing third in the 800 with a big six second PR to place fourth in the 3200.  Both times were regional QT's.  
Ella Taylor, ran the intermediate hurdles for the first time ever and placed third
with a regional QT.  She came back in the very next event to place sixth in the 200.  
Maeci Frank ran a big outdoor personal best in the 400 to place second with a regional QT.  She was also 4th in long jump with a jump of 14-10.25. 
Elizabeth Davis was second in the 200 with a regional QT of 27.23 and was also 5th in the long jump.  
The pole vaulters went 2nd, 4th, 6th, and 7th with Mia Donelson clearing 10-0, Megan Futty clearing 9-0, Gloria Leo clearing 8-6, and Sarah Leonard clearing 7-6.  Mia and Megan hit the state standard, while Gloria is just 3 inches shy of it.  
Vakirah Barbour continues to impress in the throws.  She finished third in the discus with a personal best 84-09, and 7th in the shot tying her personal best of 27-05.  

Jenna Stutzman got a pair of fourth place finishes, in the 1600 and the 800.  Both of her times are regional QT's.  
Ashna Nitzsche finished sixth in both the high jump and triple jump and Stella Rowe finished sixth in the 400.  
Several others ran personal best times.  Claire Mitchell ran her personal best times in both the 100 and 200.  Eleanor Abell ran her personal best in the 800 by seven seconds.  Caitlin Boyd dropped three seconds off of her 1600 time.  For complete results click here.

AHS and Spotswood
The second place 4 x 400 team of Jackie, Cat, Bella and Jordan.
  Having meets back to back on Wednesday and Thursday allowed us to get everyone in a meet.  At the Albemarle meet our 8th graders got a chance to shine.  Jackie Neilon won the 1600 with a time of 5:47.84.  She ran a smart race, pacing off an Albemarle girl for the first two and a half laps before taking off and leaving her well behind.  Eleanor Abell and Caitlin Boyd finished third and fourth in that event.  Klarisa Amos, also an 8th grader, won both the triple jump and the long jump and placed second in the 200.  Another promising 8th grader, Le'Ondra
won the shot put and placed third in the discus.  Ninth grader, Vakirah Barbour won the discus and placed second in the shot put.  Both Le'Ondra and Vakirah set personal best marks in those events.   Sarah Going finished third in shot put and fourth in discus.  Ninth grader, Kenedi Anderson placed second in the high jump, third in the long jump and third in the 100.  
The pole vaulters took first second and third with Sarah Leonard posting a 9-6 personal best jump which qualifies her for the state meet.  Emma Blackman also qualified with her personal best jump of 9-0.  8th grade sensation, Elizabeth Stroboch cleared 8-6!  
Jenna Stutzman won the 3200 after
placing third in the 800.  Eighth grader Jordan Stone ran a personal best time of 2:42.3 to finish fourth and Cat Beck ran a personal best to finish in sixth place.  Stella Rowe finished second in the 400 and Jessica Bilchik finished second in the 3200.  In the final event of the evening, the 4 x 400 team of Jackie Neilon, Jordan Stone, Cat Beck, and Bella Sonen placed second.  
With all these up and comers, the future looks bright for WAHS track.  For complete results click here.

The Varsity girls got a chance to run in a big weekday meet at JMU's fine facility.  Despite the wind, the girls managed to run well.  The 4x800 team, Kate Ratcliffe, Caroline McGahren, Ella Taylor and Sterling Hull, posted a state qualifying mark of 10:14.28 and finished first.  Ella and Sterling came back later to team up with Maeci Frank and Elizabeth Davis to win the 4 x 400, running just shy of the state mark.  Earlier Ella placed second in the 800 with a regional time.  Sterling placed third in the 1600 with an outdoor personal best of 5:31.59.  Kate Ratcliffe was right behind her in fourth.  Elizabeth also placed third in the 400 and fifth in the 200.  
 In the pole vault, Mia Donalson won and once again vaulted 10-6, which is well above the state qualifying mark.  Gloria Leo finished 4th in that event.  
Michal Kipnis placed 4th in the 3200 with a regional QT and Charlotte ThomasClarke finished 6th, just shy of the regional QT.  Caroline McGahren finised 5th in the 800 with a regional mark, and Emily Winder finished 8th in the 1600 with a regional mark.  Ashna Nitzsche finished 5th in the triple jump with a personal best jump of 30-00.75.  Katia Amos finished 6th in Discus with her throw of 91-03 which is a personal best.  Maeci Frank placed 6th in the long jump and 7th in the 400, in addition to her contribution on the 4 x 400.    For complete results click here

Busy Week at the Races
  Western had a busy week attending two meets with one being cancelled.  The pole vaulters had a great week with Mia Donalson vaulting 10-6 to win the event at the Fluvanna meet on Wednesday.  Reagan Burton finished second in 9-0, Megan Futty was fourth with 8-6 and Sarah Leonard was fifth with 8-0.  Later in the week Gloria Leo vaulted to a big PR at the Gus Lacy meet vaulting 9-3.  
  The 4 x 800 team of Emily Winder, Caroline McGahren, Kate Ratcliffe, and Sterling Hull won the event with a regional qualifying time of 10:24.75.  Sterling came back to win the 800 in 2:28.23.  Kate Ratcliffe was second in 2:34.93.  Emily Winder came
back to win the 3200 in 12:16.53, after setting a personal best split in the 800.  Caroline came back to finish fourth in the 1600.  Elizabeth Davis won the 200 in a blazing time of 27.26.  She also ran a leg on the second place 4 x 1 and she was second in the long jump. Maeci Frank won the 400 and ran a leg on the 4 x 1.  Ashna Nitzsche was second in the 200 and was a part of the 4 x 1.  She also placed 3rd in high jump and 5th in triple jump.  

Katia Amos and Vakirah Barbour wend 4th and 5th in discus and Katia was also 6th in the shot put. 

On Saturday at The Gus Lacy Track Meet we were down quite a few people
because of prom.  The 4 x 800 team placed 5th with Ella Taylor, Michal Kipnis, Stella Rowe, and Jenna Stutzman.  Ella came back to place 7th in the open 800.  Michal placed 7th in the 3200.  Jenna Stutzman placed 8th in the 1600 and Gloria Leo vaulted 1 foot, 3 inches higher to finish in 8th place.  You may notice a different uniform top.  There's a story behind that, but the girls were all about sporting the retro look.  Complete results Fluvanna and Complete Results for Gus Lacy.

Woodberry Forest, a Great Spring Break Opportunity
  Quite a few Warriors wasted no time in getting some qualifications for the post season meets.  Elizabeth Davis placed second in the 400, running 61.0 to get a state qualifying time.  Katrine Berg, just missed state qualifying in the triple jump,
but got the regional standard for both the long and triple jump, jumping 15-8.5 for 6th place and winning the triple jump with a jump of 34-6.  Jenna Stutzman qualified for regionals in the 800, running 2:28.79.  She placed third with that time after anchoring the 5th place 4 x 800 team with Charlotte ThomasClarke, Michal Kipnis, & Virginia Peng.   Virginia placed 7th in the 800, running a 5 second personal best time.  Ashna Nitzsche placed 6th in the high jump and eighth in the 200, running 28.79.  Eleanor Abell placed 7th in the 3200, her first time in that event.  Also gaining some meet experience was Claire Mitchell who ran the 100 and 200.  For complete results click here.

Pocahontas Trail Run Fun!
  The Western Albemarle Distance Team traveled to Chesterfield, VA to participate in a 3 person marathon trail run.  We had three teams entered and the girls braved the early morning hours to get there in time to race.  Emily Winder, Michal Kipnis, and Virginia Peng started off the relay.  We 
all thought that the three would run together so when Emily Winder came to the first exchange with the lead runner for the marathon, Caroline McGahren, was completely confused, or still half asleep.  They had literally just stumbled out of the van just a minute prior.  Caroline ran her first 30 yards looking back asking which way to go?, am I supposed to go?  Then Virginia Peng came next and Kate Ratcliffe just stood on the side lines as her team mate ran a good 10-15 yards past her.  After much urging Kate took off and we convinced Virginia she was done.  By the time Michal Kipnis came by we had Sterling Hull ready to take the exchange.  By this time we were all laughing hysterically.  Caroline maintained her lead over the other two teams, running the 9+ miles in just over 8 minute pace.  She tagged Jackie Neilon and off she went on the third leg.  Not too much later, Kate Ratcliffe and Sterling Hull came through smiling and listening to music on Kate's phone.  Charlotte ThomasClarke and yours truly, took off on our leg.  
Charlotte took no time in ditching her coach and caught up with Jackie and the two of them ran on to the finish together.  
The girls enjoyed water stops, some of them with jelly beans and M&Ms and a post race meal of fried chicken and mash potatoes.  Earlier we had grave concerns that Virginia would get to an aid station with M&M's and never leave.  
"Scrambled Legs", and "Long Distance Relay-tionship" placed tied for second and Easier Said Than Run placed 4th.  
We enjoyed the park so much we are planning either a summer or early fall get away to come back and run more of the trails.  Many thanks to the Neilon's for driving their big van down and to the other parents who were able to make the journey so that we could field 3 teams.  I hope that this becomes a yearly event.

We Did it Again!

Day two of the state meet and the girls continued to rack up the points in virtually every event.  Kate de Jong ran a season best 8.82 to finish 5th in the 55 hurdles. Kate, came in seeded 12th in the triple jump and ended up 3rd, jumping a foot further than her previous season best!  Katrine Berg came in

seeded 6th and ended up 5th. Then Katrine went to work in the 500 setting a new school record 1:19.05 to place second. It was an exciting race with Katrine flying up in the final 100 meters almost catching Milby from Spotswood, if only she had 10 more meters.

In the 1600, Sterling Hull went out in 75 seconds for the first quarter, going out with the leaders. She took a huge risk, but it paid off as she ended up 3rd with a new personal best of 5:24.15. Kate Ratcliffe and Caroline McGahren finished 5th and 6th after being seeded 6th and 9th coming into the meet.

Julia Berg led from the gun in the 1000 and cruised in with a season best time and her second state title in that event. Sterling came in third again running a strong double. Nearly everyone who doubled in the mile and 1000, ran five or more seconds slower than their seed time. Sterling was only a half second off her PR which speaks well for her strength. Ella Taylor placed 7th in that event.

In the pole vault the Warriors were down their top vaulter. Megan Futty got

injured during warm-ups which put the pressure on the rest of the vaulters to step up their game. Reagan Burton did just that, vaulting to a personal best 9-6 and finishing 4th for the Warriors.

In the 3200, Emily Winder ran a smart race to finish 6th, just off her season personal best. She missed a week of practice after being sick and got only a partial workout in this week before racing Saturday. Kate Ratcliffe had to push aside self doubt in the 3200. She had fallen back almost an entire straight away after coming back from the 1600. She pulled herself together and came flying up to finish 8th.

The final event was the 4 x 400. The team of Ella Taylor, Maeci Frank, Elizabeth Davis, and Katrine Berg finished second, running their best time by four seconds to finish with a 4:12.67. Both Katrine and Elizabeth's splits were under 61 seconds.

Also getting state meet experience, Caroline Jones in the 3200 (13th), Sarah Leonard and Gloria Leo (10th & 11th) and Emma Blackman in pole vault.

Most impressive about this 2019 team is the support they have shown for each other. This is what makes a good team great. They scrap for every point, not just for themselves, but for each other. After every race, it was a virtual hug fest. No matter how the race may have gone, they celebrated each other's success. The coaching staff couldn't be prouder of this group and the leadership shown by the seniors.

The Warriors won for the third year in a row. WA 84, Culpepper 62.5, IC Norcom 49. For complete results click here.

Day One of State Meet
Western wins third Indoor 4x8 in a Row!
  The Western Albemarle girls started the meet off right with their win in the 4 x 800.  Ella Taylor got the team off in good position, right behind Spotswood's top runner, Milby, in second position.  Kate Ratcliffe moved us 
into first place and Julia Berg, who has been on all three state championship teams, extended the lead.  Sterling Hull had nothing left to do but lap people as we won the event by more than 25 seconds. 

Katrine Berg managed to get 5th place in the long jump with a jump of 16-4.  

Kate de Jong was dividing her time 
between the long jump, the high jump and the 55 hurdles.  She managed to make it into the finals as the 4th seed.  
The Warriors will begin competition today with the hurdle finals and then pole vault.  

Western Wins Region 3C Championship
  Western got points from many different areas to win the Region 3C Championships at Heritage High School.  In the process several more people qualified for the State Meet.  Katrine Berg was a big point contributor.  She 
won the 500, She ran a leg on both the 4 x 2 and the 4 x 4 which placed first and second, she placed second in triple jump and 5th in long jump.  She also had her season best triple jump of 36-02.5.  
Kate de Jong was also
a big point scorer.  She won the 55 m hurdles.  She placed 4th in long jump, 5th in high jump, 5th in triple jump, and ran a leg on the 4 x 200. 
 In the pole vault the day before we had all of our vaulters score in the top 8.  Megan Futty placed second in with a vault of 9-0, Reagan Burton was 4th with 8-6, Sarah Leonard was 5th with 8-0, Gloria Leo was 6th with 7-6, and Emma Blackman was 8th with 6-6.  
Several distance runners placed and a few more spots were notched to the State Meet.  The trio of Kate Ratcliffe, Sterling Hull, and Julia Berg won the 4 x 800 along with Virginia Peng.  They then came back in the 1600 with Julia finishing 2nd, Sterling 4th, and Kate 6th.  Later Julia was the lead off leg on the 4 x 400 which placed second.  Other team members were Ella Taylor, Elizabeth Davis and Katrine Berg.   Ella also qualified for states in the 1000 with a third place finish.  In that same race Caroline McGahren finished 4th and Charlotte ThomasClarke finished 6th.  
Caroline McGahren came back about an hour later and placed second in the 3200 and Caroline Jones finished third.  Both the Carolines qualified for the state meet in that event.  This will be Jonsie's first state meet.  Michal Kipnis was 7th in the 3200.  
Elizabeth Davis finished 4th in the 300 and was a crucial member of both
the 4 x 200, which qualified for states, and the 4x4. She also had her personal best in the long jump, jumping 15-2.  She also placed 8th in the high jump.  Other members of the 4 x 200 were Ashna Nitzsche, Kate de Jong and Katrine Berg.  
Katia Amos had another big throw, setting a new PR of 30-05.00 to finish 7th in that competition.  The team ended up in first place with Heritage in second.  This Friday, the Warriors will travel to The State Meet in Roanoke where they will attempt to three-peat as State Champions.  For Complete results click here.

Jefferson District Brings Personal Bests

Western's Kate Ratcliffe notched her third event for State, running a 3:14.63 and placing third in the 1000.  She has now qualified in all three distance events.  Many other Warriors had personal best performances.  Katia Amos threw 29-10 in shot put, which was a personal best by a whopping one foot and 5 inches.  Mallory Greene ran a personal best time in the 55 dash and had her best triple jump by two feet.  Reagan Burton placed second in pole vault, tying her personal best of 9-0.  Caroline Jones ran her personal best in the 3200, no easy task on the 160 m track, running 12:34.52. Charlotte ThomasClarke ran her best indoor 1000, finishing 9th.
 Kate deJong placed in several events.  She tied for second in the high jump, She was third in the 55 hurdles and in the triple jump and she was fifth in the long jump.  Other athletes contributing to the score were Elizabeth Davis, 3rd in the 300, Caroline McGahren, 5th in the 1000 and 6th in the 1600, Ella Taylor 5th in the 500, Megan Futty, 5th in the pole vault, Gloria Leo, 8th in the pole vault, and Emily Winder, 8th in the 1600.  To see all the results please click here.

Busy Week of Racing and more State Qualifying Times

Jerry Cutright Invitational

On Tuesday, January 22nd, the girls traveled to FUMA for a small meet.  The night started out with the 4 x 800 team of Julia Berg, Sterling Hull, Ella Taylor and Emily WInder, qualifying for states.  Their time of 10:13.43 was well under the QT.  Three of these girls came back in the 500 to take 1st, 2nd, and third with Sterling, Julia and Ella.  The night was not over for these three.  They came back in the 1000, the very next event and placed 1st, 2nd, and 4th.  This time it was Julia with the win and Sterling in second, then Ella in 4th.  
Maeci Frank and Cat Domec went one and two in the 300.  Earlier Cat took a glorious fall at the end of her 55 dash which left her with floor burns on one leg and spike marks on the other.  She shook it off and proceeded as if nothing had happened.  Cat and Maeci were also a part of the 4th place 4 x 200 team with Isabella Karr and Anna Soika.  
Michal Kipnis finished third in the 3200, with Caroline Jones in 5th and Charlotte ThomasClarke in 5th.  Emily WInder placed 4th in the 1600 and also 7th in the 1000.  Katrine Berg won the long jump and placed second in the triple jump.  Both of those performances were state qualifying.  For more results click here.

St. Christopher's Brings PR's and more State QT's
  A small group of girls were lucky enough to get into The St. Christopher's Invitational.  This select meet only allows 2 per team if they all meet the meet's
standards.  The indoor 200 meter track had a nice balcony area for teams and it had an outdoor track, just outside the back doors.  Katrine Berg had an excellent meet.  She jumped 17-00.5, her second farthest ever which placed her 7th and was a state qualifying mark.  She also ran an amazing 1:21.38 in the 500 to finish 8th and lowered her state qualifying mark.   The 4 x 800 team of Julia Berg, Ella Taylor, Caroline McGahren, and Sterling Hull placed 6th in the 4 x 800, and they were not even in the top section.  The same thing happened the next day with Sterling Hull.  She won the second to last heat after being seeded 6th in that heat, but after the fast heat had been run, Sterling was 6th overall in the mile with a new PR.  
  Kate de Jong had an off day, but even on her off day she is still capable of running a state QT in the 55 m hurdles.  
One of the more exciting races Friday night was Kate Ratcliffe and Emily WInder in the 3200.  They switched off the lead with each other as well as with a couple of Central Virginia runners from Monticello and Fluvanna.  Both Kate and Emily came away with state qualifying times and Kate ran a 13 second PR and Emily ran a season best by 17 seconds.  Elizabeth Davis also ran a personal best in the 300 and got a regional QT.  To see more results Click here.

19 State Qualifying Performances 
on Showcase Weekend
    The pole vaulters came up big this weekend with several vaulters going a foot or more over their personal best.  Both Gloria Leo and Emma Blackman improved
by a foot or more to finish 2nd and 3rd at The Heritage JV meet, going 8-0.  The day before Megan Futty had her best vault by a foot to win The Non-Invitational section of the Pole Vault at The Showcase.  Reagan Burton finished 6th with a vault of 8-6 and Sarah Leonard finished 14th with 7-6.  
  Kate de Jong had a great meet, earning state qualifying performances in the high jump, long jump, triple jump and the 55 hurdles.  Katrine Berg got state qualifying performances in the long jump, triple jump, 500, and was a part of the state
qualifying 4 x 400 team.  Sterling Hull got state qualifying marks in the 1600 and 1000, running a 10 second personal best in the 1000, and was a part of the 4 x 400.  Julia Berg ran an 11 second personal best in the 1600 running state qualifying times in both the 1600 and the 1000. Maeci Frank ran a state qualifying time in the 500 and was part of the 4 x 400 which qualified for states.  Kate Ratcliffe ran a state qualifying time in the 1600 and just missed the standard in the 1000 by less than two seconds.   Jenna Stutzman ran a state qualifying time in the 1000 and has now qualified for all three distance events as a freshman.  
  Elizabeth Davis ran a regional qualifying time in the 500 and was on the state qualifying 4 x 400.  Shout out to Katia Amos for having her best throw by 3 feet in the shot put with her 28-05.5 throw.  For more results click here.

Back at The Heritage JV meet, Allison Selverstone was busy placing in three events.  She was 4th in both the high jump and the 55 hurdles and she was 5th in the 300.  Michal Kipnis was 3rd in the 1000, and 5th in the 1600.  The 4 x 800 team of Jackie Neilon, Eleanor Abell, Jordan Stone, and Caitlin Boyd finished 4th.  For complete results click here.

Fred Hardy Rolls on While VTCA gets Cancelled
  Western had several strong performances at The Fred Hardy Invitational.  A small group got the opportunity to race while the rest of the team will have to wait another week.  Our highest placing came from Michal Kipnis in the 1600.  She placed 5th in the 1600, and was a part of the 4 x 800 team which placed 6th.  Members of the team were Charlotte ThomasClarke, Anna Kreienbaum, Michal, and Caroline Jones.  Caroline came back to place 6th in the 1000.  She made up almost an entire straight away to pass the heat leader to win her section.  Charlotte also competed in the 1000 and finished 9th.  Anna came back to compete in the 500 and we had several others get meet experience.  Mallory Greene, Anna Soika, Kenedi and Dakota Anderson.  Complete Results can be found here.

Western Gets Multiple State Qualifiers at 
FUMA's New Year's Opener
  Several Western runners came back from break ready to roll.  The girls had many great performances.  Katrine Berg earned a state qualifying jump, winning the triple jump in 34-08.75.  She also placed second in the long jump with a jump of 15-08, which is a regional qualifier.   Katrine played a big role on the relays, anchoring the winning 4 x 400 team and the 3rd place 4 x 200 team.  Julia Berg also had a great debut meet, qualifying for the state meet in the mile on her first attempt at that distance, running 5:37.22.   She also lead off the winning 4 x 800 team.  

  Kate de Jong ran a state qualifying time of 9.30 in the 55 hurdles, placing fourth.  She also placed third in the high jump with a state qualifying jump of 5-0. Megan Futty and Reagan Burton pole vaulted 8-6 which is a state qualifying height.  

  Sterling Hull notched a win in the 1000, running a good season opener time of 3:22.68.  Ella Taylor finished 3rd in that event and Virginia Peng finished 5th.  All three of them were a part of the winning 4 x 800 team with Julia Berg.  Sterling also ran on the victorious 4 x 400.

  Elizabeth Davis placed third in the 300 and Maeci Frank placed 6th.  Both girls were on the victorious 4 x 400 and the third place 4 x 200.  
  Also getting some big meet experience, Caroline Jones placed 8th in the 1600 and Caitlin Boyd ran the smartest race of her life, pacing perfectly to win the second section of the 1600.  Alison Selverstone ran the 55 hurdles and high jumped 4-4.    For complete results click here.

Merry Christmas from the Jingle Jog!

  Congratulations to Maeci Frank who got a state QT for the 500 at The Holiday Track Classic held at Liberty on December 21st.  Maeci divides her time between swimming and running and manages to both at a high level.  

Small Crew Competes at Woodberry Forest

  A small group competed December 14th at Woodberry Forest.  Megan Futty wasted no time getting off a state qualifying pole vault of 9-6.  She won the event with Reagan Burton taking second with a vault of 7-6.  Allison Selverstone placed 3rd in both the high jump and the 300.  Ariana Ballas and Katia Amos placed 4th and 6th in the shot put.  The Warriors will compete again January 5th at Fork Union.


  While snow days can be great fun, be sure to find a way to get in some type of workout.  Even if it is 30 minutes on an indoor bike, that is better than nothing.  It is also a good time to stay up with abs and all the strength exercises.  Do sets of push-ups because it will help keep your arms strong so that you can continue to progress on our pull-up goals.  Speaking of goals, be thinking about what you want to accomplish this season.  We will sit down and write out our goals very soon.  Keep up with your exam studying, but make sure you take a break to play in the snow.  You'll come back refreshed and ready to focus on your studies.

Indoor Track Season Starts with a BANG!
  In their very first indoor meet of the season, four girls qualified for the state meet in the 1600 and two of them came back to get state qualifying times in the 3200.  Jenna Stutzman, Sterling Hull, Caroline McGahren and Kate Ratcliffe all qualified for the state meet by running sub 5:37.91 in the 1600.  Kate snuck in with only a hundredth of a second to spare.  Jenna and Sterling came back to qualify in the 3200, with Kate, just missing the mark.  All three had never run a 3200 on a track before.  In the 1600, Michal Kipnis and Virginia Peng set big PR's and then came back to set PR's in the 3200.  Emily Winder, Caroline Jones, and Charlotte ThomasClarke aslo ran solid early season times.  
Day Two and the younger girls went to work at Liberty.  Most of them had never seen an indoor track, much less compete on one.  They got some great experience on one of the nicest tracks in the nation.  Most of the girls ran the 1500/800 double, while Bell Sonen ran the 1500/3000 double, winning the 3000 for her age division.  Jordan Stone placed second in both the 1600 and the 800.  Jackie Neilon was third in the 1500 and came back to place 5th in the 800.  Cat Beck placed 6th in the 1500 and came back to place 5th in the 800.  Annie McGahren placed 7th in the 1500 and placed 4th in the 800.  Caitlin Boyd was 8th in the 1500 and
continues to look stronger each week.  The best part about this meet was seeing people of all ages compete.  I'm not sure who was more adorable, the little kids racing in full uniforms and spikes or the little old men who were still sporting their vintage running shoes from the 70s.  There was even a Forest Gump siting.  Apparently he is not only alive and well, but still running and friends with Roscoe Shaw.  



Cherie Witt,
Sep 30, 2017, 11:32 AM
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