The WAHS track team raced to the finish this weekend at the Region 4D Championship held at Roanoke College, determined to pull off a win. They succeeded, with both the girls and boys teams winning first place. The girls finished the meet with 119.5 points. The scoring for this was particularly exciting because the girls’ competitors, Jefferson Forest (118.5) and Blacksburg (117.5), were neck in neck with the Warriors the entire time. It came down to the last even of the night, the 4×400 relay (Jordan Stone, Hailey Hodson, Cat Domecq, and Meghan Hundley), to deliver the win for WAHS. The boys won by over twenty-four points (119.33), dominating the sprints, distance, and field events. Region 4D has a lot of fierce competition, making it one of the most competitive regions in the state.
Henry Sullivan, Rutger Pittman, and Bridger Clarke all placed in the top five in the 55-meter hurdles. Sullivan won with a 7.82. Jack Intihar, a junior, placed first in the 300-meter dash. His time of 36.27 is his indoor PR. Matthew Burch placed second in the 500 with a time of 1:09.16. Burch’s teammate, Rutger Pittman, came in fourth, just a third of a second behind Burch. The 1000m had a loaded field as well, but yet Jonathan Kumer was able to win by over two seconds. In event after event, the team continued to put everything they had out there for the team and PRs. In the 1600, Owen Shifflet (4:25.99) came in third. Nolan Burkhart also ran the 1600 and got a PR. In the end, however, it was the 3200 that scored the most points for the boys. Owen Shifflet (9:35)and Jade Mawn (9:43) took spots one and two. Nate Sullivan (10:11) was fourth, Henry Kimbrough (10:25) was seventh, and Jake Greenstein (10:45) was tenth.
In the pole vault, Nate Chatterson placed second with a 10-06.00. Raina Fitzwater (11-00.00), a freshman, placed second for the girls. In the girls triple jump, Klarisa Amos and Caroline Hill placed 4th and 8th. Amos also competed in the long jump, landing 5th place. Hill was first in the high jump.
For the girls, Meghan Hundley placed fourth in the 300 with a time of 44.74. Cat Domecq and Jordan Henderson followed in sixth and seventh place. Jordan Stone placed first in the 500 with a time of 1:23.04. Stone had an incredible day, running the 4×800, the 500, and the 4×400. The ability to triple in highly competitive middle-distance events is a great skill that she has shown this season. AJ Torrence (1:26.67) and Sienna Collier (1:26.69) placed 5th and 6th in the 500. In the 1000m, Sadie Adams (2nd), Hailey Hodson (3rd), and Jenna Stutzman (5th) all earned points for the Warriors. Adams (3:05.9) and Hodson (3:06.41) each raced PR times. Stutzman, after taking a few weeks off due to an injury, came back with an amazing time of 3:10. Sadie Adams (5:06) and Lily Smith (5:44) both ran PRs in the 1600, placing 2nd and 11th. Grace Cook got a state QT, placed second, and also ran her PR in the 3200, putting ten seconds between her and the runner in 3rd. Her time of 11:37 ranks her as the tenth sophomore in the state for the 3200.
The girls 4×400 relay was incredible to watch, and it was this final event that gave the girls team the points to win the meet. Jordan Stone led off, getting a huge lead from the 100-meter mark. She then passed off to Hailey Hodson. Hodson, after running two events earlier in the day, still managed to run the fastest split of the team. Cat Domecq followed her, maintaining a massive lead on Blacksburg. Meghan Hundley was the anchor leg and raced to a finish of 4:14. In addition, the boys team ran a phenomenal 4×400. They came in second behind Jefferson Forest with a time of 3:34.12.
The boys finished second in the 4×800 as well. The time of 8:35.71 was less than a second off of the winning Jefferson Forest time. The girls 4×800 got a state QT time of 10:12, placing first. The girls 4×200 placed fourth in 1:54.23.
Great job, Warriors!
Photo credit: Cherie Witt
Western Albemarle competed in two meets over the weekend of January 14th-15th, ready to smash personal records. The Virginia Showcase and The Walter Bass Invitational were both competitive meets where Western was able to fight to the finish for fantastic times and PRs.
This competitive meet was one of the biggest in the nation, hosting over 2000 runners. At this meet, high school times of Olympians were smashed, records were broken, and many WAHS distance girls got the chance to compete against the best in the country. For most of these Western distance runners, it was the first race back since Nike Regionals in November, so they were settling back into racing. Jenna Stutzman ran her first races since October when she was sidelined due to an injury. She ran a 5:23 in the Invitational Mile, a fantastic first race back, and then followed it with an even better 1000 (3:05).
Hailey Hodson ran an all-time PR in the 1600, running a blazing 5:36. She ran confident and strong, and her 1000 the next day was even more successful. She came in 2nd in her very competitive heat with a 7 second PR (3:14). Grace Cook and Lily Smith also ran all-time 1600 PRs (5:32 and 5:48, respectively), both great times, especially for underclassmen. Lily and Grace competed the next day as well, running excellent races. Lily won her heat in her first 1000 ever, running an incredibly smart race in 3:24, and Grace ran a 3200 indoor PR of 11:52.
Eleanor Abell, a senior, ran the 3200 in a competitive heat, finishing at 12:40. She paced well and ran her best indoor time yet! Sadie Adams, a freshman, ran in both the 1600 and the 2-mile Invitationals. In the 2 Mile, she raced against some of the top distance runners in the country and hung on to run her best indoor time.
AJ Torrence traveled to VA Beach to race her first-ever 1000 (3:35). AJ’s hard work at practice is really paying off. AJ got PR after PR this past cross country season, and she’s paving the way for an even better track season! Sienna Collier, a junior, had strong performances in the 1000 and 500, earning PRs in both. Jordan Stone, who’s also a 500/1000 runner, had outstanding first races back. She struggled with anemia in cross country season but came back at The Showcase with strong performances. She continues to improve at every race and left this meet with qualifying regionals time in both of her events.
Photo credit: Cherie Witt
Walter Bass Invitational
The VA Showcase wasn’t the only competitive meet this weekend. Teams from all over the state traveled to Liberty University for one of the most competitive meets of the season.
In addition to coming in first in the pole vault, Henry Sullivan came in 2nd place in the 55-meter hurdles this weekend. He ran an incredible 7.64, just .02 seconds off the top hurdler in his event from South Lakes. This places Sullivan 10th in the state, tied with a runner from Highland Springs. Just a second behind Sullivan, Bridger Clarke (8.71) got his indoor PR in this event as well. For the girls 55-meter, Caroline Pearson ran a 11.37, her all-time best.
The boys’ 4×400 out-paced their steep competition and pushed to first. They came in with an impressive 3:31, roughly 52 seconds per 400. The 500 runners had a great showing as well, with Matthew Burch running a 1:08.94. This placed him 2nd overall. His teammates, Ben Nitzsche (1:09.54) and Rutger Pittman (1:10.22) were just behind him. Ollie Sauerwein also ran a phenomenal race, coming in at a blazing 1:36. Caroline Wildermuth followed 5 seconds behind her.
Freshman Raina Fitzwater had a strong performance in Pole Vault, placing 2nd overall. Raina, Elizabeth Strobach, and Cierra Halloran all vaulted to State qualifying times. Freshman Charlie Strobach placed 5th for boys in Pole Vault.
In addition to the sprint and field events having a great showing, the distance events were just as successful. Nate Sullivan ran his indoor PR in the 3200, placing 10th overall. He ran a 10:09, leading the way for his teammates. Jake Greenstein ran an amazing 3200 as well, getting a 3 second all-time PR. That’s a fantastic accomplishment on an indoor track, with double the turns as an outdoor track. He also got a 26 second indoor PR. Owen Shifflett, one of the top cross country runners in the state (and first at Nike Cross Regionals), came in 4th at 4:29 for the 1600. In the girls’ 1600, Helen Moak ran an outstanding 1600 time of 6:03, with this being her first time competing in a mile track event. Amelia Sims ran a 6:33, followed by Mabelli Sumner (6:46), an amazing seven-second PR.
Jonathan Kumer, a senior middle-distance runner, ran a 2:35 in the 1000, placing him 2nd place out of 119 runners. Owen followed behind with a 2:43 finish. Chris Carter, a freshman, finished out the trio with a fantastic 2:58.
Great job WAHS Warriors!
Thank you for supporting your child’s decision to participate in cross country or track athlete at Western Albemarle and/or for cheering on our teams! These athletes have chosen a very challenging endeavor that requires dedication and a supreme work ethic. From this pursuit they become focused and well-rounded individuals and learn sportsmanship, perseverance and teamwork. We hope you will agree that running, jumping, vaulting and/or throwing with the WAHS program builds character and teaches student athletes about setting personal goals and achieving them.
What is FRIENDS? Friends of Western Albemarle Cross Country, Track and Field (“Friends”) was formed as a tax exempt nonprofit by a group of parents in 2010 to support our student athletes and the gifted coaches, many of whom volunteer their time.
WE NEED YOUR HELP.… Running a high-caliber program for these many athletes requires a team of gifted coaches providing the needed guidance and encouragement. As parents, alumni and parents of alumni, we know you are grateful for these experiences. Our teams have found success in part because of the strong mentors and coaches that show up again and again to work with these young people. What you may not know is that several of them are strictly volunteer. Our number one mission in fundraising is to provide stipends for our uncompensated assistant coaches. Friends also helps to ease the burden of expenses for some travel.
Friends is also available to (quietly) ease financial burdens for athletes who might otherwise not be able to compete in invitational or national meets. (Speak with a coach and they can make confidential arrangements – even for new running shoes.) In the past few years, Friends made possible the Old Trail course and arranged for its maintenance, purchased a new pole vault pit, outdoor storage unit and successfully advocated for the replacement of the outdoor track at WAHS. But our primary focus is to support coaching.
We estimate this year’s expenses to be approximately $6,000, most of which goes to our assistant coaching staff over three seasons. School budgets, including athletic budgets, are continually on the chopping block. This letter is our only annual fundraiser. Friends is a 501c3 nonprofit organization, so your donation is tax deductible.
Please consider making a personally significant donation today to support our cross country, track and field programs. Donate here. Please subscribe to our blog on our website for emailed updates on our teams, and also follow us on Facebook, where results and photos from meets are posted.
Thank you for your support.
Kathleen Capshaw, President
Alyce Outlaw, Treasurer
Teresa Grupp, Secretary
Tracey Hill, Member at Large
Carol Stutzman, Member at Large
Brian Willcutts, Member at Large
Charles Cole, Member at Large
Thank you to all the coaches, athletes and parents for a great year. This year, thanks to your generous donations, Friends was able to support the WAHS running program by providing coaching stipends to unpaid coaches and assisting with financial support for travel to Nationals and other events. This year’s budget also included a very large grant with the purchase of the storage unit that resides under the visitor’s bleachers to help protect our equipment.
There is more work to do! Next year we need increased support to further supplement coaching stipends! We want to continue to attract and reward our high caliber coaches who are critical to the day to day success and growth of our student athletes. And with continued success will come more travel opportunities and more need for grants for travel. So please support the program with a donation to Friends.
Speaking of success….congratulations to our 3A State Track Champions! Madison Masloff (pole vault), Zoe Clay (3200) and Gannon Willcutts (1600). Read The Daily Progress article.
Coach Girvin provided Friends with a recap of the boys season (prior to the rescheduled events): The boys track and field team capped off another successful season at the 3A state meet this Saturday. The meet was canceled early due to weather, so no official team standings were confirmed, but the boys stood firmly in 7th place and looked poised to improve with potential points remaining in the 800m and 4x400m. All state placers include the 4x800m team of Davis Greene, Trevor Stutzman, Jack Ehlenberger, and Gannon Willcutts, Jackson Smith (4th – pole vault), Trevor Stutzman (4th – 1600m, 5th – 3200m), and Gannon Willcutts (1st – 1600m).
There is no better way to follow the girls team than to check out their site. There’s great coverage of this season and past seasons as well! Check out their site!
Western Girls Finish Runner Up in 3 A West Region
Back row: Alyssa Santoro Adajian, Zoe Clay, Anna Harris, Deborah Ayres-Brown, Faith Reid, Caroline Outlaw
Front: Caroline McGahren
After a rain delay cancellation at the state meet, 4×400 team Corey Sims, Will Koester, Jay Adams and Matt Capshaw returned to Harrisonburg on June 8.
Friends of Western Albemarle Cross Country, Track & Field is happy to report that Gannon Willcutts received the Virginia Farm Bureau Insurance Scholar Athlete of the year award. He was honored at halftime of Saturday’s conference basketball game and Western was presented with a check for $3000.
From the Daily Progress: Willcutts was selected from a competitive pool of 18 student athletes from across the state of Virginia, all of which were recognized and honored throughout the fall as Virginia Farm Bureau Insurance Scholar Athletes of the Week.
Join us in congratulating him on this well-deserved honor. Thank you for setting an example and for embodying the true student athlete… representing Western and our running programs so well. Gannon will be attending Princeton University in the Fall.
I came across this document online written by a cross country coach from Ohio and found it very insightful and well-written … I thought it could be beneficial to other parents and especially for those with athletes new to running or for parents who are unfamiliar with running. Also not a bad idea to re-visit for anyone supporting the teams. Go Warriors!
-Kathleen Capshaw, Friends of WAHS Cross Country, Track and Field
Thanks to the generous fundraiser efforts of all the Friends donors and a lot of logistics, teamwork and effort— we finally have our new storage container to help protect the pole vaulting and other equipment. Thanks to the team at Mobile Mini for making several trips. Thanks to Jack Masloff, Leigh Capshaw, Steve Heon and others for measuring and thinking this through and troubleshooting. Special thanks to Jack for all the coordination and tree trimming and sight preparation.
Storage for the track team was identified as a need for the program beginning years ago. The size requirements and delivery constraints made it difficult but after some trial and error over several months, we have success. This container will alleviate the long-standing storage problem and protect the equipment.
In order to fund this capital project, Friends of WAHS Cross Country, Track & Field had to dip into reserves. We will be sending out our fundraising letter later this Fall and ask that you consider supporting Friends this year in order to build up those reserves again as we look to put focus as we continually do on supporting the unpaid coaches and helping with travel and other needs. We hope there are many opportunities for our athletes to shine.
The Dogwood Track Classic is bigger and better this year. On Friday evening May 1st, the SMR, DMR, and 2000mST will be run. Then on May 2nd, the main meet begins at 11:00 with teams coming from across the state. There will be a state of the art timing system with LIVE results shown on electronic boards.
This meet is put on by AHS, CHS, MHS and WAHS to raise funds for our track teams. We cannot do it without the support of parent and student volunteers. Please visit SignUp Genius for volunteer slots. Please consider giving a couple of hours to help make this event a success.