In Chester, Skyhawks soar, but apparently they can also run. Both the the boys and girls cross-country teams brought home Conference 12 Championships this past week.
“The team has been really dedicated to showing improvement,” said coach Adam Canning. “We had several runners shave their times significantly.”
The biggest surprise for the Skyhawks has been junior Tyler McNulty, who took home the conference championship in just his third competitive race.
“Sometimes you get lucky and get a natural runner,” Canning said.
Kenny Sullivan, a junior, has really shown significant improvement this season. Sullivan was running in the low 19:00s last year, but has broken into the 17s this year. That mantra has been contagious among L.C. Bird’s team, as many members have reduced times dramatically.
On the girls side, Kristy White has had a senior year to remember, as she took home the individual championship with a time of 21:40.
Two freshman have provided a spark on the girls side as well – Emma Miller and Melissa Alvarez. Both have taken a couple minutes off their times they posted in the beginning of the season.
Canning acknowledged that the path to a title was a bit easier without powerhouses Manchester and Clover Hill in the conference this year, but there’s no denying the team’s improvements.
Both the boys and girls qualified for 5A South regions this year, but both will have a tough path to State Championships. Deep Run, Douglas Freeman, Glen Allen, Lee-Davis and Mills Godwin are local powers, while the 757’s Hickory and Menchville also run at a high level.
Matoaca took second place in boys and third place in girls, respectively. Tucker McKay was the top finisher for the Warriors on the boys side with a time of 17:44. Tiara Blevins was the fastest girl, finishing the course in 22:43.
Thomas Dale cross county teams both finished fifth in Conference 3. Lucas Daughetry (18:10.82) was the top finisher for boys while Morgan Waddill (21:35.93) held the top post for girls. Waddill advances to 6A South regionals.