For Loudoun County High School’s Patrick Joseph, standing on the podium at the Virginia AA state cross-country meet in The Plains on Nov. 10 wasn’t just about receiving a second-place medal, it was about marking the end of a successful high school career.
In his final two years of high school, the Raider senior has raced his was to two Dulles District titles, two podium finishes at regionals, including the Region II championship this year, a third-place state finish and now, a second-place state finish.
“I just wanted to get as strong as I could, beat whoever I could beat,” Joseph said of his career. “I’m excited to move on.”
Joseph, a Virginia Tech commit, was admittedly dissatisfied with his runner-up finish. After Thomas Madden, last year’s Group AA state champion fell behind, Joseph seemed poised to win the title. But after pulling ahead right before the three-mile mark, Joseph was overtaken by Blacksburg senior Nick Link.
“I came down the hill and I was in third. I was turning the corner and I was ready and I saw the first timer [at the three-mile marker] and I thought that was the finish. I thought ‘I got it’ and sprinted to it,” Joseph said. “Then my body just shut down. It killed me. I wanted to go faster, but I couldn’t move my body.”
Despite disappointment from his final race, Loudoun County coach Courtney Campbell said Joseph’s career has been anything but.
“It’s been unbelievable,” Campbell said. “Suddenly his junior year we realized he could be really good and it’s been incredible now that he’s set high goals for himself.”
Also finishing in the top 15 were Tuscarora junior John Dooney and Dominion junior Trent Lancaster.
For Dooney, the 2012 event was his second foray into states. After finishing 52nd in 2011, Dooney improved his time by 39 seconds to place 10th.
Lancaster, who placed 11th, was pleased to have finished so well in his inaugural cross-country season.
“This being my first year running cross-country, it’s a big accomplishment for me,” Lancaster said.
In the girls race, Tuscarora sophomore Anna Wasko narrowly missed medaling, finishing 16th with a time of 19:36. Wasko passed several runners in the last 100 meters to advance her position. Teammate Kelly Reilly, a freshman, took 19th place while Emma Gillies of Woodgrove finished a millisecond after to take 20th.
The Tuscarora girls team, who won both the Dulles District and Region II team titles, finished in fifth place out of 16 teams.
“For them to have made it this far is absolutely unbelievable.” Tuscarora coach Rebecca Puterio said. “But now everyone’s hungry. We’re already ready for next year.”
Top 20 for Guertin
Stone Bridge junior Brady Guertin completed his stellar season with a 19th place showing at the Virginia AAA state meet. Guertin crossed the finish line in 16:02.
Siobhan O’Toole of Freedom was the lone local female entry in the AAA meet. O’Toole placed 89th with a time of 20:28.
Two local athletes also had noteworthy finishes in the Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association Championships Nov. 9 in Woodberry Forest.
In the Division II race, the girls from Wakefield School finished third as a team. The Fighting Owls were led by sophomore Alexis Russell, who took third place with a time of 20:48. Russell is a native of Leesburg.
Foxcroft School’s Amy Edgemond also competed in the Division II event. Edgemond finished 18th to make the All-State team in her first year of running competitively.
-Below is a listing of where each Loudoun athlete placed in the Virginia AA or AAA state meet.
2nd: Patrick Joseph, Loudoun County (15:40)
10th: John Dooney, Tuscarora (16:10)
11th: Trent Lancaster, Dominion (16:14)
39th: Sam Brazer, Tuscarora (16:47)
41st: Austin Gilbert, Loudoun County (16:49)
43rd: Logan Feierbach, Tuscarora (16:51)
60th: John Deker,Potomac Falls (17:03)
61st: Ryan Hughes, Briar Woods (17:05)
62st: Matt Celsa, Potomac Falls (17:06)
67th: Kevin Ryan, Potomac Falls (17: 09)
73rd: Jordan Ferbrache, Tuscarora (17:17)
75th: Ethan Pacifico, Potomac Falls (17:19)
79th: Nick Clem, Potomac Falls (17:21)
88th: Sai Kura, Potomac Falls (17:26)
96th: Chris Schopper, Briar Woods (17:34)
16th: Anna Wasko, Tuscarora (19:36)
19th: Kelly Reilly, Tuscarora (19:39)
20th: Emma Gillies, Woodgrove (19:39)
27th: Jackie Deffer, Briar Woods (19:51)
33rd: Ana Valdez, Loudoun Valley (20:01)
38th: Carolyn Conley, Loudoun Valley (20:06)
46th: Raiya Al-Nsour, Tuscarora (20:21)
57th: Molly Polizotto, Loudoun Valley (20:29)
64th: Lori Kostka, Tuscarora (20:34)
74th: Colleen Heberle, Tuscarora (20:50)
93rd: Natalie Rosas, Tuscarora (21:16)
99th: Courtney Walker, Tuscarora (21:30)
19th: Brady Guertin, Stone Bridge (16:02)
89th: Siobhan O’Toole, Freedom (20:28)
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