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Tuscarora runs to third title in four years at Class 5 cross-country meet

Paced by Emma Wolcott, Ava Hassebrock, Sarah Gould, Katie West and Emma Hunt, the Tuscarora Huskies raced to a VHSL Class 5 state girls’ cross-country championship.—Times-Mirror/Jason S. Rufner
For most programs, a runner-up finish at the state cross-country meet would be something to celebrate. For the Tuscarora Huskies girls’ team, their second-place status from 2016 - after winning states in both 2014 and 2015 - was something to motivate.

The Huskies earned a return to the top, winning the team championship Nov. 10 at the Virginia High School League’s Class 5 state cross-country meet on the five-kilometer course at Great Meadow in The Plains.

Tuscarora head coach Troy Harry hugged every member of the team as they left the cool-down pen. They then traipsed up the hill toward their tent, flanked with 15-foot signs declaring ‘Husky Territory’.

“Tremendous effort, focus, motivation on the girls’ part,” said Harry, noting that four of his most prominent girls have battled injury or illness this season.

“This has been something they’ve been thinking about since last year when they got state runner-up," Harry continued. "They rallied around each other and didn’t waver. They did the little things and it’s paid off in the end. This was hard-fought.”

The Huskies’ sole senior on the girls’ side, Emma Wolcott, placed second overall with a time of 18:24, eight seconds behind Albemarle’s Ryann Helmers.

Tuscarora’s Ava Hassebrock slotted in fifth overall for four points, while Sarah Gould was 10th overall for seven points, Katie West placed 17th for 11 points and Emma Hunt ran 28th to add just 19 points to the Huskies’ championship-winning total of just 43.

The Tuscarora girls literally jumped for joy at being announced as team champions.

“We’ve worked hard all through the season to get back to this point, so it feels really good,” Hassebrock said.

Wolcott, winner of the individual state title as a sophomore in 2015, saw symmetry in her four years running for the Huskies.

“The first time we won was my freshman year, so to win in my senior year kind of completes the cycle,” she said. “There’s no better result than this.”

Outside of the winner, the top-five was an all-Loudoun affair as Freedom freshman Abigail Church ran third with a 19:00, then Broad Run sophomore Ellie Desmond came in fourth eight seconds later.

Stone Bridge freshman Kelly Byars took 13th with her 20:06. Eleven seconds later, Rock Ridge sophomore Alexandra Gordon cruised over the finish line 20th overall.

Tuscarora boys take fifth

With a fifth-place finish, Tuscarora was the top boys’ team among Loudoun schools in the Class 5A state meet. The Huskies were paced by Ben Nibbelink who crossed sixth overall, with fellow senior Derek Johnson taking 14th.

The Briar Woods duo of Brandon Dimitri and Will Pompilio raced to 12th and 13th, respectively.

Rock Ridge senior Clark Edwards helped the Phoenix place ninth as a team with his 16th place, while Freedom finished eighth on senior Jackson Allen’s 24th-best time of 17:00.

From left, Broad Run's Ellie Desmond, Albemarle’s Ryann Helmers and Tuscarora's Emma Wolcott run up a hill on the Great Meadow course. Helmers won the race in 18 minutes, 16 seconds. Wolcott (18:24) placed second and Desmond (19:08) cross the finish line fourth.--Times-Mirror/Mike Walgren


Boys Team
1. Albemarle 95
2. Deep Run 101
3. Glen Allen 111
4. Lee-Davis 117
5. Tuscarora 153
6. Princess Anne 163
7. Stafford 168
8. Freedom 180
9. Rock Ridge 195

Girls Team
1. Tuscarora 43
2. Albemarle 74
3. Atlee 149
4. Lee-Davis 150
5. Freedom 158
6. Potomac Falls 160

Boys Individual*
6. Benjamin Nibbelink (T) 16:22
12. Brandon Dimitri (BW) 16:39
13. Will Pompilio (BW) 16:42
14. Derek Johnson (T) 16:43
16. Clark Edwards (RR) 16:51
21. Evan Grace (RR) 16:55
24. Jackson Allen (F) 17:00
25. Avery Bryant (T) 17:00
27. Charles Groscup (PF) 17:03
35. Sam Koltisko (F) 17:17
46. Jayson Call (F) 17:29
58. Donovan Foley (F) 17:41-
61. Nate Jones (RR) 17:44
67. Clark Smith (F) 17:50
68. Sammy Fellah (T) 17:51
70. Jackson Campolattaro (RR) 17:54
73. Daniel Umana (RR) 18:03
74. Daniel Gittelman (F) 18:03
77. Michael Farley (RR) 18:10
78. Kevin Kostka (T) 18:11
79. Evin Tunador (T) 18:12
83. Jasveer Athwal (T) 18:18
86. Kenny Bolton III (F) 18:30
97. Daniel Alex (RR) 18:46

Girls Individual*
2. Emma Wolcott (T) 18:24
3. Abigail Church (F) 19:00
4. Ellie Desmond (BR) 19:08
5. Ava Hassebrock (T) 19:11
10. Sarah Gould (T) 19:44
13. Kelly Byars (SB) 20:06
17. Katie West (T) 20:09
20. Alexandra Gordon (RR) 20:17
28. Emma Hunt (T) 20:23
36. Zoe Durham (PF) 20:42
39. Kathryn Rogers (F) 20:45
40. Shea Brady (PF) 20:46
44. Hayley Eck (PF) 20:50
47. Erin Olia (PF) 20:53
49. Ann Marie Cargill (BW) 20:55
52. Madison Garber (F) 21:00
55. Amber Douglas (T) 21:15
57. Kelly Mogensen (PF) 21:15
58. Cameron Delean (F) 21:16
64. Emily Maier (F) 21:28
65. Katherine O’Russell (T) 21:28
73. Amelia Gay (PF) 21:43
76. Lauren Osborne (F) 21:52
79. Kaitlyn Olia (PF) 22:05
94. Grace Maloney (F) 22:40

*Only Loudoun runners listed


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