Boys and Girls Cross Country Crush it at States



Joe Hawkes finished first at the 2018 3A state meet, and second this year.

Brian O'Dea, Latitudes Editor

The Western Albemarle boys Cross Country has created a dynasty. Over the past few years they have been an unstoppable force within the world of running. After sweeping the podium and winning the 3A state title on November 16, the Warriors have now won the last three titles and four of the past five. 

The team was led by a trio of seniors who earned the top three spots in the state. Jack Eliason finished at 15 minutes, 15 seconds, Joe Hawkes clocked in twelve seconds behind him, and Stuart Terrill came across the finish line twelve seconds behind him. 

After them another trio of Warriors all placed consecutively in the top ten. Joseph Taylor, Thomas Kallen, and Owen Shifflett placed fifth, sixth, and seventh respectively. This gave the team an astounding grand total of six runners on the all state team. Senior Will Bonner also represented for Western at the meet. The team was missing star junior Jack Vigilante due to an ankle injury. 

With Jack Eliason finishing first, he becomes the third Warrior to ever do so, joining Gannon Wilcutts and Joe Hawkes, who accomplished the feat just last year. He helped the team record a perfect score of 15 points, which crushed the second place team, Christiansburg, by 65 points. 

The girls team didn’t fare much worse than their counterparts. Jenna Stutzman led the Warriors with a second place finish. She was followed by senior Sterling Hull who finished fourth. After her was junior Kate Ratcliffe who placed ninth, and gave the team three all state performers. Overall, they came in with an impressive runner-up finish in the 3A state championship.