Runners Set Personal Marks at Major Meet

Steve,ChadThe boys cross country team went on the road earlier this month, competing in the 22-team, Stonewall Jackson Invitational at New Market, the site of the historic 1864 Civil War battle.

Chad Hengesbach, who has emerged as the team’s top runner, led the way once again in a meet that marked the first time this season that all four seniors ran together as a unit. The team finished 14th in the tough meet.

Just two days earlier, Collegiate ran at the Walsingham Invitational, making for a busy few days.

“We just ran a pair of the toughest courses against some of the toughest lineups,” Coach Rob Tupper said.

The more difficult of the two was at New Market.

“Despite the hills and elevation, several of our runners ran new PRs (personal records) on this course,” Tupper said.

The seniors – Steve Turack, Connor Hopkins, David Baldwin and Jakob Gray ­– joined with Chad and Rex Zhang to finish 14th in the team race.

Chad, for his part, finished 34th overall, running 19:30 in a competition that drew nearly 500 runners from across the state of Virginia. Chad set a new course PR, cutting more than three minutes off last year’s time.

Steve (20:05) followed in 59th place, dropping 35 seconds from last year, while Connor (21:01) took 77th on the notoriously difficult course amidst an equally equally imposing field.

David (21:19)– who was almost a minute better than last year – finished 84th overall. Rex (22:22) and Jakob (24:14) rounded out the effort, taking 114th and 125th respectively.

“Rex ran a PR at Walsingham, then almost ran the same time on a lot harder course,” Tupper said.

“With these kind of numbers, we are well on our way to having an outstanding season.”

Chandler Branton finished 52nd in the Developmental Race, a competition roughly akin to junior varsity but open to juniors and seniors.

Chandler, the top eighth grader in the field, ran a season-best 21:55, the second time in three days he had set course PRs.

Harrison Fuller ran another strong meet, finishing 106th in a time of 24:27.

Coach Tupper likes the way things are going so far.

“We’re prepping for our home meet this Friday and pointing towards the ultimate race at the end of the season, the state meet at Woodberry Forest, on one of the hardest courses in Virginia.”

About jimsravesnrants

Jim Morrison has flown barrel rolls with the Navy's Blue Angels (he didn't barf), climbed and slept overnight in a 243-foot-tall redwood (he didn't fall), and gone one-on-one with Muhammad Ali (he didn't flinch). His award-winning stories have appeared in Smithsonian, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Private Clubs, This Old House, National Wildlife, Smart Money’s offspring, George, Context, Family PC, Good Housekeeping, Playboy, Biography, The Washington Post, Reader’s Digest, Utne Reader, Southwest Spirit, the magazine of Southwest Airlines, and American Way, the magazine of American Airlines, among others. His web site is

Posted on October 21, 2013, in cross country. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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