The William Monroe Cross Country Team has been training in full force during challenging weather conditions ranging from thunderstorms to heat interruptions at practices. The first meet of the season with Madison and Fluvanna was postponed due to extreme heat. An early-morning start at Central Woodstock on the 3-mile course on Saturday, Aug. 28, allowed the XC runners the opportunity to toe the line for the first race of the season with excitement in the air. At the sound of the gun, the ladies went off, led by Sydney Orange, who was the first Monroe racer to cross the line with a personal best of 22:07, followed by Elli Pursel, Livia Kilby, Eliah Dojack, Olivia Hoffacker, Seanna Sutton and Paige Hoffman to round out the top 7. The ladies placed 10th respectively.
The boys’ team eagerly approached the line as the temperatures rose and off they went to a competitive race led by an eye-opening performance from sophomore Schuyler Nitzsche, running an impressive 17:35 over the corn field-covered course. Following Nitzsche were Conrad Bruton, Evan Young, Nathan Lindegren, Alex Reebals, Colin Beverage and Brody Wilson to round out the top 7. The boys placed an impressive fourth, just one spot out of the hardware.
Last Wednesday, the postponed meet with Madison and Fluvanna offered beautiful racing conditions, cooler temperatures and low humidity on the Hoover Ridge course, leading to solid races.
The boys were led by Bruton running 18:15 on the hilly 3.1 mile course, followed by Young, Lindegren, Nitzsche, Beverage, Will Baker and Reebals. The boys had an impressive first, second, third and fourth finish, winning convincingly over Madison 22-62 and Fluvanna 22-43 (low score wins).
The girls started 5 minutes after the boys, creating an action-packed course filled with racers in all directions. The girls were led by Orange with a solid 22:52 on the challenging course, followed by Pursel, Kilby, Dojack, Lilly Davis, Hoffman and Sierra Miller. The ladies defeated Madison 37-51 and Fluvanna 37-40 in a nail-biter.
This week the runners travel to the Ragged Mountain Cup at Panorama Farms and the Oatlands Invitational, both after press time, before hosting their first home meet Wednesday, Sept. 15, at 5 p.m. at the Greene County Park.