The 2010 Cross Country season opened for the Captains with a dual meet against Virginia Wesleyan College. Both races were on short courses -- 4k for the women and 6k for the men.
Cross Country Sweeps VA Wesleyan In Season Opener
Murphy, Lyford Lead Captain's
Women Top VWC 20-39
The 2010 Cross Country season started with a short-course dual meet with cross-water rivals Virginia Wesleyan College. The women got the first gun and took control of the race from the start. Laurie Murphy (Louisa, VA), Jade Zaharoff (Vienna, VA), Dira Hansen(Culpeper, VA), and Michelle Stauffer (Fort Valley, VA) went to the front early with two VA Wesleyan runners tagging along.
After the first mile marker, Murphyand Zaharoff started to pull away with Hansen and Stauffer hanging together for a while longer. Sophomore Karen Bumiller(Burke, VA) worked with rookieJessica McClelland (Stafford, VA) to start closing the gap to the leaders, catching Stauffer in the final mile.
Murphy's strength proved too much for the field as she opened up a lead of about 20 seconds and completed the 4k course in 15:45.Zaharoff held off VWC's lead runner to place second in 16:03 with Hansen two places and 8 seconds behind to hold off VA Wesleyan's #2. Bumiller and McClelland sealed the win for the Captains with their 6-7 finish.
Lyford Spurs Upset
Virginia Wesleyan's men entered the season ranked #4 in the South/Southeast region, led by 2009 National Qualifier Sean Whitson. Spurred in part by freshman Patrick Cunningham(Williamsburg,VA), the Captains had a large group dogging the Marlin front-runners.
The 6k course took a loop around a distant field on the VWC campus, and as the runners returned from that loop, sophomore Christopher Lyford (Leesburg, VA) was enjoying the fruits of a strong surge -- pacing honors for the field. Whitson was close on his heels andRaymond Gamache (King George, VA) and Joshua BowlingCrewe, VA) had them and VWC's #2 (15th at Regionals in 2009) in their sights. Cunningham was working hard to keep in contact with his teammates as the next wave of Captains was starting to move forward.
Over the final stretch, Whitson's experience and strength won out, but Lyford's runner-up 19:22 was a minute and a half faster than his 2009 finish on this course. Gamache held on for fourth, just beating Bowling to the line (both about a minute faster than last year) withCunningham finishing next to clinch the victory. William Kirk (Mechanicsville, VA) andMichael Hoy (Mechanicsville, VA) crossed the line a few steps later in 8th and 9th place.Matthew Winkler (Palmyra, VA) finished as CNU's #7 and finalized the score -- CNU 25, VWC 33.
The Captains head to Pennsylvania in two weeks for the Dickinson College Long/Short Invitational on September 18th.