November 2, 2013 - Capital Athletic Conference XC Championships & Insight from Jess McClelland (Sr. - Stafford, VA)
Post date: Nov 4, 2013 2:23:41 AM
Salisbury was a great host for the Captains' first CAC Championships - perfect weather, a fast course, and outstanding competition. The women led off with a fantastic team effort and the men followed suit. 24 Captains competed in the two races and 14 posted 6k or 8k best times (with the women's adjusted for the short course). Three more men posted best times for the Winter Place Park course. Three more women were within 5 seconds of their best-ever 6k performances. Frosh Briana Stewart (Oakton HS - Oak Hill, VA) and JJ LaPointe (Bishop O'Connell HS - Arlington, VA) earned Rookie of the Year honors as the first rookie finishers in their races. Coach Barreau was voted Women's Coach of the Year.
From Jess McClelland:
Friday at noon our men and women, along with our team mascot Rock, climbed onto the bus and started making our way up the Eastern Shore to Salisbury, MD for the Capitol Athletic Conference Championships. Our team has competed on this course the past three years so we were no stranger to the flat, fast course that we would compete on come Saturday. All of us, including our freshman who had never been there before, were eager to race on such a fast course and hit a new PR while fighting to be the first team in CNU history to bring home a trophy from the CAC.
We stepped off the bus and began our pre-meet course preview. A few of our girls have been fighting injuries and used this time to feel out if they would be able to compete the following morning. We went to sleep on Friday not knowing which of our teammates would be healthy enough to toe the line in the morning but regardless, we knew that we had business to take care of one way or another. Our team has worked hard every day since August (often twice a day) grinding out workouts and pushing ourselves together to be better, and to put ourselves in position to accomplish our goals this season. And that first goal was winning the conference title our first year in a new conference.
Saturday morning came and the women raced first at 11:00. We were happy to have all 11 girls who traveled able to spike up and compete. The gun went off, and 100 meters into the race the course funneled into a narrow path making the first mile of the race like a stampede. All of us girls were running on top of each other, trying to keep out feet, watch out for elbows, and try not to get our pony tails pulled mid-stride. Half way through the woods loop, the path widened briefly and the field began to stretch out. Our team comfortably had 5 girls running in the front pack.
Going into the race, we knew that we needed to just do what we have been doing all season- run together and win the day. We knew that York would probably be our closest competition but it wasn’t our job to worry about them; we just needed to focus on us and race our own race. All of the teammates, family, and friends wearing CNU blue that came out to support us was incredible. We had fans cheering loud for us all the way around the course and the energy it perpetuated was so exciting. Our team had a great race! We finished with our top 5 girls in the top 11 overall, each earning all-conference honors. The amount of PRs we ran was ridiculous and our top 5 girls joined the sub-club for running under 24:00 for a 6k. You know it was a good day when your coaches hurry over to your team post-race wearing huge smiles to hug everyone and say they are proud of you. We were conference Champions!!
Our men took 2nd place behind the top quality York team. They ran a great race as a team and clocked one of the best team performances the program has had in about a decade. We celebrated with a team cookout after the meet was over with all of our team, family, and friends. We took about a million pictures, and the team champion T-shirts that our girls got were an added bonus.
This was my last xc conference championship and the most memorable one for me. It was not my first team conference victory, but it was the one we had to work the hardest to earn. I am so proud of all my teammates, especially the ones who were injured and raced for their team anyway. It was so encouraging and motivating to watch that happen. I am lucky to be a part of this CNU XC team. I can’t wait to see what we do at Regionals on our home course in two weeks. GO CAPTAINS!
Stafford, VA (North Stafford HS)
CNU XC Sub-24 Club
CNU #4 All-Time - Indoor Mile
CNU #8 All-Time - Indoor 3k
CNU #10 All-Time - Indoor 5k
CNU School Record - Indoor 4x800m Relay
CNU School Record - Indoor Distance Medley Relay
CNU #10 All-Time - Outdoor 800m
CNU #3 All-Time - Outdoor 1500m
From the Capital Athletic Conference (www.cacsports.com)