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Pioneers sweep four-team meet

Skyline's Luke Cline sprints towards the finish line during Wednesday's cross country meet at Rockland Park in Front Royal. Brad Fauber/Daily

Warren County's Kayla Gibbons leads a group of runners during Wednesday's cross country meet at Rockland Park in Front Royal. Brad Fauber/Daily

By Brad Fauber

FRONT ROYAL -- Warren County and Skyline were forced to make a slight adjustment before their respective cross country duals on Wednesday.

An error in scheduling put both schools in line for a home meet on the same course at Rockland Park. Warren County was to race Evergreen foe Brentsville in its final district dual of the season, and Skyline was scheduled against Millbrook. The schools decided to combine both meets into one, forming an unofficial four-team meet.

Millbrook took top honors in both the boys and girls events, with each team finishing with a five-runner score of 19. Millbrook's Nadia Dahimene finished in the top spot in the girls race with a time of 21:15, and Nathan Burgreen (17:43), also from Millbrook, took the boys' top honor.

Warren County's girls finished second in the meet with a total of 39 points.

"What we did today was we planned a workout, because we have our district meet on Tuesday," said Warren County coach Jeremy Burnworth. "Our top four girls were going out for a tempo run. They were supposed to finish in the 23's [minutes], and they ended up going to 21, so a little to fast for our workout they were supposed to do."

Senior Kayla Gibbons led the Wildcats with a time of 21:46, good enough for fifth place in the meet. Gibbons was immediately followed by teammates Ariel Asher (21:47), Claire Morrow (21:48) and Rachel Oden (22:14). Junior Fiona Sayers (22:52) finished 13th to round out Warren County's top five.

In the boys event, Skyline finished in second place with a score of 44 points. The Hawks were led by Thomas Harrison's 18:29, which put him in fourth place. Jacob McConahy (sixth, 18:37) and Justin Haggerty (ninth, 18:48) also had top-10 finished for Skyline.
Luke Cline (19:00) and Tanner Steed (19:01) finished 12th and 13th respectively for the Hawks.

"I was really pleased. This course isn't something you come and run you're best time, it's not the fastest thing," said Skyline coach Mike Tanner. "The kids just got off running at Millbrook, which is a really fast course, and they ran similar to what they ran there. We had a nice pack of five runners."

Warren County's Nathan Lund (19:05) led the Wildcats in the boys race with a 14th-place finish, and Erik Stafira (16th, 19:36) and Joey Catalani (19th, 19:40) also finished in the top 20 for Warren County.

Alex Zarzuela, who finished in 25th place with a time of 25:48, led Skyline's girls.
Warren County and Skyline will now prepare for their respective district meets. The Wildcats travel to Nokesville next Tuesday where the girls team will be seeking their third straight Evergreen District title, while the Hawks will compete next Wednesday in the Northwestern District meet at Kernstown Battlefield.

"Our concern was no other team but ourselves," Burnworth said. "Those top four [girls] we have are pretty good. The rest of the team, we're trying to get them ready and get them confidence for Tuesday's district meet."

Contact sports writer Brad Fauber at 540-465-5137 ext. 184, or bfauber@nvdaily.com

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