Whiteside leads Warriors to states
By Tommy Keeler Jr.
WINCHESTER — It’s been a rough week for Trevor Whiteside.
Whiteside’s grandfather passed away on Halloween, so it would certainly be reasonable if the Sherando junior struggled in Thursday’s Region 4A North meet at Kernstown Battlefield. Whitside was able to have a solid showing and led the Warriors to a fourth-place finish.
“He was really close to me,” Whiteside said of his grandfather. “It was really hard for my family and for myself, too. Everybody tried to motivate me and say ‘run it for him.’ Today, since I haven’t been to practice much, it’s been pretty rough.”
Whiteside finished 23rd in a time of 17:13, which he said was 12 seconds slower than what he ran in the conference meet the week before.
“I feel like 12 seconds is not too bad a loss from last week,” Whitside said. “I’m still happy with my race, and it’s pushing me forward [to states].”
Sherando coach Jamie McCarty said he was pleased with how Whiteside performed.
“Trevor gave me everything he had,” McCarty said. “It’s never a good situation when you lose somebody close to you, so it’s hard to come out and be on your game. He came out and he gave me everything he had.”
Sherando’s boys team will be joined in next week’s Group 4A state meet by freshman Paige Conner, who is the lone qualifier on the girls side.
Conner finished in 15th in 20:25 in the girls race.
“I feel pretty good, besides the fact that I kind of got grouped a bit and got blocked in,” Conner said. ” It was hard for me to pass people. I think I could have done better, but I’m still pretty happy. I’m really proud of myself. Never running cross country before, I really didn’t think I would go this far.”
Sherando’s girls finished eighth as a team, missing the last team qualifying spot by 11 points. The top six teams and the top 10 individuals not on one of the qualifying teams advanced to the state meet.
Katie Rogers was 42nd in a time of 21:23, followed by Andi Crosby (58th, 21:46), Haley Powers (59th, 21:46) and Emily Askew (70th, 22:19).
McCarty said he was very proud of the girls team.
“It’s kind of heartbreaking. We put in a lot of work. We were close, but we didn’t quite close the deal in the last mile,” McCarty said. “It wasn’t for lack of effort. They were out there giving me everything they had, and I’m proud of them for that. It’s great that Paige gets through. She’s had a great freshman year. …She’ll go to states and she’s going to have the opportunity to really shine there.”
Jefferson Forest won the girls meet with 37 points. Sherando finished with 222 points. The girls race was won by Libby Davidson, of E.C. Glass, in a time of 17:43.
Millbrook won the boys meet with 119 points, while Sherando finished with 151. E.C. Glass’ Peter Seufer won the boys race in a time of 15:47.
McCarty said he felt like the boys could have performed better, but he was happy that they were moving on.
“Thomas Shea was much better today, and kind of got out of the funk he had been in this year,” McCarty said. “We were a little better in some spots, but then again, once again kind of the same story as last week, we didn’t execute in some other spots. It’s a razor’s edge at this level.
“We just didn’t quite compete that last mile the way we needed to. We got fourth. The good thing is that’s another opportunity, just like last week, to get a little better.”
Shea finished in 28th in a time of 17:18, followed by Jahlil Northover (32nd, 17:25), Thomas Powars (45th, 17:49) and James Kelly (57th, 18:07).
Contact staff writer Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 168, or email@example.com