Whiteside leads Warriors to third-place finish in 4A state meet
THE PLAINS — Trevor Whiteside was in a little pain on Friday, but he fought through it.
The Sherando senior finished 11th in the Group 4A state meet on Friday at Great Meadows, and led the Warriors to a third-place team finish.
Whiteside has been dealing with tendonitis in his knee, and said it began hurting a little during the three-mile race, so he backed off a little early on.
“Then once we got into the third mile I tried to pick up the pace a little bit, tried to fight through it and tried to catch some places that I lost before,” Whiteside said. “I think I caught two people by the end on this very long straightaway that we don’t usually have in any races.”
Sherando’s boys finished with 119 points, just five points shy of second-place Fauquier. Loudoun Valley won the state title with 47 points. Loudoun Valley’s Andrew Hunter, who is ranked No. 1 in the country, won the individual state title with a time of 15:03.
Sherando’s girls placed eighth with 146 points. Heritage won the girls 4A state title with 86 points. Heritage’s Weini Kelati won the individual state title with a time of 17:22.
Whiteside said the wind was a real factor and made the running conditions really tough.
“It was crazy,” Whiteside said. “It was a lot worse than last year’s race and I think it really put a detriment on everybody in the race, instead of just like every other person. It was hard to breathe. Every now and then the wind was blowing the air everywhere, and it was hard to catch your breath. But we all did the best we could.”
The top 15 individuals make all-state, and are awarded medals during a ceremony after the race. Whiteside said he was really happy to make all-state.
“Seeing as I started cross country my sophomore year, I didn’t even do it my freshman year, and then coming in just working hard every season, in cross country, indoor track, outdoor track and just trying to build myself a good base to be able to do better,” Whiteside said. “Going from barely even making varsity to being all-state that’s just a big improvement for me, and I’m proud of myself for that.”
Sherando senior Thomas Shea placed 16th in the boys race with a time of 17:01. Shea said he was very proud of the way the team ran.
“We raced how we felt we needed to race,” Shea said. “We just lost a couple spots in the end. I’m happy with third.”
Hayden Williams (26th, 17:14), Thomas Powars (38th, 17:27) and James Kelly (54th, 17:47) rounded out the top five for the Warriors.
Two freshmen led the way for the Sherando girls. Olivia Couillard placed 19th in a time of 20:13, and Camryn Ubert was 21st in a time of 20:16.
“It’s a really nice experience,” Couillard said of her first state meet. “It makes me love running more than I ever did.”
Ubert was Sherando’s top runner most of the regular season, but said she wasn’t happy with how she did in the conference and regional meets and she wanted to make up for it on Friday.
“I feel like I bounced back well from the last two races,” Ubert said. “This race I didn’t get nervous or stressed out and it went a lot better.”
Victoria Reese (37th, 20:47), Paige Conner (48th, 21:04) and Stella Williams (65th, 21:40) rounded out the top five girls for Sherando.
Sherando coach Jamie McCarty said the girls team, which had three freshman and a sophomore in the top five, are in a similar position to where the boys were last year.
“We bring back six of those seven girls that ran today,” McCarty said. “So obviously, kind of like last year with the guys, you turn the page and let’s start working towards being a team that can jump from eighth to a top three, you know put ourselves in position. Obviously, we feel like we have the talent to do that.”
Sherando’s boys team has four seniors in its top five this season, and Whiteside said he was very pleased with what the team achieved Friday.
“I’m definitely proud of my team,” Whitesaid said. “They ran the best race that they could. They fought through every single place and they gave it their all, and that’s all I ask of them. They definitely proved to me that they can do it.”
Contact staff writer Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 168, or email@example.com