Central’s Mason Lucy-Speidel, Stonewall’s Funkhouser win county titles

Central's Sawyer Lucy-Speidel, left, and his brother Mason, right, pace each other in the early part of the Shenandoah County meet in Woodstock on Wednesday. Mason placed first in the event and Central's team won the meet. Rich Cooley/Daily

WOODSTOCK – Central’s Mason Lucy-Speidel picked a good time to win his first race of the year.

The junior won the Shenandoah County meet in a time of 16:37 on Wednesday at Central’s 3 mile North Street Course and helped lead the Falcons to the boys team title.

“It was a good race overall,” Lucy-Speidel said. “I do like this course a lot. It’s a short course, an easier course, but it’s a home course. So I do love it. It’s good I’ve wanted to try and win a race for a while now. This season that was one of my goals.”

Stonewall Jackson’s LuLu Funkhouser held off teammate Brandy Webb to win the girls race in a time of 20:51. Webb finished four seconds behind her in second place. The Generals (38 points) finished second as a team behind Strasburg (36).

“It feels good,” Funkhouser said. “I definitely think it could have been me or Brandy. It could have been (Strasburg’s) Grace (Dellinger), Hannah (Dellinger), (Rachel Palmer) or (Central’s) Olivia (Wightman). We were all in a pack for the longest time. I didn’t feel like it was going to stop.”

Stonewall's Brandy Webb, left, and LuLu Funkhouser, center, run alongside Central's Olivia Wightman during the early part of the Shenandoah County cross country meet Wednesday in Woodstock. Funkhouser placed first in the event with Webb taking second place. Wightman finished six for Central. Rich Cooley/Daily

The top six stayed together until around the two mile mark, where Funkhouser and Webb pulled away a little bit. Funkhouser, who said she likes running up hills, then took a little bit of a lead over Webb as they went up a hill.

“I don’t really enjoy this course, because it’s so flat,” Funkhouser said. “I want there to be more hills, but when there is one it’s like, ‘Oh yeah, this is what I’m used to.'”

Webb said having Funkhouser there with her helped her out.

“I had (Funkhouser) to push me, because I don’t usually do well in the heat,” Webb said. “So with Lu there, she helped me not give up.”

Hannah Dellinger finished third in the girls race in a time of 20:59, followed by teammates Palmer (21:05) and Grace Dellinger (21:13).

Stonewall's Tristen Williams, left, Kaelen Sorrells, center, and Strasburg's Kyle Tiemeyer sprint to the finish line during the Shenandoah County cross country meet on Wednesday in Woodstock. Rich Cooley/Daily

“It was really, really good to see that our one, two, three are so close together and always sort of trading that top spot,” Strasburg coach Jeff Rudy said. “We can really depend on Hannah Dellinger, Rachel Palmer and Grace Dellinger. It was good to see Hannah step up today and run a really, really good race, and help us come in first and bring home the trophy to Strasburg.”

Central had 46 points and was led by Olivia Wightman, who finished sixth in a time of 21:23.

“We had a lot of personal best times on the girls side,” Central coach Melissa Wright said. “We knew it was going to be a tight race between all three schools, and the point difference isn’t very huge there. But some of those girls ran their best race of the year.”

It’s the first season running cross country for Lucy-Speidel, who ran track and field last year, and he said he’s been really happy with how things have went.

“It’s pretty similar to track, a lot of long runs. I enjoy them,” Lucy-Speidel said. “I enjoy being around the distance guys. They’re all great guys and really good guys to run and train with.”

Strasburg's Rachel Palmer, left, and Grace Dellinger run along a section of the cross country course Wednesday during the Shenandoah County cross country meet. Strasburg won the event. Rich Cooley/Daily

The Falcons took the top four spots in the boys race. Gus Wightman was second with a time of 16:55, followed by Sawyer Lucy-Speidel (17:14) and Chase Rimel (17:30).

Wightman took the lead early in the race, before Mason Lucy-Speidel passed him right before the second mile. Wightman said he likes to start the race off fast.

“I took the same strategy I always do – going out fast,” Wightman said. “I think it hurts me a little bit, but it also encourages my teammates to be up closer because they’re trying to be up with me at the beginning of the race.”

Strasburg’s Ryan Davis was fifth (17:30) and teammate Logan Smalls was sixth (17:36). Central had 17 points, while the Rams placed second as a team with 53 points and Stonewall Jackson was third with 62.

“The boys team is coming along,” Rudy said. “We’re excited to see us get faster for the championship season that is right upon us. Our goal is to go as far as we can in the championship season and be competitive that whole time.”

Stonewall Jackson’s boys team was led by Kaelan Sorrells in eighth (17:46.33) and Tristen Williams in ninth (17:47).

“They looked at their times, they were like holy cow,” Stonewall Jackson coach Mary Clanahan said. “They are a phenomenal group of young men. They have developed physically, emotionally. They’re just a wonderful group to work with this year. They do things together on the outside too. They have taken some of the girls’ techniques and are doing things together and done that as well with each other. I think that helps them develop the team bond.”

Contact staff writer Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 168, or tkeeler@nvdaily.com.