Mason Lucy-Speidel, Central boys win Conference 35 meet

MADISON — Central’s Mason and Sawyer Lucy-Speidel and Gus Wightman stayed in a pack together almost the whole race on Wednesday.

The trio battled it out to the finish, taking the top three spots and leading Central to the boys team title in the Conference 35 cross country meet at Madison County Primary School.

Junior Mason Lucy-Speidel was able to edge out his twin brother Sawyer by four seconds. Mason Lucy-Speidel finished in a time of 17:14, while Sawyer Lucy Speidel finished in 17:18 and Wightman finished in 17:19.

“We all wanted to win it today,” Mason Lucy-Speidel said. “We all wanted to push each other to run as fast as we could. It was really anyone’s race through the entire thing.”

Mason Lucy-Speidel took the lead with about a half mile to go and led the rest of the way. It was his second consecutive win this season, having won the Shenandoah County meet last week.

Strasburg had a trio and siblings of its own in the girls race. Strasburg freshman Hannah Dellinger, her sister, Grace, and Rachel Palmer all placed in the top 10 to help the Rams finish third as a team.

Hannah Dellinger was sixth with a time of 21:21. Palmer was eighth in a time of 21:34 and Grace Dellinger was ninth in a time of 21:37.

“I love that our girls are 1, 2, 3,” Hannah Dellinger said. “I love that we are all together. It makes me happy to run with them.”

Hannah Dellinger was third in the Strasburg pack until a little over a half mile was left in the race, and then she made a move and passed several runners. She said that both Strasburg coach Jeff Rudy and her father had given her the same strategy.

“They both told me as soon as you come out of the woods you make your move, and as soon as I came out of the woods I just went for it,” Hannah Dellinger said.

Palmer said she was happy with how the top three raced.

“I was very proud of them, and happy to be staying with them,” Palmer said.

Central won the boys meet with 28 points. The Falcons had five runners in the top 15, which is how many makes all-conference. George Mason was second in the boys meet with 60 points, while Strasburg was third with 76. Clarke County finished fourth with 78. The top four teams advance to next week’s Region 2A East meet at Panorama Farms in Charlottesville.

Strasburg’s Ryan Davis placed sixth in the boys race with a time of 17:42, and teammate Logan Smalls was seventh in a time of 17:43. Strasburg’s Kyle Tiemeyer was 12th in a time of 18:12.

“Ryan Davis did a really, really good job going out and being aggressive,” Rudy said. “Logan Smalls — the two of them were working together very, very nicely. But the competition is really stiff. Some of our runners this is a new experience for them. We’re excited for them to get a little bit more racing underneath of their belts for the future, including next week. So we’re excited to head down to Charlottesville.”

Central freshman Chase Rimel placed eighth in a time of 17:59, while teammate Jonathan Baker was 14th in 18:13.

“They continue to run well and they make it look easy,” Central coach Melissa Wright said. “We’ve talked about that, but they’ve put in a lot of hard work to make it look easy. They did well and it was great to have five in the top 15 this week.”

George Mason won the girls meet with 24 points, followed by Clarke County with 50, Strasburg (58) and Central (97).

Clarke County’s Madison Webster won the girls meet in a time of 20:14.

Central was led by Olivia Wightman, who finished 11th in a time of 21:52.

“Olivia, she’s been our bright spot all along,” Wright said. “Being a young freshman, she seems happy and keeps plugging along. She’s been doing well and keeps getting better each week.”

Next week will be a big test for Central’s boys team. Last year the Falcons finished second to Maggie Walker at both regionals and states.

“We’re trying to repeat our performance from last year definitely,” Sawyer Lucy-Speidel said. “We’re aiming for second, but we’re stronger in some aspects this year than we were last year. So it’s kind of just a race-by-race kind of strategy for us. But we’re definitely hoping to get second again and go to states.”

Contact staff writer Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 168, or