Falcons finish third in Class 2 boys state championships
THE PLAINS — Central had three all-state performers in Saturday’s Class 2 boys cross country state championships.
The Central trio of Mason Lucy-Speidel, Chase Rimel and Gus Wightman led the Falcons to a third-place finish at the state meet held at Great Meadow.
Lucy-Speidel led the way as he finished seventh in the meet in a time of 16:44.
“I felt strong. I felt good. I’m happy with it overall,” Lucy-Speidel said.
It was the second-straight year the senior made all-state honors, given to the top 15 runners in each classification.
Lucy-Speidel said that he wanted to give everything he had in his last cross country high school race.
“My mom and dad kept saying leave it all out there. Run the best race you can and that’s all you can ask for,” Lucy-Speidel said. “I got out here, and I just ran as fast as I could, as hard as I could.”
Rimel, a sophomore, said he wanted to make up for a disappointing performance in last year’s state meet and he did. Rimel placed 13th in a time of 16:57, just ahead of Wightman who was 14th in 17:01.
Rimel said having a year of experience helped him a lot this year.
“Last year I sort of choked,” Rimel said. “I know the course now. I was more comfortable with it. And this year it was more like I wanted to make a statement, because last year I didn’t do as well. So that really pushed me to do well this year.”
Wightman said he got off to a good start like he usually likes to do, but then things went downhill for him.
“We got on the backstretch kind of and I started to feel bad a little bit,” Wightman said. “And I didn’t really know what was going on. And then going up that last hill really killed me. And I just had to try to stride out down the hill. And Chase passed me, and he was like come on. And I tried to go as fast as I could. And I just knew I was trying to keep hold of that all-state spot.”
Maggie Walker won the Class 2 boys team championship with 61 points, followed by Wilson Memorial (80) and Central (85).
The Falcons finished second the last two years, but came up just short of the runner-up trophy this year.
“I felt like our team came out here and gave it a good run,” Central coach Melissa Wright said. “They did their best. Some people ran better than us today.”
Central’s Sawyer Lucy-Speidel was 23rd (17:28), followed by teammates Colin Bradley -Connolly (50th, 18:06), Anthony Piselli (79th, 19:03) and Shawn Purdy (80th, 19:05).
James River’s William Miller won the Class 2 boys race in a time of 15:40.
Stonewall Jackson finished sixth in the Class 1 boys state championships with 168 points.
Freshman Zach Wine was 24th overall in a time of 18:03.
“That’s the (best finish) we’ve had in a long time,” Stonewall Jackson coach Mary Clanahan said. “Zach (Wine) was on a mission today.
Stonewall Jackson sophomore Tristan Williams finished 31st in a time of 18:25, followed by teammates Juan Arrocena-Jacuinde (47th, 18:25), Hayden Kennedy (49th, 18:50), Garrett Estep (68th, 19:23), Riley Gonzalez (76th, 19:55) and Reilly Hughes (84th, 20:12).
Auburn won the Class 1 boys team championship with 40 points. Auburn’s Nolan Harris won the Class 1 boys race in a time of 16:03.
Warren County sophomore D.J. Staton finished 17th in a time of 16:37 in the Class 3 boys state championships.
It was Staton’s first appearance at the state meet and he said it was a good experience for him.
“It lets me know what’s out there, and how fast I am compared to everyone in the state and how I can improve,” Staton said.
The Wildcats finished 11th as a team with 262 points.
Bailey Grant placed 64th in a time of 17:57, followed by Isaiah Dade (79th, 18:22), Jaydon Halter (80th, 18:22), Nate Brown (92nd, 18:44), Nolan Johnson (96th, 19:02) and Michael Kelly (98th, 19:05).
Warren County coach Joseph Owens said the state meet was very valuable for his young squad.
“I think that this experience for a young team is just incredible,” Owens said. “We’re going to have everybody come back next year. …We had an incredible meet last week and everybody came in feeling good. And I was just glad that they all got this experience today. And I’m excited to see how they can use this to build off of in years to come.”
Western Albemarle won the Class 3 boys state championship with 47 points. Abingdon’s Karl Thiessen won the Class 3 boys race in a time of 15:41.