BULL RUN GIRLS CROSS COUNTRY2

Strasburg’s Mary Carter approaches the finish line during the girls’ Bull Run District Cross Country Championships meet on Oct. 30 in New Market. Carter will look to lead the Rams today in the Class 2 girls state meet in Salem.

Skyline freshman Ava Bordner is having a stellar season and today she looks to cap it off in a big way. Bordner is one of the area runners running in the girls Cross Country State Championships.

Bordner will be running in the Class 3 girls race, which begins at 1 p.m., being held at Green Hill Park in Salem. Last week, Bordner finished second in the Region 3B Championships. She came up short to Maggie Walker’s Mary Caroline Heinen in last week’s race.

Bordner said she is keeping her goals for the state meet simple.

“I hope I get a (personal record),” Bordner said. “That would be really exciting. That’s my goal. My goal every meet is just to keep getting better and better.”

Bordner will be joined in the race by Warren County’s Leah Webster, Ryleigh Breeden and Kiersten Tanner. The trio finished eighth, ninth and 10th respectively last week in the Region 3B Championships to qualify for the state meet.

“We always push each other in practice, and we lean on each other for advice,” Webster said. “And we all always push each other to do great and amazing in everything we do, even if it’s off the field or anything in or out of racing or in school – anything we do. I am excited that I have those two girls in states with me.”

Warren County just missed out on qualifying for the state meet as a team. The top three teams from each region advance and the Wildcats finished tied for third, but lost out on the tiebreaker.

Webster and Breeden are sophomores, while Tanner is a senior. Warren County coach Mike Tanner, Kiersten’s father, said that he’s excited to see what the trio can do, especially his daughter.

“She has some lofty goals that aren’t out of the realm of what she’s done the last two races. She’s had huge (personal records) the last two races,” Mike Tanner said of Kiersten. “...The girls, if you look at rankings, they’re on the outside looking in on all-state (top 15) – but that’s their goal. So our goal is to do our best. And that’s good to have a focus, because sometimes you get that lull after you qualify. I don’t think this group has that. They are focused on bigger goals.”

Strasburg’s girls team is the only local girls team to qualify for the state meet. The Rams finished third in the Region 2B Championships.

Strasburg has been led all season by senior Mary Carter, who finished 11th in the regional meet. The Rams have a young squad, which also features Summer Marcondes, Regan Robinson, Emma Himelright, Abby Davis, Tessa Hockman and Brittany Coffelt in the top seven.

Carter said it’s really special for the three seniors on the team to advance to the state meet.

“We have run together since middle school,” Carter said. “I’m happy that we are all going to states our senior year, because I know it’s our last year and we wanted to go out with a bang. We all push each other to work harder. I know (at the state meet) we’ll push each other even harder and just do the best we can as a team. We’ll just go with the flow and see what happens.”

The Class 2 race starts at 10:30 a.m. and Strasburg’s team will be joined by Stonewall Jackson junior Eli Dellinger.

It is the third straight year that Dellinger has advanced to the state meet. The Generals moved up from Class 1 to Class 2 this season and Dellinger said that she was excited to be able to qualify for states again.

The state cross country meet has been held at Great Meadows in The Plains for many years, but this year Classes 1, 2 and 3 have moved to the course in Green Hill Park. Dellinger, who finished eighth in last week’s Region 2B Championships, said that she hopes to do well on the flat course at Green Hill Park.

“I’m excited, I really did like the old course but I’m excited for this new one,” Dellinger said. “...I usually don’t like flat courses, but I’m learning to move my legs quicker and getting a lot better at flats. So hopefully that will pay off when we get there.”

– Contact Tommy Keeler Jr. at tkeeler@nvdaily.com