NOKESVILLE -- Warren County's girls cross country team made a statement on Thursday afternoon.

The Wildcats dominated the Class 3 Northwestern District Cross Country Championships held at Brentsville's course in Nokesville Park.

"We expected to win -- we came in with that mindset," Warren County coach Mike Tanner said. "Although our goal was to hammer the first mile. But (Meridian) came and hammered the first mile. About a half mile in I was like 'oh my.' But then you saw our girls start passing, start stepping it up. Amber Riley and Nicole Ranney ran killer races for us. In fact I could say something great about all of them. Audrey Moya, who was our sixth runner today, she's been running in the 22 (minute-range) the last two races because she's been battling injury. But for her to come out and run two minutes faster than that -- it was just awesome to watch. They all stepped up."

All of the teams are automatically qualified for next week's regional meet. The Wildcats finished with 32 points and had all seven runners finish in the top 14.

Despite the impressive effort from Warren County, Meridian finished in second, only 10 points back with 42.

Skyline junior Ava Bordner won the girls race in a time of 18:14. Bordner left as soon as the race was over to participate in Skyline's Homecoming parade on Thursday.

Bordner's mom and Skyline girls cross country coach, Misty, said Ava got confused and took a wrong turn and had to double back, which cost her about seven seconds and a new personal record.

"I'm super proud of her," Misty Bordner said. "She's running strong. She's becoming more confident in her abilities, and she's taking practice more seriously and the workouts more seriously. She always sets goals for herself and she doesn't quit until she achieves it. So she's pretty easy to coach on that level."

It was Ava Bordner's third straight district title. She won the Region 3B title last season and finished second in the Class 3 State Championships.

Warren County sophomore Kaley Tanner finished second in a time of 18:35.

"I felt good," Kaley Tanner said. "I felt strong through the whole race. It was a fun race. I didn't think it was going to be that fast of a race."

Warren County sophomore Emil Stanford won the boys race in a time of 16:26, 30 seconds ahead of William Monroe's Conrad Bruton. Stanford said he enjoyed having the sizeable lead.

"It was actually really tranquil," Stanford said. "It's like I have no pressure. So why not go faster? I have a cushion behind me, so let's just see what I can do."

Stanford said the boys team had a goal coming in to try and win the team title. They came up short, but Stanford said that helped motivate him to his first district title.

"That definitely made me want to go faster for this race," Stanford said. "With the creek and (the course is) basically all in the trails, it's a super fun race and I liked it."

The Wildcats finished third as a team in the boys meet with 53 points. Meridian won the boys meet with 40 points, followed by William Monroe with 50. Skyline finished fifth in the boys meet with 132 points.

"I can't be upset with (the boys)," Mike Tanner said. "If I'm not wrong, they all ran PR's. What are you going to do? They went out there and ran a great race. We said let the chips fall where they may. The cool thing is it's not a qualifier. I think we're running our best runs now at the end of the season. So I think there's room for improvement for (regionals) and who knows what can happen? The boys -- our goal is still to go through (to states)."

In the girls race, Warren County had all-Class 3 Northwestern District (Top 15) performances by Riley (Fifth, 19:58), Ranney (Sixth, 20:02), Ryleigh Breeden (Ninth, 20:26), Leah Webster (10th, 20:44), Moya (12th, 20:52) and Ella Martin (14th, 21:10).

Skyline girls finished third with 87 points. Senior Sophie Jensen finished 13th in a time of 21:03. Other top performers for Skyline's girls squad were Megan Arp (16th, 21:19), Valarie Ritenour (31st, 23:20), Kaitlyn Antonelli (32nd, 23:59), Olivia DeFrates (34th, 24:08), Vanessa Rohrbaugh (35th, 24:26), Alison Sears (36th, 24:26) and Rachelle Anderson (37th, 25:14).

"The team is doing really great," Misty Bordner said of both her boys and girls squads. "A lot of PR's today. That's what I'm super happy about this season. With each race as the season progresses, we keep on getting PRs. Most of the kids are anyway. Ultimately, that's the way you want to go heading into postseason."

Warren County's Clayton Rankin (Eighth, 17:36), Patrick Treutlein (11th, 17:49) and Zane Clark (13th, 17:59) each earned All-Class 3 Northwestern District honors. Other top performers for the Wildcats were Shea Henson (20th, 18:42), Nic Kozhenevsky (21st, 18:42), Carlos Billy (30th, 19:15), Anthony Carter (38th, 20:20), Dylan Miller (42nd, 20:39) and Landon Gray (44th, 20:55).

Skyline's top boys runners were Louden Schucker (17th, 18:18), Noah Garland (24th, 18:56), Marcellis Diamond (27th, 19:06), Ben Arp (35th, 19:46), Bronson Breen (36th, 20:15), Gabriel Tweedie (39th, 20:21), William Smith (45th, 21:10) and Kayne McKeever (48th, 22:08).

The Region 3B Championships will be held at Culpeper County High School on Oct. 30.

Mike Tanner said his team, which finished third in Class 3 last season has a little extra motivation for regionals. He said the website Milestat has picked Maggie Walker to win the region, even though Warren County is ranked higher than Maggie Walker in the rankings. Last season the Wildcats finished behind former Class 2 cross country powerhouse Maggie Walker in regionals, but ahead of them at the Class 3 state meet.

"They gave some bulletin material for us," Mike Tanner said. "So we're now the underdogs, which we like. And after watching how they raced today, it's not just about their time. How they raced and battled back halfway through that race that showed some character for all of them. It was not just one, it was all seven. We're ready to roll."

Contact Tommy Keeler Jr. at