Cross-country season ends at NSA

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 26, 2004

Staff report

Cross-country is not one of the most publicized high school sports in the Tidewater area. While sports like football, field hockey and soccer garner most of the ink, cross-country teams are often reduced to a mere box score. The sport is a test of endurance pitting each runner against not only their opponents, but also the clock.

This past week, Nansemond Suffolk Academy took a moment to spotlight the accomplishments of its cross-country team during an awards banquet held at the school. The event highlighted the dedication, leadership and determination of one of the largest cross-country teams in the school’s history. It also spotlighted a team that did better in regional and state meets than any in recent history.


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Coached by Nancy Geeting, the team began the banquet by presenting Varsity letters to the 17 team members, including two &uot;captain’s stars&uot; to juniors Joe DiRenzo and Melissa Lowder, who both returned as the team’s leaders for a second season. Initial recipients received their actual blue &uot;NSA&uot; Varsity letter and a gold winged foot, while subsequent awards are marked with gold bars.

In addition to the varsity letters four other awards were presented. The two &uot;Most Improved&uot; awards were presented to Dean Manno and Andrea Doland, both of whom registered dramatic drops in their times throughout the season.

The MVP awards, for the teams’ most valuable players, were presented to freshman Patrick McDonald, who registered an impressive 17:53 during the Walsingham meet, and to freshman Julia Szalwinski, whose 21:34 at NSA’s lone home cross country meet was the best time registered by a lady Saint this year.