NSA strong at state cross country meet

Published 9:29 pm Thursday, November 14, 2013

Nansemond-Suffolk Academy’s girls’ and boys’ cross country teams ended the season on a high note at the recent Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association Division II state championships in Woodberry Forest.

The girls’ team finished fourth out of 18 schools. Head coach Karen Norman described it as the team’s highest finish in recent memory.

“We were all very happy,” she said. “They ran beautifully because the course was very intimidating, but they didn’t let it faze them.”

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NSA runners were used to flatter terrain, but the course was quite hilly.

The team was led by eighth-grader Kaylee Moore, who finished 10th out of 198 runners with a time of 21:16.44. Fellow eighth-grader Kate Lutz placed 17th, finishing in 21:59.69.

A team’s top five runners’ scores count toward the team score, and of those top five, Norman said, “We were really strong all the way through.”

Nansemond-Suffolk’s girls had a team score of 149, two points out of a tie for third place. Rounding out the team’s top five were junior Maya Venkataraman in 41st (23:09.90), senior Macy Mears in 53rd (23:31.29) and senior Darcy King in 54th (23:36.78).

The boys’ team finished 11th out of 29 schools.

“I know this was our best finish in quite a while,” boys’ head coach Terry Crigger said.

Again, youth led the way for the Saints as freshman Gustav Berner’s time of 18:08.58 placed 11th out of 271 runners. Eighth-grader Christian Berner was NSA’s next highest finisher in 29th place, with an 18:58.80 time.

Completing the team’s top five were sophomore David Forman in 59th (19:41.79), eighth-grader Patrick Byrne in 157th (21:50.68) and senior Ben Wilson in 166th (22:04.25).

When results were merged between both Division I and II schools, it cast NSA’s success in a broader context. The girls’ team finished 13th out of 34 schools and Moore placed 30th out of 357 runners. The boys’ team came in 25th out of 49 schools and Gustav Berner’s time was good for 35th out of 478 runners.