Banner day for Suffolk in cross country

Published 12:55 am Saturday, November 1, 2014

Nansemond River High School and Lakeland High School pulled off a 1-2 finish in the Ironclad Conference cross country championships for both its boys’ and its girls’ teams, while also producing the top boys’ and girls’ individual times on Thursday at Bells Mill Park.

Lakeland senior Jacob Crowell set a personal record in the 5,000-meter run, using a time of 16:51.94 to edge out Phoebus High School sophomore Baron Freeman and repeat as individual conference champion.

Lakeland High School senior Jacob Crowell runs on Thursday in Chesapeake during the Ironclad Conference cross country championships. He produced the fastest time at the event, a personal record — 16:51.94. (Melissa Glover photo)

Lakeland High School senior Jacob Crowell runs on Thursday in Chesapeake during the Ironclad Conference cross country championships. He produced the fastest time at the event, a personal record — 16:51.94. (Melissa Glover photo)

Earning the honor for the first time on the girls’ side was Nansemond River sophomore Casey Williams, who claimed first with a time of 20:59.33.

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Thursday went as planned for NR coach Kurt Straub and his teams.

“We repeated from last year, which was our focus and our goal from day one,” he said.

Straub was pleased to see six of the seven boys on his team produce personal records, including seniors Paul Hall, Austin Heyman and Darius Smith, juniors Logan O’Leary and Kevin Tohak and freshman Dylan Heyman.

“Austin finally got in the 17s, which he’s been trying to do all year,” Straub said.

While junior Nick Gill did not set a PR, he finished with the fastest time on the team — 17:27.59 — which was good for third for boys overall.

Casey Williams had Thursday’s event in mind from the beginning of the year.

“Her main goal was definitely to be conference champion, which she achieved,” Straub said.

Sophomore Christina Banks surprised her coach with her impressive time of 21:44.59, which put her in second.

Senior Michaela Banks also dropped a significant amount of time, going from a previous PR in the 24s to a 22:57.43, putting her in sixth.

“She ran her tail off yesterday,” Straub said on Friday.

The top four teams on both the girls’ and the boys’ sides qualified for regionals. This group included King’s Fork High School’s girls’ team.

Straub is now looking ahead to goals for the Region 4A South championships, which will be held on Nov. 6 at Bells Mill Park.

“We’re looking to go to states as a team, rather than individuals,” he said, and has expectations for his teams to place high enough to make this happen.

Lakeland coach Christopher Novakoski was pleased with his teams’ second-place finishes.

“I thought we did very well,” he said.

He highlighted two notable standouts on each team. For the boys, it was, of course, Crowell.

“That was the first Jake had ever hit the 16s,” Novakoski said.

He had some good motivation in the form of Phoebus’ Baron Freeman, who had defeated him in the pre-conference meet the previous week.

Consequently, Novakoski and Crowell came up with a plan for Thursday’s re-match, which included sticking to the inner part of the course, running a faster second mile, trying to keep Freeman behind him the entire time and ultimately get under 17.

“I cut off about 15 seconds in my second mile, and then I kept him behind me for a lot longer and then he passed me at about two and a half miles, and I stayed about 20 yards behind him, and I was trying to stay with him,” Crowell said.

Freeman was still in front as they approached the finish line when Crowell made a final push.

“I just gave it all I had and it was enough this time,” he said. “I passed him with about 10 years left.”

Freeman’s finishing time was 16:53.11 to Crowell’s 16:51.94.

“That’s just guts and determination at that point to beat someone by a second and a half,” Novakoski said.

He praised Crowell for cutting 27 seconds off his time from the pre-conference meet.

For the Lakeland girls, Novakoski specifically highlighted the performance of senior Amanda Mason, who finished fifth with a time of 22:51.95.

“She’s basically shaved off over two minutes in two weeks,” Novakoski said. “I’ve never seen anything like it before.”

On Nov. 6, the girls are set to compete at 3 p.m., with the boys following at 3:45 p.m.

Following are the results from the Ironclad Conference cross country championships held Thursday at Bells Mill Park:

Boys’ team results

1. Nansemond River 3+4+5+6+7 = 25

2. Lakeland 1+9+12+16+17 = 55

3. Phoebus 2+8+14+15+20 = 59

4. Denbigh 13+19+22+27+31 = 112

5. King’s Fork 18+21+28+29+30 = 126

Boys’ 5000-meter run individual results

1. Jacob Crowell (L) 16:51.94

2. Baron Freeman (P) 16:53.11

3. Nick Gill (NR) 17:27.59

4. Austin Heyman (NR) 17:59.77

5. Kevin Tohak (NR) 18:08.52

6. Dylan Heyman (NR) 18:12.65

7. Darius Smith (NR) 18:13.74

8. Jaquille Kirkland (P) 18:16.21

9. Ryan Wright (L) 18:44.44

10. Paul Hall (NR) 18:52.01

11. Logan O’Leary (NR) 19:00.44

12. Irvin Ashburn (L) 19:09.58

13. Pilote Byiza (D) 19:11.66

14. Mukhtar Paddy (P) 19:20.21

15. Jaelen Williams (P) 19:22.15

16. Niklas Ratajczak (L) 19:34.59

17. Dylan Carbaugh (L) 19:37.72

18. Tory Myrick (KF) 19:38.39

19. Kaleb Coles (D) 19:59.76

20. Davon Tonkins (P) 20:09.36

21. Caleb Parsons (KF) 20:26.07

22. Trey Rutter (D) 20:33.83

23. Laron Tonkins (P) 20:42.82

24. Jalil Bonds (L) 20:59.75

25. Shawn Winbush (P) 21:17.24

26. Elkana Wafula (L) 21:48.77

27. Terrian Brown (H) 21:53.41

28. Miguel Kloc (D) 21:58.70

29. Lamar Jones (KF) 22:20.63

30. Jimmy Harris (H) 22:34.45

31. Carl Vann (KF) 23:53.69

32. Lamont Jones (KF) 23:56.23

33. Aaron Wray (D) 24:03.64

34. Ming Cisar (D) 24:24.28

35. Adam Crum (D) 24:35.92

36. Kenny Nguyen (KF) 24:39.53

Girls’ team results

1. Nansemond River 1+2+6+7+9 = 25

2. Lakeland 3+5+13+14+15 = 50

3. Phoebus 4+8+17+18+19 = 66

4. King’s Fork 12+20+21+22+23 = 98

Girls’ 5,000-meter run individual results

1. Casey Williams (NR) 20:59.33

2. Christina Banks (NR) 21:44.59

3. Julianna Durand (L) 22:23.92

4. Ashanti Jackson (P) 22:35.27

5. Amanda Mason (L) 22:51.95

6. Michaela Banks (NR) 22:57.43

7. Skylar Old (NR) 23:04.59

8. Jada Bosley (P) 23:14.62

9. Vera Shinard (NR) 23:22.14

10. Haley Neal (NR) 23:25.88

11. Caroline Hubbard (NR) 23:29.19

12. Cheyenne Booth (D) 23:57.77

13. Courtney Ricks (KF) 23:58.44

14. Jennifer Rockwell (L) 24:09.48

15. Leanna Harville (L) 24:52.52

16. Lauryn Baker (L) 26:12.37

17. Teahney Walker (L) 26:14.31

18. Telina Bunch (P) 26:39.12

19. Tarnya Pope (H) 26:46.88

20. Nikaya Anthony (P) 26:56.91

21. Nasjae Benson (P) 27:41.69

22. Elizabeth Childs (KF) 28:24.53

23. Rikia Freeman (KF) 28:40.63

24. Emma Taylor Fishwick (KF) 29:07.48

25. Melonie Martinez (H) 30:52.09

26. Nyckya Robinson (H) 31:53.56

27. Jalonay Gray (H) 32:51.51

28. Yi Ting (D) 35:10.32

29. Alana Tillery (KF) 42:02.63