The Mathews High School cross country teams started off the 2011 racing season last Wednesday at Beaverdam Park, with victories over King William, Essex and West Point.
Each squad scored 17 points in the meet, very nearly a perfect score of 15. Kyle Slaughter and Nancy Barnhardt easily took first place overall for the Blue Devil boys and girls.
All of the runners experienced a fantastic first race, with conditions not exactly in their favor; the course was slick from an earlier rain and temperatures unseasonably hot and humid. Although this was the case, both squads achieved success.
Slaughter won the boys’ race with a time of 19:44. The only competition in sight of Slaughter were his own teammates—Andrew Merz (second place, 20:18), Elisha Kane (third place, 20:25) and Tucker Blackwell (fourth place, 20:58).
Finishing off the boys’ top seven were Sam Spadaccini (21:12), Phillip Machen (21:32) and Nick Brown (21:44). Others who had an exceptional race included Tyler Zabel (21:45) and Sam Jasinski (22:25). Jayvee runners with notable finishes included Justin Adams (22:34) and Hunter Wright (22:37).
The Lady Devils followed suit and also swept the top four places. Barnhardt bolted from the starting line to garner a first-place finish for the Lady Devils with a time of 23:21. Teammates Kate van Emmerik (23:40), Katie Phillips (24:07) and Emily Brown (24:27), were not far behind taking second-, third-and fourth-place finishes, respectively. Stephanie Jeffers (25:53), Mallory Hurst (27:52) and Lindsey Brown (27:59) rounded off the girls’ top seven. Ryann Smith and Sami Stoup, both JV runners, had an excellent first race with times of 27:24 and 28:00, respectively.