A week after recapturing their Tidewater District titles, the Mathews High School boys’ and girls’ cross country teams returned to Eastern State Hospital in Williamsburg last Thursday to defend successfully their Region A crowns.
The girls’ team took its third consecutive regional title with a 37-point victory over Washington and Lee (60 points), West Point (80) and King William (90). The boys, meanwhile, won their fourth Region A title in a row, scoring 43 points to beat out W&L (44), Lancaster (67) and Middlesex (135).
The Lady Devils finished the race with four runners receiving All-Region honors. Kate van Emmerik led the girls with a second-place finish overall and a time of 21:21. Following van Emmerik were Nancy Barnhardt (third place, 21:29), Emily Brown (11th place, 22:38) and Ryann Smith (14th place, 23:14). Sami Stroup, Logan Howlett, and Kristen Fauber also had good races with times of 23:44, 24:29 and 24:38, respectively.
For the boys, it looked as though Washington and Lee was going to take the title, as the Eagle runners occupied six out of the top 10 positions. The Mathews boys, however, showed strength by coming from behind in the last mile to secure the win, but most noticeable was the come-from-behind sprinting throughout the entire last mile by freshman Justin Adams (18:38) and junior captain Nick Brown (18:45), as well as the aggressive pace maintained by senior Elisha Kane (18:14) to finish second overall. Kyle Slaughter also raced well with a time of 18:34 and he, Kane, Brown and Adams received All-Region honors.