The Mathews High School girls’ and boys’ cross country teams placed eighth and ninth, respectively, in Saturday’s VHSL Group A state championships, which were held at Great Meadows.
The MHS girls accumulated 198 total points for their eighth-place finish, while the boys ended the meet with 228 points. A highlight of the day’s events was the performance of senior Nancy Barnhardt, who ran a personal best of 20:36 on the 5K course to place 15th overall and earn All-State accolades.
Barnhardt has participated in cross country for five years and earned both All-District and All-Region honors for four consecutive seasons. She finished top five in the region for four consecutive years (2009-fifth, 2010-fourth, 2011-first, 2012-third), and led the Mathews pack for five consecutive seasons, although ineligible to compete as a varsity athlete as an eighth grader.
She holds three course records. As a senior captain this year, she led her team to 20 regular season wins, as well as Tidewater District and Region A titles.
Coach Drew Greve commented on her success as a five-year runner. "It’s very rare to have the perfect combination of talent, work ethic and character in an athlete, and it’s been a true pleasure to have a leader of Nancy’s caliber for the past five years," Greve said. "She will be greatly missed, but she created a strong work ethic and winning tradition that will leave a lasting mark on this team for years to come."