RVA Relays

Midlo Cross Country Tests Limits

Photo by: Mary Ann Magnant
Max Etka runs through the finish line

On September 23, 2017,  Midlo’s Cross Country team competed in a sporting event held once a year like no other: the RVA Relays. This event challenges the expectations of traditional cross country meets. Despite the agony many runners endured, everyone left with smile on their faces and a night full of unforgettable memories.

The relay set-up consists of teams of five runners, each running a 2500 meter leg. This is designed to test the endurance and speed of the competitors, while also providing an exhilarating team experience cross country runners rarely experience. Max Etka, Clay Robb, Andrew Steenkamer, Ian Gray, and Thomas Gray represented Midlo’s top boys relay, while Annabel Schepker, Ashlyn Ferguson, Eva Johnson, Camryn Adams, and Katherine Krievs made up the top girls team. Under the lights at 8:50 pm, the gun sounded, starting one of the most intense races of the year.

For the boys team, Robb led off with an explosive first leg, putting the rest of the relay in a strong position to capitalize. The Gray twins and Steenkamer all provided impressive performances, setting the stage for one of the most talented teams Midlo cross country has seen in years. As Etka waited anxiously in the exchange zone, a smile spread across his face, a sign of utter confidence. From the moment the baton touched his hand, he was determined to put on one of his best performances of the year, propelling the relay to a respectable 10th place finish. After the race, Robb noted, “We were dealing with some injuries, but I’m still happy the way it turned out. This was definitely one of the most fun nights of the season.”.

Shortly after the boys race concluded, the Midlo girls relay team took the stage, prepared to show rival high schools why they are considered the most prominent program in the area. One of Midlo’s most promising young talents,  Schepker broke off an incredible first leg, setting the tone for a series of impressive showings from each runner. Krievs, Johnson, and Adams all carried the baton, determined to maintain Midlo’s strong position, while Ferguson finished the race on a high note, putting the finishing touches on an impressive 5th place finish. Stand out performer Katherine Krievs said, “Running under the lights for the first time was really cool. All of the other girls were really encouraging.”

Midlo Cross Country lived up their reputation as a dominant force in the region, carrying on the Midlo tradition of strength, perseverance, and unity.