Midlo XC races at Regionals

2019 Region 5B Cross Country Championships

The Midlo girls celebrate their victory at the 2019 Region 5B Cross Country Championships.

On November 6, 2019, Midlo’s Cross Country team competed in the 5A Region B Cross Country Regional Championship at Pole Green Park. Despite the near-perfect weather, this competition challenged every participant with multiple unforgiving hills and the steepest competition in the Richmond area. 

In past years, the regional championship has only included a varsity race, but this year, the VHSL added a junior varsity race. While the sub-varsity race did not award medals or trophies, it allowed many runners to close their season on a high note by experiencing one of the many irreplaceable postseason events. Following the conclusion of the 4A Region B Cross Country Championship, also held at Pole Green Park, the combined 4A and 5A Sub-Varsity races began. On the girls’ side, the twelve athletes poured their hearts into the final race of the season and finished second in the team competition; the twenty-one Midlo boys combined their efforts to earn fifth place in the team competition.

At 3:35 pm, the starting gun sounded, and the Midlo Varsity Girls began their journey to a regional title. The team consisted of: Gabriella Garcia, Kylie Bonser, Caroline Bowe, Annabel Schepker, Chloe Martin, Nicole Quiram, and Lena Caffall. As the runners began their first mile, Garcia and Bowe held ground in the leading pack, ready to fight for a title. By the beginning of the third mile, Garcia gapped the field, going on to win the race by a margin of thirty-four seconds. Next, Bonser used her speedy skills to fend off competitors and finished in third place. Then, Bowe and Schepker crossed the line in ninth and eleventh place; not far behind, Martin and Quiram finished in nineteenth and twenty-second place. Caffall rounded out the team, completing the race in twenty-eighth place. Gabriella Garcia, the 2019 Region 5B Cross Country Individual Champion, shares that, as she sprinted down the chute, she “just wanted to get to the finish line as fast as possible.”

Shortly after the girls’ race concluded, the boys race began. The Midlo boys felt determined to win, as well as to make Coach Stan Morgan proud. The team consisted of: Brian Tavenner, Will Gardner, Austin Bergh, Ben Scott, Joey Maguire, CJ Mierchuk, and Jack Ereio. As the race progressed, Tavenner and Gardner worked their way to the front and finished in sixteenth and seventeenth places; since they finished among the top five individuals who were not members of the top three teams, they qualified for the upcoming state meet. Following behind Gardner, Bergh finished nineteenth in the region, earning respect from teammates and competitors alike. Scott completed the race in twenty-seventh place, followed by Maguire, who crossed the line in twenty-ninth. In thirty-fourth place, Mierchuk used his speed to fend off competitors; while Ereio closely followed, crossing the line in a respectable thirty-ninth place.

Following the conclusion of the boys’ race, the awards ceremony began. In the team competition, the Midlo Varsity Girls demonstrated their prowess and won the regional title; the Midlo boys finished fourth in the team competition. On Saturday, November 16, 2019, the Midlo Varsity Girls, Brian Tavenner, and Will Gardner will compete in the VHSL Class 5A Cross Country State Championships.