Midlo Girls Varsity Cross Country stuns at States

2021 VHSL Class 5A Cross Country State Championships

Photo by: Michelle Quiram
The Midlo Varsity Girls XC team celebrates their second place finish at the State Championship 2021.

On November 13, 2021, the Midlo’s Girls Cross Country team toed the starting line at Great Meadows in The Plains, Virginia for the VHSL Class 5A Cross Country State Championships. After last year’s cross country championship moved to the spring due to COVID, this year the venue and date returned to its normal schedule. Unlike previous years with frigid temperatures, the fall weather this time around remained in 50s during the race, making for great competition conditions. The Great Meadows course brings many unforgivable hills and a creek crossing, but it was no match for Midlo’s girls.

The girls’ entered the Cross Country State meet coming off of a third-place team finish at the VHSL Class 5C Region Meet and a State Runner-Up finish last year. With many new additions to the team for the 2021 season, the girls knew that they would need to all work together and race well to secure a podium placement.

At 11:45 a.m., the starting gun sounded and the Girls’ Varsity team sprinted off the line alongside some of the best runners in Virgina. Midlo’s team consisted of Gabriella Garcia, Kylie Bonser, Nicole Quiram, Addison Rodal, Elise Graves, Kate Lowe and Megan Lamberson. Throughout the race, Garcia and Bonser worked their way through the crowd of runners to cement themselves at the head of the pack. The rest of the girls followed closely behind using every bit of energy they had to maintain their pace.

Garcia battled until the end, finishing in first place and walking away with the 2021 VHSL Class 5A State Cross Country Champion title. Bonser followed closely behind with a seventh-place finish, allowing both of them to earn all-state honors. Shortly after, the rest of the girls made their way across the finish line where Quiram ended with a strong twenty-second place finish. Rodal and Graves then placed thirty-ninth and forty-second respectively to round out the scoring runners. As for the rest of the team, Lowe finished in sixtieth place and Lamberson come in sixty-seventh.

Senior Gabriella Garcia, the newly named 2021 State Champion, noted that she “had a special angel helping me every step of the way which made today so special” referring to her mom. She also is thankful for her teammates as she “wouldn’t be the runner or person [she is] today without them” and is grateful for the amazing effort put in by everyone on the day of the meet, as well as for showing their “love and support” when she finished first overall.

Junior Kylie Bonser was also impressed by the team’s hard work. “Everyone stepped up when it mattered most and had been working so hard since the beginning of the summer,” Bonser said.

The Midlo girls’ earned the title of 2021 VHSL Class 5A State Runner-Up Team, beating the third-place team by only two points. Such a narrow feat demonstrated just how much every runner on the team matters. Led by Coach Stan Morgan and Coach David Benjamin, this marks the team’s third runner-up finish in the past three years. On the individual side, both Garcia in receiving the title of VHSL Class 5A State Champion and Bonser who made the all-state team will receive medals for their grand accomplishments. Moving forward, many of the girls will continue their training for the indoor track season.