Blacksburg sends DeMarco out with more trophies
This special offer is for a digital subscription and does not include home delivery of The Roanoke Times. Offer valid for new digital subscribers only who have not subscribed in the past 30 days. Promotional rate of $5.95 a month is valid for the first 3 months. At the end of the 90 day promotional period, your digital subscription will auto renew at the current monthly rate of $8.95 per month."Leading up to this, there was a lot of talk that you have to, 'Win this for DeMarco,'" Blacksburg coach James DeMarco told his team Saturday at the conclusion of the VHSL state cross country championships. "I didn't bring it up once."Because I knew that every time you went out there you put it all on the line."That effort couldn't quite get the team championship sweep that some hoped would happen before DeMarco moves to Wisconsin this winter.The Bruins' girls, as expected, dominated the Group 3A race at the Great Meadow field events center, and the Blacksburg boys finished second.Blacksburg freshman Sophia Link won the girls individual championship, and all seven Blacksburg girls runners finished in the top 15 to earn all state honors. The Bruins girls' team scored 23 points, topping runner up Monticello (94 points).Unlike the girls, the Blacksburg boys weren't supposed to win. DeMarco said that Western Albemarle was a "no brainer" heavy favorite, and Western Albemarle got the win. But the margin to Blacksburg was four points. Western Albemarle scored 60 points, and Blacksburg had 64."We have four guys who were racing here for the first time," DeMarco told his team. "You guys fought really hard. We made some mistakes, but when it came down to it, you gave it everything you had."Blacksburg's boys got a runner up finish from senior Sam Teller, who finished in 15 minutes, 50 seconds, just 15 seconds behind winner Gannon Willcutts of Western Albemarle. Teller said that's the closest he's been to Willcutts all year.The Bruins also got all state performances from juniors Ben Fleming (fifth) and Ethan Edwards (15th). Rounding out the scoring for Blacksburg's boys were sophomores Siddharth Nathella (17th) and Elijah Hodges (38th)."It didn't work out the way we wanted it to," Fleming said. "But our young guys did everything they could."Cave Spring, led by Timothy Grider in 12th, finished third as a team with 76 points. Grider was the only freshman to earn all state honors. Cave Spring junior Banner Plumb was 14th in 16:23 nike 5.0 free to earn all state honors.With only two seniors, the Bruins' girls nonetheless performed like veterans.Early on, Link was content to let Lindsey Blanks of Tabb set the pace. At the 1 mile mark, Blanks was up by six seconds. But then the course started hitting the hills, and Link closed the gap."Hills are definitely good for me, being teeny," Link said. "It's a good sport to be small."Link, a 100 pound freshman, stayed with Blanks for a while after catching the senior, then pulled away to finish the 5 kilometer course in 18:13, 27 seconds clear of runner up Blanks."He had more competition," the gracious little sister said, referring to her brother's win when nike shoes c width there were only three divisions instead of six.After Link came the rest of the Bruins' train, Samantha Marin took third (18:43) , nike shoes extra wide Annie Kay Combs fourth (18:47), Mikayla Richardson seventh (19:02) and Ailene Edwards eighth (19:08) to complete the scoring. Simonne Guenette (ninth in 19:09) and Olivia Hodge (11th in 19:20) also earned all state honors.