NEW MARKET – It was a good day Thursday for Riverheads at the Conference 44 cross country championships at New Market Battlefield.
The Gladiators got a 2-3 finish from Veronica Ferguson and Kordelia Hunsberger on the way to a third-place finish in the girls team race, qualifying the team for Tuesday’s Region 1A East meet at Panorama Farms in Charlottesville.
The boys team, meanwhile, is sending five runners to regions who qualified as individuals — Ethan Ernst, Ian Patterson, Derricke Hunsberger, Zach Hipes and Rhett Simpson.
Ferguson, a sophomore, finished second with a time of 23:27 behind winner Brandy Webb of Stonewall Jackson (22:53), while Hunsberger, a freshman was third in 23:43. Rounding out Riverheads’ scoring runners were Jodi Jones (16th, 25:58), Hannah Frederick (18th, 26:14) and Emma Grubb (20, 26:43).
“I always tell them we have a 10-meet preseason to get ready for the big meets,” Riverheads girls coach Allen Clifton said. “This year, that was really true. We had to use the regular season for the first-year runners to learn how to race by racing. These girls have really worked on learning how to race.”
Riverheads boys team did not qualify as a team, placing fifth. But the five runners who qualified for regions did so because they were in the top 12 runners who were not on a qualifying team. Ernst was the top finisher, placing 13 overall with a time of 19:56, followed by Patterson (23rd, 20:57), Hunsberger (24th, 20:58), Hipes (25th, 21:08) and Simpson (27th, 21:19).