Girls’ XC Repeats as Regional Champs! Ethan Coleman Will Join Them at States
By Andrew Stoddard, Photos by Time Crytser
In the familiar setting of Pole Green Park at an unfamiliar time of year, the Hanover cross country team contended in the VHSL Region 4B XC Championships on Thursday, April 15. It was a picture perfect day for running, with sunny skies and temperatures in the low to mid 60s.
The girls’ team arrived at Pole Green as the reigning team champions of Region 4B, and they left the park with that same status. The girls captured their second consecutive cross country region team title with a low score of 43 points, beating out runner-up King George with 60 points (lowest score wins in cross country). Sophomore Alli Crytser buoyed the Hawks’ team effort by winning her second straight individual XC championship with ease, running a blistering time of 17:59.9 for 5K (3.1 miles). That time was one minute and 41 seconds faster than runner-up Sierra Puleo of Mechanicsville (19:40.9). Crytser was one of four girls to achieve all-Region status, along with teammates Hannah Clarke (5th/21:29), Lizzy Tierney (9th/22:45.50), and Erika Osborn (13th/23:11.70). Meredith Soiland (23rd/24:15.50), Monica Arechiga (40th/25:15.60), and Nicole Smith (41st/25:18.40) filled out the championship girls’ squad.
All told, the girls’ XC/track & field program at Hanover has now won four straight Region 4B championships (XC 2019, Indoor Track, Indoor Track 2021, XC Spring 2021). As of the writing of this article, it has been 699 days since the last time the girls’ program did not win a Region 4B championship meet (Outdoors 2019).
Following the girls’ race, the boys’ squad sought their own ticket to the state championship. Sadly, they came just short of that goal with a fourth place team finish with 86 points, with the top two teams Mechanicsville (45 points) and Patrick Henry (47 points) securing the state meet bids. However, the boys did not go home empty-handed, as junior Ethan Coleman locked up an individual qualifying spot at states with a sixth-place finish overall in a time of 16:30.60 for 5K. Coleman had two teammates join him in achieving all-Region honors: junior Nick Ligday (14th/17:08.60) and senior Wes Gable (15th/17:08.80). The rest of the boys to run at regionals were Seth Miller (22nd/17:52.10), Tristin Lemens (31st/18:26.60), Lloyd Jewell (68th/20:49.20), and Nathaniel Whitsel (74th/21:27.70). Nicholas Emmert of Louisa County claimed the individual championship in an astonishing time of 15:59.80.
The girls’ team and Coleman now advance to the VHSL Class 4 State Cross Country Championships scheduled for Saturday, April 24 at Oatlands Plantation near Leesburg, Virginia. Congratulations to all of the athletes, coaches, and parents on a great cross country season up to this point!