(Nov. 6, 2013) – Viva Loudoun editor Dan Sousa caught up with (not on foot, mind you, because these kids are fast!) the individual winners last week of the Conference 14 and 21 cross county races at Oatlands. Here is what these talented athletes had to say about their winning runs:
Emma Gillies, Woodgrove High School
Conference 21 Champion (19:20)
Emma: My game plan was to breakaway at the hill and it worked well. I had a pretty big lead at the end. It was good weather to run in. It wasn’t too hot and it wasn’t too cold. It was perfect weather for running. I want to do well at [5A North] because we don’t know that course. and of course, States, I want to try my best at States. I know there are some other girls in the state who I have to really compete with. I’m just going to train hard for that.”
Trent Lancaster, Dominion High School
Conference 21 Champion (16:29)
Trent: It really feels good to come out here and realize that I’m at the top of the conference. Going into the season I knew I was one of the top-ranked runners so I decided to work hard over the summer. I’m glad I set goals for myself and I’m able to hit them right now. I want to compete for a state title. I’m feeling good and have a lot of confidence now that I was able to win conference. I happened to have a bad race at Oatlands (earlier in the season) and let one of the Millbrook kids beat me so going in I was kind of scared and anxious just to race. My race plan was to just go out there and push the pace because I knew I was feeling good and capable running a fast time.
Anna Wasko, Tuscarora High School
Conference 14 Champion (19:39)
Anna: This just exceeded all of my expectations. At the beginning of the season I wasn’t really sure what was going on but my performance was definitely suffering. I went to the doctor’s and had a lot of tests done and I was diagnosed with anemia. It runs in the family so it was kind of expected. My ferritin level was extremely, extremely low. The doctor said I would get better with time and I needed to take iron supplements and get more iron in my diet. So that’s what I did. I’ve been taking liquid iron which is not my favorite but it’s definitely helping.
Over a month after the diagnosis we went to an away invitational at Maymont and it out first time there and it was an amazing experience. I as smiling throughout the entire race. Everything just really started to click again and the “old Anna” was back which was really nice. Just standing here now I can’t even believe what happened because I never would have imagined it would be possible. Coming in I was going to go out strong and see how the other girls were running, like how they were pacing and keep up with them. Eventually I was just going to try and push myself and see how long I could keep it. I was surprised to find myself in the front. My coach printed out a virtual meet and they had me seeded first and I had to do a triple take. I was like ‘there is no way. me?” So going in it was kind of weird knowing that because I have never really won races. I have never won a big invitational. I’m going to celebrate with lots of homework and an iron-rich dinner.
Brady Guertin, Stone Bridge High School
Conference 14 champion (16:02)
Brady: Both (this race and the Loudoun County Championships) were really big races. Being County champion is a pretty big bragging right but saying you are (conference) champion is even better. It feels great. Knowing you hard work for four years … it just feels great, especially running against the same guys at the County championship. We were all neck and neck and it happened again today with (Briar Woods Ryan) Hughes. It feels good to win both of them especially as a senior. I like this course a lot. It’s a course I feel like I excel on. I’m not a big sprinter so there are a lot of hills here and they kind of take the sprint out of people. I kind of try to use them to my advantage especially being short you have to take advantage of the hills and break the guys. That was my strategy today and I did just that. I feel great. I’m definitely in the best shape I’ve been in for four years .. all the hard work for four years has paid off. I’ve pretty much peaked.