An opportunity to participate in the Milestat Invitational this past Saturday proved beneficial to James Monroe senior Mitch Dolby.
Dolby wanted to test himself in an ultra-competitive cross country event. Although he didn’t win the competition, he was satisfied that the 20th-place showing would position him to repeat as Battlefield District champion on Wednesday.
Dolby found himself in a tight race with Courtland’s Robert Gunia, Chancellor’s Jordan Dixon and two of his teammates.
But ultimately Dolby pulled away to earn his second straight district crown on a balmy Wednesday afternoon at Spotsylvania High.
“I just kind of wanted to uphold my reputation and get one more district cross country title in before I graduate,” Dolby said. “I wasn’t feeling my best. I had a fever pretty recently and I’ve been recovering from that. But I felt good considering the circumstances.”
The James Monroe boys team was feeling good immediately after the race until it learned that Courtland nipped them to claim the district championship.
The Cougars came in first with 45 points and was followed closely by JM (48) and Chancellor (55). King George (77), Eastern View (140), Spotsylvania (149) and Caroline (210) rounded out the team standings.
Gunia placed second for the Cougars and was supported by Kyle Ernandes (sixth), Caleb Delage (eighth) and Jacob Houck (11th).
“We knew it was going to be close,” Courtland first-year head coach John Helsley said. “We told them before the race that every spot was going to mean something. That’s what we were after.”
The James Monroe girls were able to take home the district championship. The Yellow Jackets breezed to the title with 26 points. They were followed by King George (54), Courtland (87), Eastern View (90), Spotsylvania (110) and Chancellor (161).
Eastern View’s Kirstyn Gilyard followed up last week’s Fredericksburg All-Area meet title with the individual district championship, but James Monroe took places 2-4.
Sophomore Ginny Beringer placed second and was followed by senior Eva Kerr and sophomore Carrie Stinchcomb. The performance left the Yellow Jackets hopeful they can earn the Region 3B title Oct. 31 at Culpeper High.
“My coach tells us not to count the chickens,” Kerr said. “But I think we have a very special team right now.”
Beringer pushed Gilyard and threatened to overtake her in the home stretch, but the Cyclones’ senior stayed strong.
Gilyard said she’s been motivated to win big meets this season by her relationship with her brother, Coby Gilyard, who is in the Air Force and stationed in Germany. The two talk nearly every day.
“It feels absolutely amazing,” Gilyard said of the past two weeks. “I do it for my God and my brother. My brother supports me so much … I definitely like telling him something good, that’s for sure.”
Gilyard and the Class 4 teams in the Battlefield will be back in action at the Region 4B meet Nov. 1 at Loriella Park in Spotsylvania County.
Team scores: 1. James Monroe 26; 2. King George 54; 3. Courtland 87; 4. Eastern View 90; 5. Spotsylvania 110; 6. Chancellor 161.
Top 15 individuals: 1. Kirstyn Gilyard (EV) 19:58.8; 2. Ginny Beringer (JM) 20:02.6; 3. Eva Kerr (JM) 20:16.5; 4. Carrie Stinchcomb (JM) 20:20.7; 5. Ellianna Bailey (KG) 21:32.3; 6. Kyla Brown (Ct) 21:39; 7. Abigail Howes (Ct) 21:58.5; 8. Haley Caspersen (JM) 22:00.7; 9. Taylor-Jean Wynn (JM) 22:07.7; 10. Ana Heller (JM) 22:13.2; 11. Natalie Castro (EV) 22:27.5; 12. Jordan Powers (Sp) 22:36.3; 13. Eleanor Veazey (KG) 22:59.6; 14. Delanie Williams (KG) 23:04.5; 15. Madeline Weber (JM) 23:13.7.
Team scores: 1. Courtland 45; 2. James Monroe 48; 3. Chancellor 55; 4. King George 77; 5. Eastern View 140; 6. Spotsylvania 149; 7. Caroline 202.
Top 15 individuals: 1. Mitch Dolby (JM) 16:54.4; 2. Robert Gunia (Ct) 16:56.2; 3. Jordan Dixon (Ch) 16:57.8; 4. William Snead (JM) 17:01.4; 5. Alex Kolar (JM) 17:05.4; 6. Kyle Ernandes (Ct) 17:19.6; 7. Connor Adkins (Ch) 17:27.3; 8. Caleb Delage (Ct) 17:30.4; 9. Cole Taylor (Ch) 17:33; 10. Abraham Martinez (KG) 17:38.7; 11. Jacob Houck (Ct) 17:47.1; 12. Aidan Ridderhof (JM) 17:54.2; 13. Tyler Maass (Sp) 18:04.5; 14. Jason Healey (KG) 18:06.9; 15. Alex Dachos (KG) 18:08.1.