On Saturday, the Trojan traveled to the Milestat Invitational Meet to race in the largest meet the team will compete in this season with a total 150 teams from 4 different states. The Milestat course is primarily for elite college races such as the Atlantic 10 Conference meet. The Trojans competed in this meet for the opportunity to run on the same course that they will race on for the VISAA Championship meet.
The objective for the varsity Trojan boys team was to prepare for VISAA by pushing their speed in the first mile to test their true capabilities. Achieving this objective was crucial for setting the conditions for peak performance at the state meet. As a result of the focus on pushing the athletes to their edge in the first mile of the race, their overall race times were not expected to be as fast as previous races this season. The athletes were assigned a running pod and challenged with staying in their pod at an aggressive first mile pace. The conditions were not ideal due to the weather being unusually hot and windy. The varsity boys team’s fastest pod consisted of the team co-captain, Parker Shonka, junior Jake Falcone and freshman Brody Cox. The three athletes demonstrated their athletic ability and discipline by running the first mile pace precisely in 5:50, the exact pace they were charged to run by the varsity boys coach, Frank Faykes.
In the final mile of the race, Parker surged to the front of the Trojans and finished the race in 29th place out of 301 athletes for a time of 18:12. Jake was the second Trojan across the finish line in 38th place in a time of 18:24. Brody maintained close contact with his teammate as the next runner across the line in 39th place for a finish time of 18:26. Ayden Richardson was the leader of the next pod and was the fourth runner across the line in 117th place crossing the finish line in 20:10. Nick Primich was given a tough assignment because he was charged by Coach Faykes to increase his first mile pace more than any other athlete on the team. Nick demonstrated his ability by achieving the coaches objective and as a result, he was the only athlete on the varsity team to have a personal best in the meet. Nick was the fifth scorer for the team with a time of 20:16 in 126th place. Not only did the Trojan boys achieve their coaches' objectives, they raced to a 7th place finish out of 41 teams. This is the highest placing the Trojans have ever had at Milestat and it is the first time the varsity Trojan boys have ever finished in the top 10 at this meet.
Although the varsity girls don’t have enough athletes to compete as a team, Kate Digges was the first Trojan girl across the finish line with a tine of 25:09 for 136th place out of 271 runners. Full results are available at: https://va.milesplit.com/meets/436326-milestatcom-xc-invitational-2021/results#.YW7hYy-cbjA.
Good luck to the Trojans at their State Catholic Championship meet on Oct. 27 at Newport News Park.