The Trojans cross country team competed in the VISAA state championship meet at Pole Green Park in Mechanicsville on Thursday, Nov. 11. The varsity boys were ranked fifth out of 40 teams going into the meet.
The Trojans rose to the challenge by capping off their stellar season racing to fourth place with an impressive average 5K time of 18:22. This is the first time the Trojan boys have made the top 5 in VISAA since 2015, and their team average time was 10 seconds faster than any Trojan boys team has ever run in a VISAA championship meet.
The Trojans were led by junior and team co-captain Parker Shonka. Parker, Brody Cox, Jake Falcone and Ayden Richardson ran together in their assigned pod for the first mile, demonstrating perfect execution of their race strategy. At the one-mile marker, Parker surged to the lead, passed 51 runners and raced to 19th place out of 264 runners with a time of 17:48 to earn All-VISAA Honors.
Freshman Brody Cox was close behind in 22nd place with a time of 17:54. Junior Jake Falcone was the third runner across the finish line in 32nd place with a time of 18:12. Sophomore Ayden Richardson was the fourth runner in a time of 18:56 placing 57th. Freshman Nick Primich passed 136 runners after the one-mile mark and was hot on Ayden’s heels in a time of 18:56.7 for 58th place as the fifth scorer for the team. Ayden and Nick both achieved a significant career milestone by breaking into the 18s.
Junior Brendan Bouchard was the sixth runner across the finish line in a time of 19:05 for 62nd place. Brendan had a strong race, passing 118 runners after the one-mile marker. His efforts contributed to the Trojans scoring by finishing ahead of the fourth and fifth runners of three teams behind Walsingham, giving those three teams extra points and ultimately helping the Trojans secure a better team score.
The Trojan boys had a tremendous season and the future is bright for the Trojan boys XC team for fall 2022. Parker Shonka earned All-State Catholic, All-TCIS and All-VISAA Honors for his performances this season. Jake Falcone earned All-State Catholic Honors and Brody Cox earned All-TCIS Honors. The team ended the season with Parker Shonka, Jake Falcone and Brendan Bouchard in the top 19 for juniors competing D2 in VISAA. The team hopes to regain junior Jacob Thibeault, whose 2021 season ended early due to injury. Ayden Richardson is ranked 19th for sophomores; and the Trojans have Brody Cox, Nick Primich, Clay Carpenter and Andrew Robinson all ranked in the top 24 of D2 VISAA for freshmen.
For the Trojan XC girls, team captain senior Emma Lobash was the first Trojan across the line with a season-best performance of 22:41 for 68th place out of 220 athletes. Junior Kate Digges was 91st in a time of 23:34 and Morgan Schott was in 187th place with a time of 28:51.
Congratulations to the Trojans cross country team on a great season and best wishes to the student-athletes in their academics and other athletics endeavors!