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Fauquier boys win Conference 22 cross country meet, 11 locals make regionals

Wednesday, Oct. 29 | By Jeff Malmgren
Taylor Brown won the Conference 22 cross country championships girls race Wednesday in Fredericksburg. --Fauquier Times Staff Photo/Randy Litzinger
Quentin Jones had no time for watches.

Deemed a distraction during the Fauquier Falcons' cross country meet Oct. 23, Jones had his runners remove those watches from their wrists leading up to and during the Conference 22 championship meet Wednesday.

He wanted the Falcons to focus on their placements rather than their times during the conference races. That's not an approach he'll second guess after Fauquier had four boys and four girls earn top-15 medals.

Those individual performances also combined to help the Fauquier boys win the conference title at Loriella Park in Fredericksburg while the Fauquier girls placed second.

The Falcons finished first in the boys standings with 49 points while Liberty placed fifth with 124 points and barely missed the four-team region cut. In the girls competition, Liberty's Taylor Brown won individually, but didn't have enough teammates to compose a team score. The Fauquier girls, meanwhile, placed second with 43 points behind winner King George's 29.

So both Fauquier teams qualified for the Class 4A North Region meet while Brown and two Liberty boys advanced to the region meet as individuals finishing among the top-15.

"Overall, ecstatic," Jones said. "We had an awesome day."

Jones' watch-less runners logged 12 top-20 finishes between the boys and girls races.

"The last race we were at, they were kind of dinking around with their watches," he said. "We took the watches off and we told them, 'Run for places.' … They did really, really well."

The Falcons practiced almost an entire week without using their time pieces to monitor their pace times, and they took the same approach during their conference races Wednesday.

"I don't care if you run 16 minutes out here," Jones said. "If you end up fifth, that's not helping us. We had to get people in front of" opponents.

"Sometimes a kid looks at his watch and is like, 'Oh, crap, I'm off time,'" he said. "Now all of a sudden they freak out a little bit. It was nice for them to just go" without worrying.

Fauquier's Brock Curry placed second in the boys race with a time of 17 minutes, 16.6 seconds and his brother Madison Curry placed third in 17:16.7, while King George's Jacob Watson won in 16:57.6.

For Liberty, Adam Walker placed seventh in 17:43 while Michael Fairfax took 11th in 17:56. Both qualified for the region meet.

"They've done an outstanding job as seniors of stepping up and taking leadership of the boys team," Eagles coach Doron White said. "Overall, everybody stepped up to the plate. … I'm proud of them. They did very well."

Contributing to Liberty's team score but not qualifying for the region meet were Wyatt Potter (27th, 18:37.7), Austin Allen (39th, 22:17) and Leon Hampton (40th, 22:19.1).

For the Fauquier boys, Henry Delavergne placed 13th in 18:02 while Ian Dunton took 14th in 18:02.2 and James McAvoy finished 17th in 18:05.1. Their contributions helped the Falcons win the Conference 22 title for the second consecutive season.

"It's a pretty big deal," Madison Curry said. "Coming back and doing it two years in a row [was] really nice. I hope to do the same thing next year, too."

The Curry brothers, both juniors, didn't contribute to Fauquier's conference team score last season with Madison as the Falcons' No. 7 runner and Brock not competing as their No. 8 runner. They contributed much more this season as second-year runners.

"Just improved in distance running overall – stamina," Madison Curry said. "Made sure we're working in the summer."

Fauquier won the 2014 title despite competing without usual No. 1 runner Raul Chavez, who hasn't run in more than a month due to a possible stress fracture in his foot.

"If he would have been in … he could have been running for first place," Jones said. "But you've got to go with what you've got."

The Falcons hope Chavez will return for the upcoming region meet.

For the Fauquier girls, Shayne Halligan placed third in 20:26.7 during the conference race, while Bethany Cales took seventh in 21:10.4, Paige Emmer finished ninth in 21:37.4, Erin Conolly placed 13th in 22:28.2 and Diana Martinez took 16th in 22:35.7.

"Second place, I think that's great," Halligan said of the Fauquier girls' team finish. "I think our team did awesome today. I think we blew it out of the water.

"We just got beat by the better team," she said. "We tired our best. That's all you can do."

Brown, meanwhile, won the girls race for Liberty in 19:48.5. She had never before won a postseason race with her best finishing being second in the Conference 22 race last season.

"It's exciting, especially because it's my senior year," Brown said. "Last year I came hoping I was going to win. I came in second, and that was a real bummer. Now I actually have the feeling of the championship. It's great."

Also for Liberty on Wednesday, Sarah Swartchick placed 31st in 24:40.9.

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