Fauquier boys wins Conference 22 cross country championship
Dustin Constantino was the individual medalist at the Conference 22 championship meet Wednesday. --Courtesy photo
The Fauquier boys cross country team accomplished a feat Wednesday never before done by any Falcons sports team.
“Fifty-one years of school history and we finally brought home a conference championship,” Falcons coach Quentin Jones said.
Fauquier, of course, never before competed in a conference prior to the VHSL realignment this school year. But that didn’t diminish the significance of the Falcons’ victory during the Conference 22 championship meet at Loriella Park in Fredericksburg.
The Fauquier boys finished with a score of 35, handily beating runner-up King George (71), Courtland (74), Chancellor (95), Eastern View (112) and Liberty (135).
“I was very pleased,” Jones said. “But with the work they put into it, it was kind of like I expected them to be there.”
The Fauquier girls placed third with a score of 65 behind winner King George (32) and runner-up Chancellor (36). Eastern View took fourth (107) and Courtland finished fifth (124).
All seven Fauquier boys impressively finished among the top-16 individually. In fact, Henry Delavergne earned a medal with his 15th-place finish, but his time didn’t even contribute to the Falcons’ team score because five teammates finished ahead of him.
“They ran as a pack,” Jones said. “They ran smart together.”
Dustin Constantino led the Falcons by winning the boys race in 17 minutes, 3 seconds, while Raul Chavez placed fifth (17:18), And Page finished seventh (17:19), Scott Gilb took eighth (17:26) and Colin Cummins placed 14th (17:53). Behind Delavergne, Madison Curry finished 16th.
For Liberty, Danny Collins took third (17:16), Michael Fairfax placed 26th (19:04), Adam Walker finished 30th (19:15), Jacob Mazuch took 38th (20:59) and David Kraus placed 39th (21:27).
Liberty’s Taylor Brown finished second (20:22) in the girls race, while Mami Takashima placed 19th (23:09). For Fauquier, Shayne Halligan finished fourth (20:45), while Cindy Cox took 13th (22:24), Jordyn O’saben placed 16th (22:39), Bethany Cales finished 18th (22:49) and Diana Martinez took 20th (23:09).
In the boys race, Constantino’s victory was the first of his career at a major event.
“It’s huge for him,” Jones said. “He’s got a lot of high goals.”
Last week at the Third Battle of Winchester invitational, Constantino finished 18th and behind Liberty’s Danny Collins, who took 12th for the best finish of any Fauquier County runner.
Constantino got revenge Wednesday. He passed Collins with about three-fourth of a mile left in the race.
“The Liberty young man ran a really good race and outran Dustin last week,” Jones said. “Dustin ran a smart race today – settled in and let the race unfold and then move ahead from there.”
The new Conference 22 championship meet was equivalent to Evergreen District championship meets of the past five seasons. Fauquier finished second to Brentsville at the 2012 Evergreen meet, but didn’t have to face the Tigers this postseason because they now compete in Conference 27.
“I don’t know what would happen if we ran face-to-face,” Jones said. “They’ve had a very strong year as well. They were tougher than anybody we met today.”
The top four boys and girls teams at the conference meet qualified for the Class 4A North Region championship meet Nov. 6.
“You run the numbers and we’re pretty much in the money to move on [to state],” Jones said. “But everybody’s got to understand that we’re not done. It’s not going to be handed to you. You’ve got to earn it.”
The Falcons have had a few disappointing postseason performances in seasons past, which Jones hopes to avoid in 2013.
The North Region meet will also be at Loriella Park, which could be an advantage for the Falcons. They have become somewhat familiar with the course after also running it during an Aug. 31 meet.
“It changed up a little bit, but our kids got a chance to see that course and get a feel for it,” Jones said of the layout.
Nonetheless, the Fauquier girls placed third when Jones had hoped they could finish second.
“We were hoping we were going to be two, three points off of King George,” Jones said. “Chancellor got in there and ruined some plans. That’s a great example of what’s on paper doesn’t matter.”
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