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State cross country meet next for swift Falcons Paccassi and Scott

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PHOTO BY DAVE PACCASSI

Fauquier Falcon sophomore Cassidy Scott and junior Peter Paccassi (above) run  in the Class 4 state championship this Saturday at Great Meadow.

 

Then there were two.

Fauquier Falcon sophomore Cassidy Scott and junior Peter Paccassi both qualified for the Class 4 state championship this Saturday at Great Meadow.

Scott took fifth overall at the Nov. 2 Region C meet, clocking a time of 18 minutes, 37 seconds in the field of 59 runners. She was the first finisher not a member of the top three teams.

Paccassi (16:25) was the 13th overall placer out of 61 entries and the fifth independent runner to grab the final individual state berth.

The regionals were at Great Meadow on a different course than the state meet.

Scott will run at 1 p.m. at Saturday’s state meet and Paccassi at 1:45. The top 15 finishers in each race earn all-state honors. Each of the four regions' top three teams and top five individuals exclusive of those squads earned state berths.

Loudoun Valley of the Dulles District claimed the region's girls team trophy with 47 points. Tuscarora (63), Lightridge (68), James Wood (86), Millbrook (105), Fauquier (138), Sherando (163) and Dominion (198) completed the eight squads competing. The top four squads from both the Northwestern and Dulles Districts had advanced to last week's regional competition. Fauquier was third in its district meet.

Loudoun Valley (56) also was the boys region champion ahead of Handley (66), James Wood (69), Millbrook (84), Tuscarora (118), Dominion (138), Broad Run (163) and Liberty (207). The Eagle boys were the Northwestern District's fourth-place finisher to earn a regional slot.

Loudoun Valley senior Ava Gordon, the defending Class 4 state champion, won the region title in 17:30. She finished 48 seconds ahead of Tuscarora's Sadie Dillard.

Loudoun Valley's Graham Mussmom won in 15:33, seven seconds ahead of Handley's Nicolo Schianchi.

Scott will be seeking her second all-state cross country medal in seven months after placing seventh in April's state meet. The 2020 season was postponed from fall to last spring by COVID-19 restrictions.

Fauquier coach Quentin Jones said Scott started strongly in a pack of the eventual top five finishers before falling off the pace.

"Cassidy was right there with those girls," Jones said. "A little before the mile, she started to slip a little bit.

"She's still learning to run with a stronger crowd. We've got to get her more and more exposure to it. Within the second mile, Ava started to leave everybody behind, and people started to spread out.

"Cassidy had a strong race. She did outstanding," Jones said.

The Falcon coaches had expected Scott to return to the state meet, however, Jones said the outlook was murky for Paccassi.

"I wasn't sure about Peter because he has been nursing an injury all year long," Jones pointed out. "We had to alter his training a lot.

"He put himself into position where he had a chance to make something happen. So, I'm very proud of him," Jones praised.

Joining Scott for the Fauquier girls were Kiki Wine (25th, 20:09), Mackenzie Hodul (35th, 20:54), Eva Del Gallo (41st, 21:22), Meme Merchant (44th, 21:34), Julia Crowther (50th, 22:28) and Natalie Phillips (55th, 24:08).

The Liberty boys squad consisted of Cole Hoffman (38th, 17:34), Owen Rogers (45th, 17:50), James Lacey (48th, 18:15), Peter Rummel (52nd, 18:18) and Aidan Neidich (58th, 19:03).

Kayla Lopez was the lone Liberty girl in the race, finishing 30th at 20:36. Kettle Run had one entrant in each race, both placing 43rd. Kendall Schlueter's time was 21:27, while Owen Mullins finished in 17:41.

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