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Pioneer runners capture first district titles

Just four days after the Patriot boys swimming team captured the Pioneers' first Cedar Run District championship for any sport, the school's indoor track and field teams delivered two more.

Pioneer runners capture first district titles

Just four days after the Patriot boys swimming team captured the Pioneers' first Cedar Run District championship for any sport, the school's indoor track and field teams delivered two more.
Both the boys and girls teams topped the defending district champion Battlefield at the Bobcats' home course in Haymarket on Feb. 5.
The boys claimed their first Cedar Run District crown with a 185 to 177 victory over second-place Battlefield while the girls edged out their purple-and-black rivals 187 to 181 for their first championship.
Stonewall Jackson and Osbourn came in third and fourth place for both competitions, respectively.
According to Patriot head coach Adam Daniels, once the boys swimming team "broke the barrier" and won the district title, an enthusiasm took over his own teams.
"We were excited that were the first boys and girls champions," said Daniels.
He expected at the start of the season that the girls would have a reasonable shot at taking districts given the team's depth chart.
What surprised him and perhaps other observers as well is the strength of the boys, particularly on the field and in distance runs.
Patriot and Battlefield matched each other in event wins overall as the boys teams both won seven each and the girls won six each.
Battlefield actually bested Patriot overall on the track but the Pioneers won their titles due to their margins of victory on the field, according to statistics provided by Milestat.com.
The Pioneer boys racked up 70 points on the field compared to 43 for Battlefield and the PHS girls won field events by a combined 64 to 53 margin.
Individual athletes claiming first place in an event won 10 team points. Yet the team aspect comes from the second- through sixth-place finishers each earning team points too.
A look at the girls long jump scores, for example, shows that while Kaileaa Ford of Stonewall Jackson won the event, Patriot's Crystal Hunt, Naomi Nvodjo and Allison DiNofrio captured second, third and fourth place while only Ayisha Minter from Battlefield ended up in the top six.
Daniels described that as a "huge" moment for Patriot
From that event alone, Patriot built up an 18 to 1 margin over Battlefield. Likewise, the Patriot girls took in multiple points in every other event, so even if they didn't win, they still built up their score.
Meanwhile, the Battlefield did land one shutout over Patriot in the high jump, taking 23 points.
Yet the Bobcats laid two goose eggs of their own in the triple jump and shot put. Patriot totaled 35 points between those two events, which helped erase Battlefield's advantage from the high jump.
Field victories Patriot came from Amber Cowthran (high jump) and Kerianne Gallagher (pole vault) for the girls and Sean Whitmer (pole vault), Grant Amoateng (long jump) and Austin Jewett (shot put) for the boys.
On the track, Patriot's Candace Jones took home first in the girls 1,000 meter run as did the 4x200, 4x400 and 4x800 meter relay teams.
Jones just missed out on a second win in the 1,600 meter run in what may be the closest time by any second-place Patriot distance runner since the school opened in 2010 as she came within 0.01 of a second from winning.
Battlefield's Emma Thornberg instead won the neck-and-neck bout 5:29.08 to 5:29.09.
State qualifier Alex Orellana, however, did bring in two golds for the boys in the 300 and 500 meter dash while Milak Fuller (55 meter dash) and Nick Bussian (1,000 meter run) each won one.
Like Patriot did in the girls meet, the Battlefield boys swept the three relay races at 200, 400 and 800 meters.
Otherwise, individual Battlefield winners included Brandon Williams (high jump), Alex Merritt (55 meter hurdles), Luke Mazzu (1,600 meter run) and Ryan Miller (3,200 meter run).
Along with Thornburg's win in the 1,600 meter run, the Bobcats' other five victories came from Galissia Cause (shot put), Claire Gloss (55 meter hurdles), Jessica Rolle (300 meter dash), Ellison Grove (500 meter run) and Nicole Carter (3,200 meter run).
Though Stonewall came in third place overall for both the boys and girls, Ford dominated the field events she competed in, winning the long jump and triple jump.
Two other Raiders also came out on top throughout the day, with Bria Harrison claiming first place in the 55 meter dash and David Worthy doing the same in the boys triple jump.
Next up for all qualifying athletes is the Northwest Regional championship, which is being held out of state, according to Milestat. That meet is set for Feb. 13 in Landover, Maryland at the Prince George's County Sports and Learning Complex.
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