By Brennan Waldorf
Eastern Shore teams traveled to Salem, Va., last weekend to compete in the Virginia State Cross Country tournament. Northampton and Chincoteague both had girls running in the Division I race while Nandua and Arcadia had runners participate in the Division II race.
The district champion and regional runner-up Nandua boys team took top honors for the Shore as they were the only team to advance. The Warrior squad has much to be proud of as the team finished as a top ten team in the state coming in 9th place at the event with 224 points. Nandua participated in a field of 104 runners representing 28 different teams with Union High School claiming first place.
The Warriors were led by Carlo Balmoria who finished 38th with a time of 17:52. Sebastian Bonilla finished 55th with a time 18:52, Ethan Harrower placed 64th with a time of 18:50, and Panuncio Chavez finished 66th with a time of 18:54. The top runners for Nandua had a split time of 18:38 but the Warriors also had runners David Gastelum finish 69th, Bryan Tinoco finish 73rd, and Riley Bull finish 74th in the race as well. The Warriors will have plenty to build on next year with all runners being able to return apart from senior Panuncio Chavez.
In the girls division, Nandua’s Areil Enriquez took top honors for the Shore as the Warriors’ lone runner, finishing 59th with a time of 22:40. Arcadia’s Gracie Perez finished 66th with a time of 23:19 and Arisbeth Gomez finished 88th with a time of 24:37. The girls competed against 103 of the best runners in the state with Radford High winning the state title.
In the girls Division I race, Northampton’s district champion Daniela Gonzalez took top honors coming in 34th overall just two places away from tying the school’s best finish in the race with a time of 22:34. Wendi Martinez, who had just recovered from injury, placed 61st with a time of 24:29. “We are very proud of our girls’ accomplishments,” said head coach Rich Wilfong and Kelly Driscole.
Chincoteague’s Carli Fradja was the lone runner from the island and placed 62nd in the Division I race with a time of 24:32.
The girls competed against 98 runners from 25 teams with George Wythe High School claiming the 2019 title.