Loudoun County High School senior Jennifer Lapetoda accomplished one of her biggest goals, winning the girls' individual title in 19 minutes 23 seconds at the Virginia AA Northwestern District cross-country championships at Great Meadow in The Plains.
And that wasn't even her proudest moment Wednesday.
Her Raiders won the girls team title--56 to 69 over Broad Run--for the first time in coach Courtney Campbell's six years at the Leesburg school.
"[The district title] was definitely a goal and something I really wanted," Lapetoda said. But "I think that I was a lot happier with [winning the team title] because . . . we've always talked about it, and it has always been a dream."
Two of her teammates placed in the top 10: junior Melissa Caudill (second, 19:43) and Shannon Runge (seventh, 20:50). Loudoun County junior Denise Franklin (22nd, 21:34) and freshman Elizabeth Crawford (24th, 21:41) broke up the Potomac Falls and Broad Run pack, Campbell said.
Lapetoda won the race by 20 seconds.
"That was her best time ever," Campbell said. "Once she got past the mile mark, she was uncontested. She really wanted a district title, and she had been waiting four years."
It will get a lot tougher for Lapetoda and others in the Northwestern District at the Virginia AA Region II championships Thursday at Rockingham Fairgrounds in Harrisonburg. The girls race is at 2 p.m. Defending AA champion Louisa is in the same region, as are Western Albermarle and Turner-Ashby.
"The only meet we lost was when we have a huge gap between three or four," Campbell said. "These girls are finally realizing that this is more of a team sport but you got to keep going. . . . There are six really strong teams in the region, and only four teams advance."
1, Jennifer Lapetoda, Loudoun County, 19:23; 2, Melissa Caudill, Loudoun County, 19:43; 3, Christy Dannenburg, Potomac Falls, 20:06; 4, Audrey Pietrzyk, Broad Run, 20:14; 5, Tamara Buckman, Broad Run, 20:26; 6, Katie Dannenburg, Potomac Falls, 20:39; 7, Shannon Runge, Loudoun County, 20:50; 8, Mary Page, Loudoun Valley, 21:11; 9, Jamie Lockhart, Handley, 21:14; 10, Deanna Melton, Warren County, 21:15.
1, Loudoun County, 56; 2, Broad Run, 69; 3, Handley, 71; 4, Potomac Falls, 73; 5, Park View, 130; 6, Loudoun Valley, 152; 7, Warren County, 163; 8, Liberty, 225.