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Loudoun Valley’s Andrew Hunter announces decision to run at Oregon

Loudoun Valley’s Andrew Hunter pulls away from the field at the Oatlands Invitational on Sept. 19. (Doug Kapustin/For The Washington Post)

Hours before Andrew Hunter will try to win his third-straight Virginia state cross-country title on Friday morning, the three-time All-Met runner announced his plans for running after high school.

The Loudoun Valley senior, widely regarded as one of the best runners in Virginia history and among the top distance runners in the country, tweeted out his decision to attend the University of Oregon and run for the historic program Thursday evening.

Hunter has competed five times this cross country season and has captured first place in each of those races, normally without much competition. On October 17, Hunter won the Third Battle Invitational in 14 minutes 20 seconds, the fastest recorded 5000-meter race in Virginia history. It is also believed to be the fastest 5K in the United States this year.

Friday morning, Hunter will run against the 4A field and try to win his third-straight state title at Great Meadow in The Plains. Last year, Hunter won the state race in 14:41 and beat his closest competitor by 54 seconds. (Loudoun Valley was a 3A school last year but has since been reclassified to 4A.)

The state course has been doused by heavy rain over the past few days, but if the weather cooperates and Hunter feels up to it, he could put that 14:20 record from earlier this year in serious jeopardy.

Hunter also competes in indoor and outdoor track events, and last April he ran one mile in 4:07.15 seconds to win the event at Penn Relays.

Hunter had offers from several of the country’s top programs and was rumored to be deciding between Oregon and Stanford.