Sophie Chase dazzled Thursday on her way to winning the Virginia AAA Patriot District cross-country title and leading Lake Braddock to the team championship in Fairfax Station.
The Bruins senior scorched the 2.98-mile course, powering over its final hill before pushing across the finish line in 17 minutes 2 seconds. Chase scored a seven-second victory over runner-up Caroline Alcorta of West Springfield, who was sizzling in her own right when she ran a personal-best 17:09. The junior All-Met registered one of the 10 fastest times ever at historic Burke Lake Park and she is only in her second full season in the sport.
But even she couldn’t keep pace with Chase, who didn’t turn in a personal-best time on a warm Thursday afternoon. But then again the three-time defending district champ wasn’t supposed to.
“This week I wasn’t going after time, but I’m really, really excited I was faster than I was last year,” said Chase, the All-Met Athlete of the Year and a Footlocker finalist last fall. “The whole goal was to conserve as much energy as possible and still place No. 1 for my team,”
Another goal was to deliver the Burke school its first district title since it won five straight from 2004-08. Chase and the rest of the Bruins deliver came through mightily, putting all five scorers among the top 10 and scoring just 25 points to defeat West Springfield, two-time defending champ West Potomac and South County.
No. 5 Bruins scorer Misha Suresh “just went after it,” Chase said. “We ran exceptionally well.”
Lake Braddock left its footprint all over this meet. Senior All-Met Nick Tuck won his first-ever individual cross country title in 15:11 and he led the Bruins to their second straight team title ahead of West Potomac, West Springfield and W.T. Woodson.
In the National District championships that were also Thursday in Fairfax Station, Edison’s Louis Colson scored a 35-second victory (15:30) to lead the Eagles to their first district crown since 2009 over Hayfield, Yorktown and Washington-Lee.
Edison senior Jennifer Flack, who transferred into the Alexandria school from Kansas this year, breeze to victory in the girls’ race (17:48) ahead of Washington-Lee’s Sarah Angell. Washington-Lee romped to its third straight team title, beating Edison by 48 points. Yorktown and Falls Church followed.