The ongoing theme of Christian Heritage Academy (CHA) cross-country this season was the ever so fleeting question of “when.” When the right pieces all fit together, what will these teams look like?
That question was answered — resoundingly — in the last two events of the season. With a full staff of runners for all teams, optimal running weather at home on senior night Oct. 23, the Knights were thriving, and the results were stirring.
With five total schools competing, CHA took first place honors in the middle school girls and varsity boys races. The trio of Piper Doughton, Autumn Pate and Teresa Jamison assumed their usual positions in second-through-fourth places, respectively, to snag the gold. Doughton’s 13:22.52 paced the trio in their 3k event.
David Pate carried the varsity boys lineup with his 19:54.24 on the hilly CHA course, which was good for sixth place. Evan Lawrence finished behind in eighth place, while Cameron DeBoer crossed in at ninth. Those three scores propelled the Knights to the win.
“This is an exciting win and a big confidence booster for us going into the VACA state meet Saturday,” head coach Todd King said in his note to the school after the race.
We presumptively believed King couldn’t read the future, but his forecast was spot on. His middle school girls team left its best performance for last.
Against the No. 1-seated and hosting Grace Christian School, and the rest of the 11 other schools, the three-headed monster — yet again — finished in their second-through-fourth positions to take first place. Doughton (14:39) finished second and Pate (15:14) finished fourth, with Jamison (15:13) in the middle of the two. Doughton trailed Rebecca Dragovich of Faith Christian by only two seconds for the first place overall prize. The Knights slimly won by a final tally of 37-39.
King called it the “guttiest” performance he had ever seen.
The varsity boys finished in fourth place, missing a runner due to illness, and the middle school boys had to run an incomplete race due to numbers.
It was the middle school girls, though, who claimed the attention of the spectators Oct. 27 in Waynesboro. The lady Knights won their last three events of the year to a grand total of seven first-prize performances during the fall season, saving their most notable and riveting performance for last.
Unquestionably, the most dominant single-season performance on record for a middle school girls’ team at CHA.