The Student News Site of Ocean Lakes High School

The Current

The Student News Site of Ocean Lakes High School

The Current

The Student News Site of Ocean Lakes High School

The Current

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Girls XC team builds legacy, wins States

The Ocean Lakes girls cross country team huddles together prior to the VHSL 5A State Championship race on Nov. 11, 2023, at the Oatlands Plantation course in Leesburg, Va. Photo used with permission from Mary Ann Magnant.

The girl’s XC team brought home the first-ever VHSL 5A State Championship title for Ocean Lakes on Nov. 11.

The Dolphins consistently triumphed in 6A, having won two state championships and 14 regional championships. Since their transfer to 5A this year, Ocean Lakes has yet to receive recognition, until now. 

“When we won states [in 2021], I thought that was going to be my last opportunity to win a state championship,” said junior XC runner Lindsay Meadows. “However, a lot of younger runners really stepped up, and I think we surprised everyone.” 

The varsity squad is young, with one sophomore and six juniors. The early expectations were to solely finish in the top five, according to Lindsay, yet the dolphins managed to exceed their original goals by not only placing first but by securing their victory by a total score of 75 points, 28 points less than the runner-up.

“I was overjoyed when the announcer called that Ocean Lakes won the state championship, especially going into the race knowing we were ranked to only get third,” said junior XC runner Grace Thompson. 

Grace, along with junior Khadija Sissoko, were instrumental to the team’s success, achieving the All-State team. Grace earned 10th place with a time of 20:01, and Khadija earned ninth place with a time of 19:59. 

“Oatlands Plantation is by far one of the hardest courses [the team] has ever run and that truly became a test of who could mentally push through the pain the best,” said Grace. 

The girls ran on the Oatlands Plantation course in Leesburg, Va. The course is significantly more hilly than the courses the team is familiar with; however, the girls preserved and fought through them well, according to Grace. 

“OLXC stands out from other teams primarily in the bonds between teammates and the coach,” said Grace. “The coach, Michael Nestor, works hard to communicate with each runner on the team and helps everyone understand that their roles matter.”

Nestor has coached the Ocean Lakes XC team since the opening of the school in 1994. He is the main contributor to the team’s success, according to both Grace and Lindsay. 

“The top nine girls all return to the team for the 2024 season which is really exciting,” said Nestor. “I can’t wait to see what next year entails.”

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About the Contributor
Barrett Scharfe
Barrett Scharfe, Co-Editor-in-Chief
Barrett started journalism as a sophomore. He is entering his third year as co-editor-in-chief. He's captain of the volleyball team, president of both Spikeball Club and Pickleball Club and also a member of the varsity soccer team since freshman year. He's a Sandbridge lifeguard, surfs regularly and also particpates in skimboard competitions.

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