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The Cross Country Roundup


emma Wolcott XCFitsum XC

By Hanna Duenkel

With the post-season of Cross Country over, top five girls were ranked based on their times at the 5A State Championships and in the case of the boys, the top five of the team were ranked based on their places at the Group 5A North Championships.

The Huskies competed in the Group 5A North Championships on November 6th, with the girls placing second and continuing on to the state competition, while the boys placed seventh and missed the cut off to go to states.  Even though the boys team did not qualify as a whole for states, Fitsum Seyoum, Kobe Robinson, and Jarred Silverman all qualified individually for the competition.  The girls team and the three individual boys ran on November 15th.  At the 5A State Championships, the girls cross country team won Tuscarora’s first ever state title, accomplishing Coach Rebecca Puterio’s goals for the teams this year.  As of the end of the cross country season, here are the top five girls and boys:

Top 5 Boys-

1.  Fitsum Seyoum

This was Seyoum’s first year running cross country and he led the pack with a huge improvement from his first time trial this year.  Seyoum improved by 2 minutes and 31 seconds and his personal record, known as a PR to those familiar to cross country, is currently at 15 minutes and 47 seconds.

In the 5A State Championships, he finished 13th overall and ran a 16 minutes and 15 seconds race, finishing off his season with a bang.

2.  Kobe Robinson

Robinson has also had a major improvement from last year.  Last year, he ran an 18 minutes and 12 seconds race and this year, he improved 1 minute and 51 seconds, now racing in at 16 minutes and 21 seconds.

One of his goals for the season was to get to the state meet as a team and even though they didn’t achieve that, he individually qualified for the state championship and raced at the competition.  When Robinson ran at the 5A State Championships, he clocked in a 16 minutes and 29 seconds race and finished 26th overall.

3. Jarred Silverman

Silverman is the captain for the boys’ varsity team this year, as a junior.  His personal record this season was 16 minutes and 13 seconds, which was a 32 second improvement from last year.  He started running after a friend’s parents told him to run for their club’s track team and he found his talent in running.

Silverman is the final male athlete from Tuscarora who qualified to race in the 5A State Championship and ran a 16 minute, 29 second race, finishing 27th in the state.

4. John Heberle


Last year, Heberle was sidelined for the season with a back injury, but competed this season with a 17 minute and 6 second personal record.  This is his third season as a part of Tuscarora’s cross country team and he started because of his sister, who also ran for Tuscarora.

“My sister did it and I just followed along with her.  She really liked it and enjoyed the team, so I figured that it might be fun for me too,” said Heberle.

Heberle did not qualify for the state meet, but finished 47th with a 17 minutes and 37 seconds race at the Group 5A North Regional Championships.

5. Clayton Smith


Sprinting in with a personal record of 17 minutes and 1 second, which is a 21 second improvement in the past year, senior Clayton Smith is running his third and final year of cross country.  He had heard about the team and decided to run during his sophomore year and has continued on for the rest of his high school career.

Smith did not qualify for states, but was very close, with his 65th place finish and 18 minutes and 1 second race at the 5A North Championships.

Top 5 Girls-

  1.    Emma Wolcott

As a freshman, Wolcott led the husky pack.  This is her first year running for Tuscarora and she’s already improved by 4 minutes and 6 seconds from her first race this year and now runs an 18 minutes and 1 second race.

“I started running 5k’s, like “Freeze Your Gizzard,” in sixth grade.   It was a lot of fun.  I found out that I really enjoyed running so I just kept doing it,” said Wolcott.

She finished the season third in the state and has worked towards a very broad goal this year, “just to do my best!”  At her last final race of the season, she claimed her spot as third in Virginia with her race of 18 minutes and 25 seconds.

  1.     Anna Wasko

The girls’ varsity captain, Anna Wasko, is back for her final postseason for Tuscarora’s cross country team.  She did not beat her personal record from last year, but she was working towards the past record of 18 minutes and 16 seconds and ran an 18 minute and 32 second 5K.

Wasko ran in her senior year’s state meet, after the girls team qualified at the Group 5A North Championships.  In her final race in her high school career, Wasko finished fifth in the state with a 18 minutes and 57 seconds race.

  1.     Rosie Kostka

Beating her sister’s twenty minute and nine second PR on October 29th, Rosie Kostka ran a season high 19 minutes and 42 seconds race. With the post-season over, Kostka removed one minute and fifty-eight seconds off of her PR from last year.

“My sister dragged me into [cross country] freshman year.  I wanted to beat her time,” said Kostka.

Kostka’s final race of the season was a 22nd place finish and a 19 minutes and 57 seconds time at the 5A State Championships.

4.   Ray Al-Nsour

With a goal of twenty minutes, Ray Al-Nsour has clocked in at 19 minutes and 54 seconds.  She started running cross country to get in shape for soccer and left the cross country team for a season last year.

This year, she was brought back to the team and said, “it feels like home here.”  She’s gotten back into the cross country groove and mentioned a tradition the team has at meets.

“Before every race, we do a chant and I feel like if we don’t do it, we don’t race as well,”  Al-Nsour said. The team clearly did their cheer since they ran well at states, giving Al-Nsour a 20 minutes and 2 seconds race and a 27th place finish.


  1.     Nicole Fitz

Running fifth for the girls, Nicole Fitz broke the top five after her race at the Group 5A North Championships.  Her current PR is 19 minutes and 59 seconds and she improved by 6 minutes and 31 seconds since her first time trial this season.  Since Fitz is a freshman, she did not run last year.

Fitz joined the cross country team to condition for the basketball season and also to figure out if she wanted to run for the track team in the spring.  “I just wanted to run.”

Fitz also raced at the 5A State Championships, finishing the season in 32nd place with a 20 minutes and 8 seconds time.

“I was nervous a little bit but it felt good to run in states as a freshman,” said Fitz.


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