Tuscarora Girls Cross Country Takes First at Annual Oatlands Invitational Meet


Leesburg, Va- Last week on Saturday, September 11th, 2021, over 40 high schools participated in the Oatlands Invitational Meet. 

Tuscarora’s Girls team snagged first place, while the Boys team took 14th. 

Standouts on the Girls team include Sadie Dillard (11) and Michaela Workman (11) with times of 20:07 and 20:29 minutes, respectively.

The Boys team was led by John Gibson (12), with a time of 17:27 minutes.

Tuscarora’s Cross Country teams are headed by coaches Troy Harry, Aine Lucido, and Rebecca Puterio.

“We have seen a great deal of improvement from both the boys and the girls as the season has progressed,” Lucido said of the team.

Last Cross Country season, the VHSL Class 4A States competition was also held at Oatlands, and the team has shown improvement since. At the All-State meet, Dillard came in 22nd place with a time of 21:16 minutes, a full minute and nine seconds slower than her finishing time at Oatlands this past Saturday.

I lost all my endurance last season and did not have the greatest performance. This season I have just started to build up my endurance and cannot wait to see what comes by the end of November,” Dillard spoke of last season.

The team has high ambitions for the Fall 2021 postseason, as relayed by Lucido: 

“From the very beginning of the season, the team sets the bar high.” 

The Girls Team took third at last season’s state meet, and plan to meet and even exceed that precedent this season.

“They are working together to not only improve their personal times, but also to improve their team scores. They are strong both mentally and physically and we are looking forward to a great, competitive postseason,” Lucido explained.

The team has dealt with a myriad of obstacles over the past year or so. COVID-19 influenced the last season heavily; the aforementioned state meet was not held until April 24th of 2021. 

Not only that, but the previous coach, Patrick Wolak, has been replaced this season by his predecessor, Troy Harry. 

“One of the hardest parts was that he didn’t know most of us prior to the start of the season, and we didn’t know him. A bit of transition time had to be taken for him to get to know us and our habits as runners, and for us to understand how he coaches,” Workman remarked of the leadership change.

Despite numerous challenges, both Girls and Boys teams are ready to embark on the remainder of their seasons, with high aims to exceed last year’s accomplishments.