The Culpeper County cross country team participated in the Big Cat Invitational at Bruton High School in Williamsburg last Saturday, and it was a banner day for several of its runners.

The Blue Devil girls finished first overall in the B race, led by a dominating performance from Isabella Hardaway. The freshman clocked in at 19:38, which was the best time among all female participants and just three seconds shy of setting a new school record.

Culpeper also had the second- and third-best finishers as well, with junior Lauren Light (20:44) and sophomore Madison Bebel (21:08) claiming those spots.

In addition, sophomore Meagan Fay (24:31) came in eighth and freshman Grace Hillin (24:40) was 10th.

The Blue Devils also finished first overall in the boys race, buoyed by four of their runners finishing in the top five.

Senior Tyler Houston came in first, registering a time of 17:40. Fellow seniors Austin (18:09) and Andrew Rogers (18:14) placed second and fourth, respectively, while junior Brent Bowler (18:15) was fifth.

Junior Jonah Woodward also turned in a solid effort for Culpeper, placing 12th with a 19:02.

“I’m very proud of our team,” Culpeper head coach Mark Dennis said. “Of the 36 athletes we took [to the meet], 32 of them ran a season-best time and 20 posted a lifetime best.”

Culpeper returns to action next Wednesday when it faces James Wood, Millbrook and host Kettle Run in a Class 4 Northwestern District meet.

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