CHESAPEAKE — To win one individual region title is impressive. To win two or three is exceptional.
But to win four individual region titles? It’s unheard of because it’s never happened — until now.
Princess Anne senior Armaan Chopra won his fourth individual region title on Saturday at Bells Mill Park.
Chopra finished the 5k race in 16 minutes, 14.51 seconds. He finished 11 seconds in front of runner-up and teammate Daniel Rockey.
“It’s honestly an exciting thing to happen,” said Chopra. “As I’m finishing the race, I hear my coach say, ‘Hey man, jog it in. This is the fourth one.’ No one has ever gotten four before. And going in, I kind of knew I was going to get my fourth title today. … Hopefully, my name will go down in the history books at Princess Anne High School. It definitely makes me look more valuable as colleges look at me.”
Kellam senior Jane Phillips won her first region title. She sat back waiting for the moment to strike and it worked as she finished in 19:02.57, which was 28 seconds in front of her nearest competitor.
“I felt like throwing up after the first mile, but that’s kind of like a standard feeling,” she said. “But I tried to focus on finishing with a good kick, even though I didn’t need to. But I’m pleased with it.”
Ocean Lakes swept the boys and girls Class 5 Region A team titles.
The boys placed five runners in the top 20: Lambert Edigin (third), Logan Hamilton (11th), Lucas Greider (12th), Bryce Phillips (14th) and Preston Haney (18th).
“I think the key for the boys was just kind of running for one another and finishing hard,” said Ocean Lakes coach Mike Nestor.
Princess Anne was second and Hickory was third.
Grace Thompson finished as the runner-up to lead the Ocean Lakes girls. Khadija Sissoko was fifth, followed by Riley Gomez (eighth), Lauren Rakov (13th) and Lindsay Meadows (14th).
Hickory was second and Kellam was third.
Nestor was really impressed by Meadows’ performance.
“She’s been banged up most of the season. This was her first race in more than a month,” he said. “We just wanted her to make a contribution, not knowing what that contribution might be. But she stepped up today.”
In 6A, Glenn Allen of Richmond swept the boys and girls team titles. Trevor Lawson led the boys and Elly Velasquez paced the girls.
Grassfield’s boys finished as the runner-up. Benjamin Giffing and Caiden Aurelio finished fourth and fifth, respectively, to lead the Grizzlies.
The Class 6 and Class 5 state cross country meets will be next Saturday in Leesburg.
Larry Rubama, 757-575-6449, email@example.com