Boys cross country makes school history with state appearance


Elise Monroe

Junior Kevin Sanchez prepares to cross the finish line.

Daniel Farrow, Staff Reporter

The Viper Boy’s cross country team made school history on Saturday, Sept. 6 by being the first of Vandegrift’s boy’s teams to qualify for the state cross country meet. While the girls’ teams have qualified and competed year after year, this is the first time both teams have participated together at the state level. Overall, the girl’s team finished 8th and the boy’s in 14th, with Junior Kevin Sanchez winning the boy’s race with a time of 14:53.4.

“[It’s] surreal,” Sanchez said. “I don’t know what to think. I’m still kinda wrapping my head around it.”

Starting with an early lead and finishing 11 seconds ahead of the runner-up, Sanchez said it was a successful race with a dominant finish. However before the timer started for the 5K course, he had some doubts.

“I was sick most of the week leading up to it so I don’t know,” Sanchez said. “I really wasn’t feeling optimal. I wasn’t feeling confident.”

Gavin Weinheimer, a leader on the team and a senior said this race meant more to him than any other.

“I was obviously a bit nervous,” Weinheimer said. “It is the state race and the last XC race of my highschool career. I was praying a lot before this, just praying for some strength and protection today.”

After suffering a spike to the knee, Weinheimer finished the race 77th out of 200 with a final time of 16:19.5. Even though he wasn’t happy with his time, he still kept a positive mindset post-race.

“You know, what a race to go out on,” said Weinheimer. “We have the fastest people in the state out here and for my teammate Kevin Sanchez to win, [my time] isn’t too bad.”

Both Sanchez and Weinheimer intend to run in college. Weinheimer is in the final stages of deciding where to attend while Sanchez is still undecided, but not without numerous opportunities.

“There’s quite a few schools at this point,” said Sanchez. “I was thinking about UT, Wake Forest, and OSU as well.”