Cory Puffett won his third consecutive WCAC title and shattered a course record that stood for eight years. Puffett's time of 16:02 was 24 seconds better than the previous record set by Kevin Graves of Good Counsel in 2001.
Graves is currently an assistant coach at Good Counsel and was on hand to see the record broken. He believes that the WCAC Championship has been hosted at Lake Fairfax since 1997.
The challenging course was made more difficult by recent rain that left the creeks high and the slopes muddy, although it was not raining during the race.
Puffett got out hard from the beginning and had a comfortable lead entering the first major creek crossing. He said he wanted to be the first to the creek for the fourth year in a row. After that it was a matter of concentrating and not letting the race slip away.
Gonzaga easily won the team title with 26 points. Billy Ledder took second place a full minute behind Puffett in 17:02, while Collin Leibold was a few strides behind Ledder in 17:04. Gonzaga runners also took 6th through 9th place.
Good Counsel's Kyle Graves (4th) and Michael Fitzgerald (5th) were the only two runners to break up Gonzaga's top six. Good Counsel took second place without one of their top runners, Jack Riely. After getting over the flu, Riely developed a stress fracture and was forced to watch his team as a spectator.
There were no surprises in the girls race as Bishop O'Connell took five of the first seven places. Lizzie Green of Paul VI and Katie Koenig of Good Counsel took 3rd and 4th place to be the only runners to break up Bishop O'Connell's top five.
Emily Blagg and Devin Nihill have been swapping back and forward as Bishop O'Connell's #1 runner this year. Coach Walls expected the two to compete and lead the team, but knew there would be tough competition from Green and Koenig.
Green and Koenig led the race early, but Blagg and Nihill took over the lead on an uphill just prior to the one mile mark and ran away with it from there. Blagg won the race in about 20:33 with Nihill close behind in 20:50.