Two members of the Fairfield boys’ cross country program experienced a moment on Wednesday at the Parkview Cross Country Course in Hershey, that they will never forget.
Running in the Class A District 3 Championships, Fairfield’s John Roan and Devin Barlow finished sixth and seventh respectively.
The top five runners in the race move on to the state tournament next week. The one caveat to that rule is that the runners from the team that win the team title do not count towards the five. So in other words, it is the top five runners that are not part of the winning team.
With only a four team field, the team title came down to Veritas Academy and Delone Catholic. Roan was assured a trip to states because there was one Delone runner in the top five (Nick Poole) and there were three Veritas Academy runners, so he knew at least one spot would open up.
Barlow on the other hand, had to play the waiting game. If Delone won the team title Devin Barlow’s season is over. If Veritas Academy wins, his ticket would be punched to the state race. A tough position for the Fairfield senior to be in because he was friends with all the Delone runners and now he was rooting for against them.
“I was very worried,” Barlow said. “Thinking oh my goodness, what is going to happen. I was so nervous.”
Two minutes before the awards ceremony, the two seniors heard the verdict.
Veritas Academy was the Class A team champion and Barlow was on his way to states.
“It’s awesome,” he said with a sense of relief and a huge smile.
So now that the weight is off his chest, he must move on and begin preparing for states, or does he?
“I will probably keep letting it soak in for a while, probably for about two weeks,” Barlow exclaimed knowing that reality is he has to start practicing for states immediately.
Roan and Barlow are not the only two Fairfield runners that will be represented at the state tournament. Kaitlyn Beckham finished second in the Class AA District 3 girls race.
So what is the key to Farifield’s success, hills.
“We do a ton of hill work,” Roan said. “This course is tailored for us. The hills are where we pass people.”
It is not just a “hill” that they run up, it is the hills at Ski Liberty!
Another kicker to add to the equation. There was a little bit of extra celebration among the Fairfield coaching staff. John Roan’s mom, Marcia Roan is the head coach.
“I am so excited for these three,” she exclaimed. “They are great kids, and have worked really hard. It is definitely special to have John going on to states.”
Our best wishes to all the Hanover area runners that advanced to states!
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