After a long awaited cross country season, Godwin freshman Berkley Nance, went on to place first in the Regionals 5b Meet and second in the Virginia State Meet.

The regional meet was held at Pole Green Park on April 15 where 12 teams raced against each other. Nance placed first out of 88 boys which qualified him to race as an individual in the state meet.

Nance was shocked to win the regional meet but is now excited for his upcoming years in Godwin cross country.

“I was really shocked when I won because I was not expecting to win it this year. But it makes me a lot more excited for XC in the next three years,” said Nance.

Due to the pandemic, the cross country season was postponed until February of this year. The team was not permitted to train with each other, so Nance made sure to stay on top of his training over quarantine.

“Over quarantine I found a trainer, Murat Mazicioglu from Top Notch Running Club. Some of my teammates and I were trained by him starting in the summertime up until the school season started in March and in the wintertime we entered club team indoor track races,” said Nance.

Nance’s training over quarantine put him ahead of his competition, and he accredits most of his success to his training with Mazicioglu. 

“I do not think I would have come close to doing what I did if I did not do additional training with Mazicioglu prior to the season,” said Nance.

The cross country meets prior to regionals and states were smaller. The meets were only held against two to three teams. Nance wasn’t able to put his true abilities to the test until the race at regionals.

Nance enjoys racing, which is what encouraged him to run at Godwin. 

“In XC [cross country] and track in high school you race people a lot so I started to do it,” said Nance. 

Nance also competed with Godwin cross country his eighth grade year but was unable to qualify for the state meet that year because of his grade.

After winning regionals, Nance was excited to have the opportunity to compete in the state meet where 67 boys raced for the state title. It was held at Oatlands Plantation on April 23. 

“There are a ton of other fast competitors there which made it so fun to race against,” said Nance.

Nance came across the state finish line at 16:33 as the state runner-up. He was about ten seconds behind the first place runner.

Although he placed first at regionals, he was even more thrilled to place second in the Virginia state meet.

“Placing second at states was pretty awesome! I think it was more exciting than regionals because the event is a lot bigger,” said Nance.

For next year, Nance hopes that he will have just as successful of a season as he did this year. He hopes to keep his title as Region 5b champion and maybe even be the Virginia state champion.

“Next season I want to keep running PRs (personal records) and hopefully I win regionals again and maybe states next season,” said Nance.

In addition to Nance’s successful season, senior Landin Bostain and senior Charlie Kennedy also advanced to the state championship for their sports.

Landin Bostain placed third in the Region 5b cross country meet and was also the state-runner up in Virginia for girls. 

Charlie Kennedy was the Region 5b golf champion and was awarded state-runner up as well. 

Bostain, Nance, and Kennedy all represented Godwin athletics at the state level and all  finished as state runner-ups.

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