West Springfield, Woodson Championship Cross Country Teams Honored

February 7, 2023

Fairfax County Board of Supervisors recognized the efforts of cross country teams from West Springfield and Woodson high schools.


By Michael O’Connell

FAIRFAX, VA — Fairfax County Board of Supervisors passed resolutions honoring the West Springfield Girls and W.T. Woodson Boys Championship Cross Country teams at its meeting on Tuesday. The resolutions were requested by Chairman Jeff McKay and Supervisors James Walkinshaw, Penny Gross, Dalia Palchik, Pat Herrity and Rodney Lusk.

Under Coach Christopher Pellegrini, the girls cross country team at West Springfield High School capped off a highly successful fall 2022 season by winning the Virginia High School League Classic Championship on Nov. 12, at the Oatlands plantation in Leesburg, according to the resolution.

On the way to winning their second state championship, the Spartans racked up wins at the Patriot District and Occoquan Regional Championships. In addition, four runners placed among the top 15 finishers in the championship race.

The team was led by seniors Lexi Stein and Kenza Elakari, juniors Aidan MacGrath, Grace Wevley, Chloe Miller and Katherine Len, and sophomore Adeline Barker.

Speaking on behalf of her teammates, Stein thanked the supervisors for the recognition and their coaches for giving them something they never thought would happen.

“We’ve been wanting it for like a long time,” she said. “We’re just really happy that it finally happened, because now I can carry that with me for the rest of my life. Especially when I come back to West Springfield in 20 years, I’ll get to see my teammates as we’re inducted in West Springfield Hall of Fame.”

Under Coach Garrett Kroner, the W.T. Woodson boys cross country team celebrated a successful fall 2022 season by winning the Virginia High School League Class 6 State Championships on Nov. 12 2022, at the Oatlands plantation. The Cavaliers also clocked wins in the Patriot District and Occoquan Regional Championships. This was the first time in the school’s history that the team has won all three championships. On top of all that, the team won multiple weekend invitationals and finished in fifth places at the Manhattan Invitational.

Led by senior captains Samik Bhinge, Daniel Cassata, Caleb Hymans and Luke Schools, and including junior Stephen Wolf and sophomores Jibran Hutchins and Zain Elcock, the Cavaliers count all district, all region, and all state runners among their ranks.

Speaking for the Cavaliers, Bhinge thanked the supervisors for their presentation.

“I’d like to thank our coaches, especially Coach Kroner and Coach [George] Winslow and Coach [Kelley] Devlin, who aren’t here today,” he said. “For all the work for the past, I don’t know, five years or longer. For all the work he’s put in, all the hours, all the late nights, losing hours of sleep, for this and everything he’s done for us, we’re here today to recognize the work he’s done.”