Who: Bobby Dunn and Jackie O’Shea
School: Centreville High School
Accomplishment: This season cross country athletes Bobby Dunn and Jackie O’Shea were ranked among the Fastest 50 Freshmen in Virginia by Milestat.com, which publishes high school cross country and track and field stats for runners throughout the state.
Key to Success: Freshmen Bobby Dunn and Jackie O’Shea began their athletic careers at Centreville High School this fall on one of the largest cross country teams the school has seen. At 95 athletes, including 26 freshmen, the team grew nearly 50 percent in size from last season.
Both Dunn and O’Shea ran stellar races early on in the season that made them stand out from their many teammates. The 2011 season began in August, and by the time school started the first week of September, Dunn and O’Shea had already been ranked among the top 5 runners on the boys and girls teams, respectively. They were the only freshmen included in these rankings.
At the Stampede Cross Country Classic in Lorton in October, Dunn won a first-place medal in the boys division, while O’Shea took home a second-place medal in the girls division. Dunn finished up the season with a 22nd-place finish at the Concorde District Championship on Oct. 27. O’Shea placed eighth at Districts and came in 22nd out of 117 runners at Regions, where she was also the second-fastest freshman.
The speedy freshmen duo brought energy and drive to the Wildcat team this season. Through their performance and leadership, Dunn and O’Shea have become role models to not only their fellow freshmen, but also their upperclass teammates.
“They are both very dedicated and very passionate about the sport and being the best they can be,” said Head Coach Kelley Devlin, who is also a guidance counselor at Centreville High. “They take their training seriously and have a ton of talent. They are going to be cross country and track stars that have a huge impact on our program for years to come.”
Given that Dunn and O’Shea’s cross country careers had gotten off to such a great start, it was no surprise that both athletes took home the Top Rookie award at the end-of-season banquet earlier this month. Devlin gave a brief speech about each runner during the awards ceremony.
Devlin described Jackie O’Shea as a runner who “has all the qualities coaches look for in athletes,” adding that O’Shea is a competitive, determined leader who never gave anything less than her best during a practice or race.
In addition to earning the Top Rookie award on the boys team, Bobby Dunn was also named the team’s MVP. Devlin cited Dunn as a selfless runner who always puts the team’s needs and goals ahead of his own. “He really filled a void this year left by some very talented seniors that graduated last year,” Devlin said at the team banquet.
Devlin is looking forward to seeing what the two do in their next three years at CVHS. “I’m so proud of them—so excited for what’s to come from them!” she said.