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2017-10-11 / News

Brother and sister duo leave mark at Cosby High

BY BEN ORCUTT CONTRIBUTING WRITER


Rachel and Grant Northcutt, training last week at Pocahontas State Park, are standout cross-country runners at Cosby High School. 
ASH DANIEL Rachel and Grant Northcutt, training last week at Pocahontas State Park, are standout cross-country runners at Cosby High School. ASH DANIEL Siblings Grant and Rachel Northcutt aren’t giving their parents much to fuss about during their respective senior and junior years at Cosby High School.

Grant sports a 4.4 grade point average and Rachel is not far behind with a 4.37 GPA.

Both are elite runners in cross-country and indoor and outdoor track. Sidelined this cross-country season with a back stress fracture, Rachel won the prestigious MileStat cross-country meet in Mechanicsville as a freshman and a sophomore. She also was the state champion in last year’s Group 6A indoor meet in the 1,600 meter run with a time of 4:59.

Grant had to take off much of last year due to hip and knee injuries, but was able to help the Cosby boys win their first regional cross-country crown on Nov. 2. Grant’s list of possible schools where he may take his running and academic skills next year include Villanova, Wake Forest, Syracuse, North Carolina State and Virginia Tech.

Both siblings enjoy cheering on the other. While out with an injury, Rachel has been a fixture at her brother’s meets.

“We’re very supportive,” Grant said. “I know she’s on the sidelines. She’s supporting, doing whatever she can.”

Watching Grant have an outstanding senior cross-country season has Rachel chomping at the bit to start training again once she gets medical clearance.

“I see him do big things,” Rachel said. “I just want to do the same thing, so hopefully that’s the case. Hopefully I will be in contention [next year] to win states for cross-country.”

Rachel said she draws on the success of co-head coach Jerry Moye’s daughter Megan Moye, who holds a number of Cosby running records and who went on to become an All-American runner at N.C. State. “She set the bar really high,” Rachel said. “The team environment’s really awesome here at Cosby. We have some great coaches, so that really sets the vibe.”

Having to sit out much of last year has helped make him a more resilient runner, Grant said.

“Yeah, it definitely has made me stronger,” he said. “It motivates me to cherish the moments I have healthy. A lot of people doubt when you get injured that you can come back. I’m just happy to be back. It’s just awesome.”

Grant has his sights set on winning the Group 6A state cross-country meet slated for Nov. 10 in Fauquier County at Great Meadow in The Plains. He and Rachel both finished second in the 2015 state meet.

“It’s going to be whoever wants it that day,” Grant said. “The thing that I like about the sport of cross-country and track is that whatever you put in, you get out. You can’t be like a stellar athlete and say you have a lot of talent, but not put in the work and be good. People will catch up. We have a great team and coaches and culture here.”

The Northcutts were standouts at Tomahawk Creek Middle School and have continued to excel at Cosby.

“Their reputation kind of preceded them coming out of middle school,” Coach Moye said. “The potential we knew right away was really going to be there for them. The greatest thing about the Northcutts is their desire, and attention to detail and wanting to improve is just off the chain. They want to do all the little things to be the best of the best. They want to be the best cross-country runner[s] in the state of Virginia. That’s all it comes down to and they’re willing to be humble and listen to do that.”

Their father, Gregg Northcutt, said in an email that he and wife, Karen, are extremely proud of Grant and Rachel.

“Cross-country has exposed them to many life lessons earlier than a lot of other kids,” Gregg wrote. “Most people don’t understand the extra hours they put into training in and out of season, along with the things they give up in order to manage the time to stay on top of their homework. We are just as proud of their induction into the National Honor Society and Beta Club as we are of their running accomplishments.” ¦

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