Top Boys Freshman Times At Hereford's Course Since 2014

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Kent Island's Finn Walsh clocked one of the fastest freshman times at the state championships this past weekend. Was it good enough to crack the top ten list of freshman times at Hereford since 2014? (Photo by John Roemer)

The course at Hereford High School has, over the years, earned a reputation as one of the toughest courses in the state. It can be a daunting challenge for any runner, but especially for freshmen who have never seen anything the likes of "The Dip" before. However these boys rose to the challenge and posted one of the top ten freshman times since 2014 at Hereford High School.

1. Garrett Suhr, Richard Montgomery

Class of 2020, 16:47.8 @ 2016 XC States

Photo by Eric Green

Suhr came on strong as a freshman in 2016, finishing 11th at counties, fifth at regionals and 13th at the 4A State Championships. After an exceptional indoor 2017 season and sitting out the outdoor season due to injury, Suhr came back strong as a sophomore, finishing fourth at this year's state championships.

2. Daniel Saxon, Liberty

Class of 2019, 16:48.4 @ 2015 XC States

Photo by Kim Panebianco

Saxon has finished in the top five at the 2A State Championships in each year of his high school career so far, with his highest finish (third) coming during as a freshman in 2015. It was an exceptional race that featured not one, but two freshmen in the top four (along with the next runner on the list).

3. Justin Diehl, Calvert

Class of 2019, 16:51.8 @ 2015 XC States

Photo by Lisa McArthur

Diehl finished right behind his classmate from Liberty as a freshman in 2015, hinting at what would come for the Calvert standout. He has since finished twice at the 2A state meet (and once on the track) and captured the 3200 title last spring.

4. Anish Nanjappa, River Hill

Class of 2020, 16:55.3 @ 2016 XC States

Photo by Debbi Persinger

Nanjappa's 15th-place finish at the 3A State Championships as a freshman helped the River Hill boys win their third straight team title. Nanjappa made another leap in his sophomore season this year, placing fifth at the 2A State Championships and running nearly 30 seconds faster.

5. Sam Keeny, South River

Class of 2020, 16:56.0 @ 2016 XC States

Photo by John Roemer

Keeny went from 11th place at the 4A East regionals last season to 19th at the 4A State Championships, turning in the third-fastest time of the day by a freshman. Keeny continued his pattern of performing well at the state meet; after finishing 11th again at this year's regional meet, he shot up to a surprising sixth at Hereford this year.

6. Dalton Hengst, McDonogh

Class of 2018, 16:58.5 @ 2014 Bull Run Invitational

Hengst at the 2014 NXR Southeast meet. (Photo by Jon Fleming)

Hengst broke 17 minutes in the first meet on the new Hereford course back in September of 2014. He had already run under 16 minutes at the Barnhart Invitational and his 13th-place effort in the Elite race at the Bull Run Invitational hinted at what was to come from the eventual Foot Locker Nationals qualifier.

7. Ethan Samels, Dulaney

Class of 2020, 17:09.6 @ 2016 XC States

Photo by Debbi Persinger

Without Samels' 31st-place finish at the 2016 4A State Championships, the Dulaney boys would not have beaten Severna Park for the second straight season. Samels had finished second in the underclassmen race at both the Barnhart and Glory Days invitationals earlier in the year.

8. Connor Stewart, Liberty

Class of 2020, 17:09.7 @ 2016 XC States

Photo by John Roemer

Stewart was a key contributor for the Liberty boys last season, finishing 15th at the state meet after placing 12th at the regional meet. The Liberty boys are the only team with two runners on this list.

9. Zack Wedding, Chopticon

Class of 2021, 17:13.4 @ 2017 XC States

Photo by Eric Green

Wedding was the top freshman at this year's state championships and the only member of the class of 2021 to make the list. Chopticon has enjoyed freshman success over the past couple seasons, as Tyler Modrzejewski barely missed the list after running 17:15.2 at the 2015 state meet as a freshman.

10. Michael Belmaggio, Linganore

Class of 2019, 17:13.5 @ 2015 XC States

Photo by Debbi Persinger

Belmaggio emerged as a top freshman for Linganore back in 2015, finishing 20th at the 3A State Championships. He has progressed in each of the past two years as well from 10th and now second at this year's meet, and is the top returnee for the 3A classification for 2018.