Top Girls Freshman Times At Hereford's Course Since 2014

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Makenzie Hopkins and Faith Meininger went head-to-head at the 2A State Championships as two of the top freshmen in Maryland this season. Where do they fall among the top ten freshman performers 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 girls rose to the challenge and posted one of the top ten freshman times since 2014 at Hereford High School.

1. Haley Cummins, C. Milton Wright

Class of 2020, 18:41.6 @ 2016 XC States

Photo by Eric Green

Cummins' victory as a freshman at the state meet last year was one of the more remarkable performances in the history of the Maryland state meet. Cummins ran sixteen seconds faster than future Foot Locker Nationals qualifier Abigail Green did when she was a freshman back in 2014. This year Cummins successfully defended her 3A title.

2. Abigail Green, Walter Johnson

Class of 2018, 18:57.5 @ 2014 XC States

Green at the 2014 Oatlands Invitational. (Photo by Tom Veazey)

Green was one of the top freshmen in Maryland back in 2014, and it looked as if she might be the state meet favorite after winning the 4A West regionals. She would finish fourth at the 4A State Championships but became the first of just two freshmen who have run under 19 minutes at Hereford since 2014.

3. Nelle Ray, Leonardtown

Class of 2021, 19:13.2 @ 2017 XC States

Photo by Craig Amoss

After winning the SMAC and 4A East regional championships, Ray once again raced fearlessly at the 4A State Championships where she would ultimately place fourth. She was the fastest of what was ultimately a superb group of freshmen this year, as four of them cracked this top ten list.

4. Makenzie Hopkins, Winters Mill

Class of 2021, 19:45.2 @ 2017 XC States

Photo by John Roemer

Hopkins finished in same position (third) at the state meet as she did at the regional meet. Throughout the course of her freshman campaign, Hopkins won two races (Don Stoner Invitational and Carroll County Championships) and finished in the top ten in every race she ran.

5. Nandini Satsangi, Poolesville

Class of 2019, 19:45.6 @ 2015 XC States

Photo by Lisa McArthur

Satsangi surprised everyone in 2015 by finishing as the runner-up at the 3A State Championships, and has since established herself as one of the top runners in the state. She was leading this year's 2A race with about a half mile to go before fading but should enter her senior year as one of the top contenders for the 2A state title.

6. Bronwyn Patterson, South River

Class of 2021, 19:50.8 @ 2017 XC States

Photo by Craig Amoss

The South River girls finished fourth at this year's state championships behind freshman Bronwyn Patterson. She was the team's top finisher at the state meet and the third-fastest freshman across all classifications behind only Ray and Hopkins.

7. Helena Lee, Northwest

Class of 2020, 19:54.7 @ 2016 XC States

Photo by Debbi Persinger

Lee's 19:54 effort at last year's state championships was the second-fastest of the day by a freshman behind only Haley Cummins. She also recorded the second-fastest 5K by a public school freshman in 2016.

8. Faith Meininger, River Hill

Class of 2021, 19:56.3 @ 2017 XC States

Photo by Craig Amoss

As a freshman Meininger immediately formed a devastating 1-2 punch with senior teammate Jasmine Tiamfook; her fifth-place effort at the 2A State Championships was a key factor in the Hawks' second-place finish in the team scores.

9. Virginia Brown, Bethesda-Chevy Chase

Class of 2019, 19:57.0 @ 2015 Bull Run Invitational

Photo by Lisa McArthur

Brown finished eighth in the elite girls race at the 2015 Bull Run Invitational. At the time, she was just the second freshman girl (after Abbey Green) to break 20 minutes on the new Hereford course. Her 5K personal best of 18:45.7 is the fastest by any Maryland freshman since 2014.

10. Claudia Dolan, Northern-Calvert

Class of 2019, 20:01.9 @ 2015 XC States

Photo by Melissa Rose

Dolan finished sixth at the 3A State Championships as a freshman in 2015, and after a 12th-place finish in 2016 rose back into the top ten as a junior. The Northern girls got more key freshman contributions this year from Hannah Mack (ninth) and Abby Setzfand (tenth), helping them defend their 3A team title.