XC Team Scouting Report: Bethesda Chevy-Chase

The Bethesda-Chevy Chase boys and girls cross country team is one of the best combined programs currently in the state of Maryland. Head coach Chad Young's boys squad last year finished 5th in the Maryland 4A state cross country race graduating only one senior, while their girls last year were the 4A state runners-up to Walter Johnson.

The B-CC girls have to reload this fall after graduating their top three runners including state champion Nora McUmber, yet their depth still has them bringing back 7 runners who have dipped under 21 minutes for 5K to be capable of another high state meet finish.

Meanwhile, the B-CC boys have a strong #1 runner up front for them in Dylan Kannapell (16:04 5K PR) and three others back who ran sub 17 last fall. They expect to challenge for the Montgomery County this fall, while the girls will look to at least maintain their second place position in the fiercely competitive county meet behind favorites Walter Johnson.

Top 7 XC Returnees for Bethesda-Chevy Chase Boys

1) Dylan Kannapell 16:04.90
2) Lucas Heinzerling 16:51.00
3) Robert Chance 16:52.00
4) Sebastian Jones 16:55.90
5) Jonah Rosenblum 17:17.00
Average Time: 16:48.16 Total Time: 1:24:00.80 1-5 Split: 1:12.10
6) Josh Fry 17:21.00
7) Philippe Masson 18:00.00

Top 7 XC Returnees for Bethesda-Chevy Chase Girls

1) Abigail Levine 19:40.70
2) Katherine Ellis 19:47.00
3) Lily O'Dowd 19:55.10
4) Madison Silver 20:04.00
5) Marie Caspard 20:35.00
Average Time: 20:00.36 Total Time: 1:40:01.80 1-5 Split: 54.30
6) Zoe Nuechterlein 20:42.60
7) Jane Griffin 20:52.00

Interview with Bethesda-Chevy Chase HS XC head coach Chad Young

1. How many years have you been coaching high school cross country (and at your current school)?
This fall will be my 9th year as the head coach of the cross country team at Bethesda-Chevy Chase HS - It's the only place I've ever coached. (11th year for track)

2. What do you attribute as the main reasons for the success of your program?
While being serious about competing and training, we try to keep things light and fun with our team. We welcome anyone from the school to join our team and the runners do a great job to make everyone feel welcome. We really try to maintain a positive atmosphere and that keeps runners coming out year after year.

3. What would be the best way to describe your style and philosophy of coaching and working with high school runners?
I think we are very athlete-centered. We constantly ask for their input and give them opportunities to lead our team. We tell them early on that it is their team, and we as coaches will help to guide and challenge them along the way. We focus more on a long-term love of running and really work on skills like injury prevention and strengthening that they can take with them after our program. As coaches, our goals are to keep the runners healthy (and teach them how to stay that way), challenge them through competition and training - but not overtraining, and helping them to love running as something they can enjoy for the rest of their lives.

4. What are your core beliefs in your training plan and workouts for your cross country squads?
It's important to really build a solid base for strength and injury prevention. This is summer training, but also consistent training through a year of cross country and through track seasons. High schoolers are just learning the sport and their bodies take time to adjust to the training so a slowly building base is important. I think for our team we really believe in variety in workouts and keeping things fun and new throughout the season.

5. How many runners do you return from your top 7 from a year ago?
Boys: Dylan Kannapell, Lucas Heinzerling, Sebastian Jones, Robert Chance, Jonah Rosenblum, and Josh Fry will all be back so 6 runners from the top 7

Girls: Abigail Levine, Marie Caspard, Katherine Ellis/Madison Silver are back so 3/7. We lost 4 (actually 5) very strong seniors.

6. Who is your projected top 7 heading into the cross country season?
Boys: Our boys seem pretty set. I would add Philippe Masson to the top 7 from the list above.

Girls: Abigail Levine, Marie Caspard, Madison Silver, Katherine Ellis, Lily O'Dowd, Zoe Nuechterlein and Jane Griffin are our top returners.

7. Who are your team captains or leaders and what stands out about them as examples for the rest of their teammates?
We have the team elect captains in the fall so we can get back to you on this, but I will say that our boys return a strong group of leaders on the returning varsity. They have set the tone all summer long by leading team runs and welcoming new runners to the team as have the girls. The boys push each other each day and have a lot of fun along the way. I am so excited to see who is ready to step up to lead on our girls side this season. We graduated 5 very talented seniors, 4 of which were on the varsity team all 4 years and this year there will be a ton of opportunity to step up and lead the way. We have a great group of girls and have had great depth over the past few years and some of those girls from the top of our JV will now have their chance to shine.

8. Who have you been most impressed or surprised with their improvement and/or fitness from their summer training?
I think we'll see for sure this fall.

9. Any impactful freshmen or transfers to join the team this season?
Boys: Joe Viqueira (from football) a sophomore this fall who ran 2:03, 4:56 as a freshman in track will potentially join us, Adam Nakasaka (from soccer) a sophomore running shorter distances in track, will be a big boost.

Girls: Freshman Virginia Brown and Gabriela Jeliazkov joined the team at camp this summer and fit right in.

10. What are the top invitational meets that your team will be attending this season?
Woodward Relays (Georgetown Prep), Adidas XC Challenge in Cary, NC, Bull Run in Parkton, MD (Hereford), Coyote Run (Clarksburg HS) and Glory Days Invitational Manassas, VA.

11. What will be the biggest obstacle or challenge facing your team this season?
Boys - Nothing too crazy - I think the boys just need to build on what they did last year and encourage and challenge each other to keep getting better.

Girls - Moving into roles that replace our 5 graduating seniors. We are looking for our girls to step up with their running and leadership this season - I know they are ready and up for it.

12. What will be the biggest reason why your team is successful this season?
Staying healthy is primary, but other than that the hard work the team is putting in over the summer and keeping things fun during the season will be important for our team's success.

13. What is a favorite annual or common pre-season workout or run for your team?
Not exactly a workout, but I enjoy our Blue-Gold Scrimmage in August (this year the 29th). It's an intra-squad scrimmage where we get to see who worked hard over the summer. We have a team BBQ afterwards and invite parents who can get to know each other. It's the first time our new runners and their parents get a taste for what xc is all about.

14. What is a favorite annual or common mid-season workout for your team?
We work hills throughout the entire year, but especially in xc. We always do a few solid hill circuits in Rock Creek Park. We change it up each year, but we have done 'last (wo)man standing repeats' where the runners choose how many they can handle, until there's just a small group sometimes just one person left.

Also, mile repeats at NIH.

15. What are your top 3 goals for this year's squad?

The goals are really up to the team and we will work with them to develop some team goals once we begin practice.