Middletown freshman Eleanor Stafford won her first cross country race on Friday, finishing first in the Gambrill division. (Photo by Autumn Hoffman)
Freshman Dominate The Girls Gambrill Division
Perhaps the biggest surprise of the weekend came at the CMC Championships on Friday where Middletown freshman Eleanor Stafford pulled out a big win in the Gambrill division. Her three-mile time of 19:32 was the third-fastest on the day behind a pair of Urbana runners in the Spires division, and moves her into fourth place among freshman girls in the state. The Oakdale girls won the team title on the strength of two freshmen, Hayley Ross and Aubrey Schaffer, who finished fifth and seventh respectively. And the Brunswick girls finished third, with a whopping six freshmen in the varsity race (all under 22:30 for three miles). The Railroaders could be a team to watch at the 1A state meet this year and in the next several ones to come.
Belmaggio Wins What Could Be A 3A State Preview
Two of the top boys in the 3A classification met on Friday, as juniors Michael Belmaggio and Nate Neely went head-to-head for the first time all season. Belmaggio pulled ahead by a couple seconds, and the race was about as close as one would expect from two of the more evenly-matched competitors in the state who will see each other again at both the regional and state meets. The Linganore boys looked especially strong and could be in the mix for a top-three finish at Hereford. One note: neither boy was able to top fellow 3A competitor Greg Oldham's time from the Frank Keyser Invitational on the same course just six days before.
Urbana Girls Dominate, Even Without Strouse
The Urbana girls were without their top runner, Brin Strouse, on Friday afternoon, but that did not stop them from scoring just 30 points in a winning effort. Junior Mary Miller and sophomore Sara Jarman led the way for the Hawks, giving them three girls who have gone sub-19:20 in three-mile races this season. They will have it harder at the state meet this year after moving up to the 4A classification, but with a potential low scorer in Strouse, they could potentially be in the mix for a top five spot.