Montgomery County Girls XC Preview

Photo by Brandon Miles

The Whitman girls rolled through their schedule last fall, claiming Montgomery County and 4A West titles before finishing fourth at the 4A State championship. Much of that success came from a talented group of juniors; five of their seven finishers at the state meet will be seniors this year, while the other two graduated. Elizabeth Sklaire and Alicia Lauwers (above), along with their 2020 classmates, will try to build upon last year's success as they return to defend their county and regional titles.

Montgomery County Girls Preview: By The Numbers

Photo by Dasam Gill

Richard Montgomery sophomore Charlotte Turesson caught fire during the 2018 cross country season. She clocked the second-fastest 5K (18:09) in the state at the Great American Cross Country Festival before taking the county and regional individual titles and finishing second at the state meet. Along with fellow rising junior Emma Wolf (who finished seventh at last year's county meet), the Rockets boast one of the top returning duos in the state this season.

Photo by Craig Amoss

Not only are the top two runners from last year's meet both returning in 2019, but neither will be seniors. Sherwood's Katie Kaneko was one of the top freshmen runners in the state last season; after finishing second at the Montgomery County Championships, she ran away with the 4A North title. Kaneko and Turesson could once again be on a collision course to face off at this year's county meet.

Photo by Craig Amoss

Speaking of talented freshmen, Gaithersburg's Devon Derrenbacher was one of last fall's most improved runners throughout the season. She opened her season with a 23:06, 63rd-place finish at the Spiked Shoe Invitational and ended it by placing 14th at the 4A state meet. It was the fifth-fastest time by a freshman girl across all classifications at the state meet.

Photo by Dasam Gill

Northwest senior Helena Lee has been a regional medalist (top 15) in each of her first three seasons of cross country. She is also coming off of a junior track season in which she set personal best times in the 800, 1600 and 3200. Lee is just one of a group of freshmen (along with Logan Rohde, Paula Bathalon, Alyssa D'Arpa and Alexis Whitehorn-Coriz) that finished in the top 25 at the county meet as freshmen in 2016.

Photo by Lisa McArthur

Blair's Leah Kannan could emerge as one of the top runners in the county not included on the top ten returning runners list after a strong showing during the track season. Her 12:00, fourth-place finish in the 3200 at the county track championships was good for the eighth-best time in Montgomery County last spring.