2019 Boys Preseason XC Power Rankings: #8 Northwood

Photo by Craig Amoss

Preseason Power Rankings Daily Schedule

Tuesday, August 13th - Tuesday, August 20th: Boys 1-10 (one a day)

Wednesday, August 21st: Girls 41-50

Thursday, August 22nd: Girls 31-40

Friday, August 23rd: Girls 21-30

Saturday, August 24th: Girls 11-20

Sunday, August 25th - Tuesday, September 3rd: Girls 1-10 (one a day)

Wednesday, September 4th: Boys Classification/Private School (top 15 each)

Thursday, September 5th: Girls Classification/Private School (top 15 each)

Our 2019 preseason XC power rankings continue with the top ten boys teams. These rankings are subjective and based on last year's performances (season bests, plus performances at big meets like conferences and states), track performances, program depth and reputation (how certain programs stay strong year after year).

We will rank the top 50 boys and girls teams heading into the season, then provide weekly top 25 ranking updates!

Top seven returners are based on last year's 5K or three mile season bests. Other runners to watch include those with standout track performances (relative to the rest of the team), unless those runners have run multiple track seasons without running cross country - we don't want to assume they will be running cross country in the fall. Freshmen or rookies who did not run cross country but did run track are usually included.

Use these rankings to preview your rival teams, debate your friends, and lace up those shoes and prove us wrong about your team!

8. Northwood High School Gladiators (Silver Spring, MD)

Photo by Phil Grove

County: Montgomery (2nd) Region: 4A North (2nd)

Top Seven Returners:

1. Lamar Wilson (sophomore): 16:52 5K, 4:36 1600, 9:46 3200

2. Lamine Fofana (senior): 16:55 5K, 1:59 800, 4:38 1600

3. Henok Eshetu (senior): 17:03 5K, 4:28 1600, 10:00 3200

4. Ayalew Fantaw (senior): 18:46 5K, 4:24 1600, 10:01 3200

5. Nathaniel Davis (sophomore): 19:00, 2:27 800, 5:30 1600

6. Christian Estrada (junior): 19:41 5K, 2:24 800, 5:09 1600

7. Sebastian Stiefel (senior): 21:57 5K

The Northwood boys had one of their best seasons in program history last fall. They captured the school's first Montgomery County title, won the 4A North regional championship and finished as 4A runners-up for the first time since 1962. Much of their success came from their 1-2 punch of Obsaa Feda and Eldad Mulugeta, both of whom qualified for Nike Cross Nationals as seniors in November.

They will have to do some reloading this season after losing Feda, Mulugeta, Baraka Sila and Mulisa Reggasa. However, they still return a strong group of four runners that will keep them one of the top teams in the state. Rising sophomore Lamar Wilson is coming off an excellent freshman track season, during which he clocked a 9:46 3200 (second-fastest in his class). Seniors Lamine Fofana (above) and Henok Eshetu ran 16:55 and 17:03, respectively, last season, in addition to equally solid track times.

Watch Lamar Wilson's personal best 9:46 3200 at the Mullins-Russell Invitational this past spring.

Their real X-factor, however, could be senior Ayalew Fantaw. After missing most of his junior cross country season, he returned strong in the spring and clocked a 4:24 1600. With Fantaw, the Gladiators have one of the best group of top four returners in the state. The team's depth has been steadily improving over the past couple of years, so it's not hard to imagine another couple of contributors emerging this year as Northwood tries to defend its county and regional titles.