Photo by Craig Amoss
Who was the top boys runner of the first week of the 2019 cross country season? Vote below!
St. Paul's Zachary Walker was the top Maryland finisher (second overall) at the Spiked Shoe Invitational, where he ran a 5K personal best of 16:22 to kick off his junior season. Walker's sophomore campaign was cut short last fall after just two races, but his performance on Saturday puts him right back at the forefront of private school runners in the state.
The Northwood boys didn't put out any individual performances after racing at the Woodward Relays, but the tag-team duo of seniors Ayalew Fantaw and Henok Eshetu took home the top spot in the 2 x 3 mile alternating relay. Their time of 31:37 was an even 30 seconds faster than the time recorded last season by Gladiator teammates Obsaa Feda and Eldad Mulugeta who would go on to finish 1-2 at the state meet.
Williamsport's Zane Chalker entered the season as the 1A state title favorite and kicked off the fall with a strong 16:13 effort at the Interstate Classic. He finished second overall in the race behind Richard Montgomery's Garrett Suhr and the Wildcats went 1-2-3 in the small school division.
River Hill's Anish Nanjappa outlasted perhaps the most talented field of the weekend at the Seahawk Invitational. Nanjappa pulled away late in the race from South River's Sam Keeny and Arundel's Tanner Piotrowski, crossing the finish in 15:00 - a new meet record, 17 seconds faster than Severna Park's Garrison Clark ran last season. Last year's 2A state champion looks to be in top form once again entering his senior year and the River Hill boys look like 3A favorites as a team.
Northwest's Gage Osborne clocked the fastest freshman time of the weekend, running 17:13 for three miles at the Brunswick Invitational. It was good for fifth in the large school division and eighth in the meet overall as Osborne led the Jaguars to second place in the large school division.