Towson's Madeline Till had her game face working well on Saturday when she set a new 5K personal best at the Westminster Invitational. (Photo by Erik Cloyd)
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Madeline Till has enjoyed a streak of success to begin her junior cross country season that has now included two runner-up efforts. She finished second at the Westminster Invitational on Saturday and bested her 5K personal best by eight seconds. Along with a ninth-place run in the elite race at Bull Run, Till has finished in the top ten at all three of her races this fall. Her 19:27 time on Saturday sits as the seventh-fastest in 3A this season.
Mountain Ridge's Hannah Muir finished 13th at the 1A state meet last season in her first appearance at the cross country state meet. Could she be on track for an even higher finish this year? Muir finished second at the Don Stoner Invitational on Saturday, ahead of plenty of fellow 1A competitors (such as Pikesville's Logan Bierer and Boonsboro's Samantha Agostini and Kayla Aufdem Brinke). Although the course was actually .04 miles longer than a true three mile, her 21:16 effort still ranks as the fourth-fastest in 1A this fall.
The Howard girls made a big statement on Saturday, defeating two of the top teams in the state (Severna Park and Northern) even without their top runner, Amanda Eliker. Senior Sara Kindbom stepped in as the team's top runner on Saturday, breaking 19 minutes in the 5K for the first time. After a blazing fast weekend in and around the state, Kindbom's 18:59 still ranks among the top 20 5K performances in the state.
Finally, Richard Montgomery's Charlotte Turesson dropped what was the fastest time in the state for a few hours (until Juliette Whittaker ran a jaw-dropping 17:16 at the Paul Short Run). Turesson went 17:42 in the race of champions at Great American, topping fellow Montgomery County competitor Jenna Goldberg's time of 17:48 soon afterward. They will meet three times in the postseason at counties, regionals and states after having only raced each other head-to-head once this season at Oatlands.