Champ Week 1 - Boys Previews

The Montgomery County championships will take place on Saturday, October 19th at Bohrer Park in Gaithersburg. (Photo by Dasam Gill)

The AMAC Championships kick off Maryland championship season on Thursday. We outline the boys fields in all of the county and conference meets from then until October 19th!

AMAC Championships (10/10 - Meet Page)

Allegany junior Logan Trautwein's 17:12 5K season best is fourth-fastest among 1A runners this year. (Photo by Brandon Miles)

The championship meets actually kick off this week on Thursday with the Appalachian Mountain Athletic Conference championships in Keyser, WV. It was a close battle at last year's meet, with Hampshire (WV), Frankfort (WV) and Southern Garrett all separated by just six points at the top. The Frankfort boys look like they could be the team to beat this season, led by freshman Garrett Ferguson whose 16:32 5K personal best is tops among freshmen in the state.

The Allegany boys, meanwhile, have put together a strong first month of the 2019 season. With four boys sitting at 18:24 (5K) or faster so far the Campers are working their way into the mix for a potential podium finish at the 1A state meet later this year. Another strong showing at the AMAC championships on Thursday could only help their case. Northern Garrett sophomore Garrison Barlow has gone well under 18 minutes in each of his last three races and could be in the running as the top Maryland runner on Thursday.

Virtual Meet: Three Mile - 5K

Consortia Championships (10/12 - Meet Page)

Could Ayalew Fantaw and Henok Eshetu chase down the 16:03 course record set by Obsaa Feda at last year's Consortia Championships? (Photo by Mary Ann Magnant)

Eight teams from Montgomery County will compete at Northwood High School on Saturday morning in the annual Consortia Championships. The home team has won two straight Consortia Cups and seem poised to run that streak up to three on Saturday. The Gladiators put four runners at 16:00 or faster at the Great American XC Festival this past weekend and their fifth, Lamar Wilson, ran 16:37 earlier this season. Could senior Ayalew Fantaw, fresh off a 15:32 personal best at Great American, challenge the course record (16:03) set by Obsaa Feda last year?

Virtual Meet: 5K

Cecil County Championships (10/15 - Meet Page)

Bohemia Manor sophomore Day Leone ran 17:35 at Bull Run earlier this season. It was the second-fastest time of the day by a 1A runner. (Photo by John Roemer)

They aren't as dominant as they were a season ago behind the senior tandem of Alex Longeway and Zachary Laird but the Bohemia Manor boys are still the class of Cecil County. Sophomore Day Leone has emerged as the team's leader in his first season of cross country. He ran 17:35 in an eighth-place effort in the small school race at Bull Run, and finished 12th at the UCBAC Chesapeake Divisionals where his 16:12 three mile is tops among sophomores in the state this year.

Virtual Meet: Three Mile - 5K

Harford County Championships (10/15 - Meet Page)

Freshman Ashton Tolson and the Wright boys are coming off a win at the Chesapeake divisionals last week, and will be taking on the many of the same teams at the Harford County championships. (Photo by Mary Ann Magnant)

The Harford Tech boys were victorious at last year's meet when they went 1-2-3. Could another 1-2-3 performance be in the cards for the Cobras? This race will feature the top teams from the UCBAC Chesapeake Divisionals from last week, where the C. Milton Wright boys prevailed by putting four boys between 16:13 and 16:46 (for three miles). When at full strength (as they were last week) the Mustangs are the deepest team in the UCBAC.

The Bel Air boys could also throw a wrench into this year's meet, as they did not run their varsity squad at last year's Harford County Championships. Caleb Zylka won last week's UCBAC Chesapeake Divisionals and is coming off a 15:34 5K personal best at Paul Short on Saturday. The Fallston boys will likely be back in the mix as well.

Virtual Meet: Three Mile - 5K

CMC Championships (10/18 - Meet Page)

Williamsport's Zane Chalker won the first matchup against Oakdale's Kyle Lund this year. The two will meet again, this time with a CMC title on the line. (Photo by John Roemer)

Kyle Lund and the Oakdale boys lost a heartbreaker to Linganore last year on a sixth-runner tiebreaker despite Lund's 15:19 victory at Boonsboro. This year, however, the Bears look like the team to beat in the CMC and Lund could be the favorite to defend his title from last year. Who could challenge him in this year's race? How about Williamsport senior Zane Chalker who beat Lund in their only head-to-head matchup this year at Bull Run - the two finished fourth and fifth, respectively, in the elite school race.

The CMC Championships serve as a preview for the Frederick and Washington county championships as well. Lund and Chalker will be favorites at those races as well, as will their teams, Oakdale and Williamsport. The Boonsboro boys could find themselves in the mix as well after beating Williamsport (who wasn't at full strength) at the Don Stoner Invitational on Saturday.

Virtual Meet: Three Mile - 5K

Baltimore County Championships (10/19 - Meet Page)

Tyler Dailey (front, number 1591) and Zak Audia went sub-16 at Paul Short on Saturday, becoming the first two Baltimore County boys to crack the barrier this year. (Photo by Howard Anderson)

It looked as though this could have been the year that Towson or Hereford challenged Dulaney at this year's county meet, but after over a month of racing, the Lions once again look like favorites. The three teams last went head-to-head in the elite school race at Bull Run (Dulaney - 3rd, 135 points; Towson - 8th, 244 points; Hereford - 13th, 346 points), and before that on the county course at the Barnhart Invitational (Dulaney - 1st, 52 points; Towson - 2nd, 91 points; Hereford - 4th, 177 points). Freshman Tyler Dailey has stepped in to lead the Lions, most recently at the Paul Short Run where he ran 15:58. Could Dailey and teammate Zak Audia (who finished right behind him at 15:59) go 1-2 on their home course?

Not so fast - because Towson junior Peter Sorensen has been the top Baltimore County runner at every race he's run this season. He finished 4th at the Barnhart Invitational and 14th in the elite race at Bull Run, both higher than any other county runner. Other runners to watch include Sorensen's teammate Samuel Fields, Catonsville's Jack Roseboom and Elliott Wack and the rest of the Dulaney boys squad.

Virtual Meet: 5K

Montgomery County Championships (10/19 - Meet Page)

Garrett Suhr's 15:16 performance at Great American is indicative of his return to form after an injury-marred junior year. He ran 15:43 at the Montgomery County Championships two years ago, but it was only good for sixth place in one of the fastest and deepest fields ever at a Maryland county meet. (Photo by Dan Loughlin)

The biggest county/conference meet in the state will also feature some eventual state meet previews on both the individual and team sides. Richard Montgomery senior Garrett Suhr ran the second-fastest time in the state this season on Saturday at Great American, making his case as not only the county favorite, but perhaps the 4A state favorite as well. Northwood's Ayalew Fantaw ran 15:32 in the same race, and he and teammate Henok Eshetu may be Suhr's top challengers at Bohrer Park on the 19th.

Overall, ten boys enter the race having run 16:00 or better so far this season, and Bohrer Park has played host to some blazing-fast races over the past few years (such as 2017 when nine boys ran 15:51 or faster). Another runner to watch will be Damascus' Tamrat Snyder who won the medium school race at Bull Run earlier this fall and brings a 16:12 5K personal best into the race.

The Northwood boys seem poised to defend their county title as long as their top five is fully healthy and ready to go.They finished comfortably ahead of Richard Montgomery, likely the next-best team in the field, at Great American. Walter Johnson, Sherwood and Montgomery Blair round out the top five in the virtual meet (as of 10/8) but there are plenty of other teams in the deepest county in the state capable of cracking the top five in the team standings.

Virtual Meet: 5K