Joshua Doughty (middle, number 279) and Devion Bryant helped the North Point boys win their first SMAC title since 2012. (Photo by Keeley Olson)
Frederick County Championships
Catoctin's Alexander Contreras and Linganore's Cole Williamson (not pictured) could be the two faces of Frederick County as early as next year. (Photo by Craig Amoss)
Oakdale's Kyle Lund picked up his second victory of the championship season on Thursday at Catoctin High School. Lund and fellow senior Collin Dempsey were head and shoulders above the rest of the field as the duo went 1-2 20 seconds ahead of the rest of the field. The Linganore boys had an impressive duo of their own as senior Carson Buck and freshman Cole Williamson finished third and fourth, respectively. Williamson also edged fellow freshman Alexander Contreras as the two could be the faces of the county as early as next season; the other five boys in the top seven were all seniors.
Oakdale also comfortably won their second straight Frederick County title putting five runners in the top ten. The Bears scored just 26 points while Linganore (92) was the only other team under 100. They are riding high heading into the 2A West regionals at Liberty that may serve as the state meet preview between the top 2A teams.
The rematch of the CMC race between Erin McQuitty and Sara Jarman played out in a similar fashion, as McQuitty won her second race in a row (although this one was much closer, 20:36 to 20:42). Eight of the top ten finishers came from the county's top two teams, Urbana and Middletown. The Hawks defended their county title with six runners in the top 11, while the Middletown girls had another strong race behind their excellent top three of McQuitty, Eleanor Stafford and Campbell Caldwell. The Urbana girls will get to go up against Montgomery County powerhouses Whitman, Walter Johnson and Wootton at 4A West, while Middletown will face their top 2A rivals Liberty and South Carroll at 2A West.
Howard County Championships
Anish Nanjappa strengthened his claim as the top runner in the state with his second straight Howard County title on Wednesday. Nanjappa broke away from the rest of the field early, and the result was never in much question after the first mile, although a strong field never fell too far behind the River Hill senior. Nanajappa's 15:21 mark was a new Centennial High School three mile course record. Behind Nanjappa, the next seven runners were all juniors, setting up what could be another excellent race next year. Oakland Mills' Baidy Ba - who has continued his sophomore track season surge as a junior - led the charge, coming in just nine seconds behind Nanjappa. Watch for Ba at the 2A West regionals next week as he could end up being Kyle Lund's top challenger.
The River Hill boys captured their first Howard County team title since 2016 behind Nanjappa and on the strength of their depth (all five runners in the top 13). Centennial emerged as the clear-cut second-best team in the county with four runners in the top 15, while the next four teams were separated by just 16 points.
It was the Howard Lions show in the girls race at Wednesday's meet. Senior Amanda Eliker pulled away from the field early on and never looked back as she ran her first race back at full strength after missing about a week earlier in the season. All seven Howard girls finished in the top ten and they were just two spots away from recording the first perfect score in county history; their 17 points were still a Howard County meet record for lowest team score. Atholton's Aanchal Kasargod and River Hill's Chloe McGeehan finished fifth and sixth, respectively, and could be the top two runners at next week's 3A East regionals back at Centennial.
Behind the Howard girls, Centennial pulled out a second-place finish on the strength of a minuscule 29-second 1-5 spread. They will once again be favorites back on their home course for next week's regional meet.
Montgomery County Championships
The clock says it all: Jenna Goldberg's performance at the Montgomery County Championships was one of the most impressive in county history. (Photo by EJ Trapsi)
Richard Montgomery's Garrett Suhr had a fast time on the mind when he ran well under five minutes for his first mile at the Montgomery County Championships. Over the course of the race, the chase pack, led by Springbrook's Surafel Mengist and Northwood's Ayalew Fantaw, slowly closed the gap until the lead had been completely erased by the final 200-meter stretch. Suhr had just enough speed left in the tank to hold off Fantaw and Mengist, who finished second and third, respectively. Suhr will be the favorite at 4A West next week while Fantaw, Mengist and Northwood's Henok Eshetu will be contenders at the 4A North regional. Damascus' Tamrat Snyder also ran 15:54, tying him with Towson's Peter Sorensen for second in the 3A 5K rankings.
Behind Fantaw, Eshetu and Timothy Boyce, the Northwood boys defended their Montgomery County team title, although it was probably a closer race than expected. Without a healthy Lamar Wilson, the Gladiators' fifth runner ran 17:22, which could open the door for a team like Dulaney to challenge Northwood at 4A North next week. Meanwhile, the Richard Montgomery boys stumbled a bit and allowed Walter Johnson to leap ahead in the team standings; the two will go head-to-head at 4A West next Thursday, where the Rockets are defending regional champions.
It was a matchup made in heaven, and it did not disappoint. Charlotte Turesson and Jenna Goldberg, each of whom entered the race boasting sub-17:50 5K personal bests, distanced themselves from the field early on and matched each other for the first two-plus miles. In the end, it was Goldberg who powered away from Turesson in the final half mile, turning what was a neck-and-neck race to a rather comfortable 23-second final margin between the two. Goldberg smashed the previous course record held by Walter Johnson great Abigail Green; her 17:28 time ranks in the top 50 in the country. Even while fading to a second-place finish, Turesson still ran 17:51 (third all-time at Bohrer Park) and sets up what could be another barnburner at 4A West next week. Sherwood's Katie Kaneko finished fourth in 19:00, and she owns the top time (18:55) in 4A North, where she will enter as the defending regional champion.
Meanwhile the Whitman girls overcame Walter Johnson going 1-3 individually to successfully defend their county title. After the Wildcats looked like possibly the better team at the Manhattan Invitational, the Vikings responded by putting six runners in the top 14, an almost unprecedented feat in a field as deep as Montgomery County's. Their 37-second 1-5 split was far and away better than the Wildcats' 3:22 1-5 split and sets them up as the team to beat next week at 4A West.
Prince George's County Championships
Parkdale's Jafar Hussen (left) ran the fastest county time since Joshua Wilkins, who finished in the top ten at the 4A state meet in 2013. (Photo by EJ Trapsi)
Jafar Hussen and Brandon Lewis had traded wins head-to-head in their first two matchups of the season, and it was Hussen who came through at the county championships on Wednesday. Hussen's 16:09 performance was the fastest time at the county championships since Joshua Wilkins ran 16:02 back in 2013. It's the 22nd-fastest time in 4A this season, and after placing 38th at last year's state meet, Hussen could potentially crack the top 20 at the state meet in November. The two will go head-to-head again at regionals on Halloween. The Roosevelt boys won the team battle behind Lewis' runner-up effort and will be favorites once again at 4A South.
Javon Watts completed her four-year assault on Prince George's County, winning her fourth title in four years. The Flowers girls did the same, putting six runners in the top nine. Both Watts and the Flowers girls will be favorites once again at regionals.
For the second straight race, Field's Adrian Stuphan edged Sandy Spring Friends' Alexander Fendig, this time for the PVAC title. (Photo by EJ Trapsi)
Field's (DC) Adrian Stuphan won the PVAC title on Wednesday, beating out Sandy Spring Friends' Alexander Fendig who also ran a personal-best 17:24 on his home course. Meanwhile the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School boys put six girls - all underclassmen - under 19:45 to take home the PVAC title.
Washington International's (DC) Elsa Cooney was a runaway winner at Wednesday's PVAC Championships. The top ten also featured five freshmen, led by Charles E. Smith's Ella Sheintal (second), Sandy Spring Friends' Nani Jackson (fourth) and Melvin J. Berman's Amalia Diamond. Sheintal and the Charles E. Smith girls finished a close second behind Washington International in the team battle.
The Northern flag was flying high on Wednesday as the Northern girls took home another SMAC team title behind individual winner Oakley Olson. (Photo by Keeley Olson)
North Point's Joshua Doughty put the rest of the state on watch as he outlasted a solid field against fellow 3A rivals at Oakridge Park on Wednesday. Doughty ran 16:02, a 5K personal best and eighth on the current state junior rankings. Huntingtown's Conor McGirr and Chopticon's Jeffrey and Zachary Wedding rounded out the top four at Wednesday's conference championships, and all four will get a shot at a rematch at the 3A South regionals on Halloween. All four could be competing for a top-five spot at the state meet in a 3A field that opens up after Anish Nanjappa and Caleb Zylka.
Meanwhile Doughty's performance not only earned him his first individual SMAC XC title, but it helped North Point take down Chopticon by the slimmest of margins. Doughty and senior Devion Bryant (fifth) gave the Eagles a 1-2 punch capable of outlasting the Wedding brothers and Chopticon. The North Point boys won their first team title since 2012 - when they also won on a sixth-runner tiebreaker over Northern. Four of the top five teams - North Point, Chopticon, Huntingtown and Northern - will race against each other again at the 3A South regionals.
Oakley Olson won her first SMAC XC title on Wednesday as she was the only runner to break 19 minutes. Olson also led the Northern girls to another SMAC title, although this year's team battle ended up a little closer than it has been in years past. Both Leonardtown and Huntingtown finished less than 25 points behind the Patriots. It was one of the most balanced SMAC fields in recent history as no team had more than two runners in the top 11. As expected, sophomores ruled the day, as the 2-5 finishers were all members of the class of 2022, led by Leonardtowns' Parker O'Brien. None of the top eight runners were seniors, either, setting up next year's meet.
A big race from junior Jane Gorman, who did not race until late September this year, helped boost Huntingtown into third place and finish just one point behind Leonardtown. Northern, Huntingtown and Great Mills will compete next week at 3A South, while Leonardtown heads to the bloodbath that will be 4A East and the Calvert girls will be heavy favorites at 2A South.
The Edgewood girls recorded their highest UCBAC finish of the decade on Wednesday when they "edged" the Wright girls by six points for second place. (Photo by Craig Amoss)
Caleb Zylka defended his UCBAC title against plenty of familiar faces on Wednesday. The owner of a 15:34 5K personal best (fifth-best in Maryland), Zylka will likely be Anish Nanjappa's top challenger at the 3A state meet, and he will also be the favorite in a 3A North field that also includes Towson's Peter Sorensen. Meanwhile, Harford Tech went 2-4-5 led by junior Kevin Baranoski; those potential low sticks at a race like states could help them overcome their lack of depth and challenge for a top five spot in 2A.
Meanwhile, the C. Milton Wright boys once again demonstrated their full strength ability and defended their UCBAC title, edging Fallston by two points. It will be the last meeting between the two teams this season, as Wright will be out for revenge as 3A North for last year's narrow loss to Towson, while Fallston will try to wrestle the 2A East title away from Harford Tech; they finished third at last year's meet behind Harford Tech and Kent Island.
Bel Air sophomore Mackenzie Morrison continues her growth into one of the top runners in the state, as she put 22 seconds between herself and the Wright duo of Lindsay Perry and Haley Cummins on Wednesday. Oakley Olson is the defending 3A state champion but it would be foolish to overlook Morrison as a legitimate contender for this year's individual title.
With their entire top seven placing in the top 14, the Bobcats handily won their second straight UCBAC title. Things played out similarly last year when the Northern girls held off an upstart young Bel Air squad at the state meet, but now that the Bobcats have a true individual contender, they may enter November 9 as the team to beat in 3A. Meanwhile, the Edgewood girls turned in a solid race of their own, finishing second at the UCBAC Championships for the first time in the decade. All three top teams (Bel Air, Edgewood and Wright) will race next week at 3A North.
Washington County Championships
County champions Daylie Younker (above) and Hannah Muir will meet at the 1A West regionals on Halloween in what could be a matchup of the top two 1A runners in the state. (Photo by Craig Amoss)
Zane Chalker and the Williamsport boys came off a runner-up effort at CMC's and won county titles on Thursday. They got a strong battle from the Boonsboro boys who featured a tight 22-second 1-5 spread and finished just nine points behind the Wildcats. South Hagerstown's Elom Akakpo was the runner-up; the owner of a sub-16 three-mile personal best, Akakpo may have to qualify individually out of the 3A West region, where he could be the favorite entering next week's race. Chalker and Williamsport will be favorites at the 1A West regionals next week while the Boonsboro boys will have to contend in a 2A West region that features some of the top contenders in the state.
Daylie Younker won the county title on her home course at Smithsburg. In a 1A field that doesn't feature a favorite at this point in the season, next week's race between Younker and Mountain Ridge's Hannah Muir could very well end up being a state meet matchup. Meanwhile the Boonsboro girls dominated by going 2-3-4-5 and will find themselves, like the boys, battling for a ticket to the state meet in the most competitive 2A region in the state.
Table of Champions
|Meet||Boys Winner||Team Winner||Girls Winner||Team Winner|
Allegany - 17:13
Mountain Ridge - 21:05
|Anne Arundel Champs|
Arundel - 15:01
Arundel - 18:27
|Balt. City Champs|
Balt. Poly - 17:55
A.C.C.E. - 22:49
|Balt. County Champs|
Towson - 15:54
Dulaney - 19:10
Kent Island - 15:28
Kent Island - 19:17
Liberty - 17:21
South Carroll - 20:23
Oakdale - 15:25
Middletown - 18:50
Oakdale - 17:28
Middletown - 20:36
River Hill - 15:21
Howard - 18:36
R. Montgomery - 15:35
W. Johnson - 17:28
Parkdale - 16:09
C.H. Flowers - 19:56
Field - 17:16
Charles E. Smith
Washington Intl. - 20:43
North Point - 16:02
Northern - 18:54
Bel Air - 15:13
C. Milton Wright
Bel Air - 18:04
Williamsport - 16:10
Smithsburg - 20:57