Photo by Craig Amoss
Who was the top girls runner of the eighth week of the 2019 cross country season? Vote below!
Two sophomores had big performances at their conference championships on Wednesday. Up at the UCBAC Championships, Mackenzie Morrison won her second UCBAC title to go along with her 3200 title last spring. Her 18:04 three mile time was a nearly 20-second personal best and it's also the fifth-fastest three mile time in the state. Morrison finished 22 seconds ahead of the field and led the Bel Air girls to their second consecutive UCBAC title.
Meanwhile down at the other end of the state, Leonardtown's Parker O'Brien was the top out of what ended up being four straight sophomores to finish 2-5 at the SMAC Championships. She pulled away from Cooper Brotherton, Blair Fowler and Kristen Prince en route to a runner-up finish. Not only was her 19:13 performance a 5K personal best, but it was important, as the Raiders edged Huntingtown by just one point for second place in the team standings.
The other three contenders for this week's honor are all freshmen. Kent Island's Sarah van Ornum has come on strong recently for Kent Island and helped turn them into one of the top teams in 2A this year. van Ornum ran a minute faster at the Bayside Championships than she did earlier this year on the same course at the Rumble in the Jungle, finishing second for the Buccaneers. They are one of just four teams in 2A to have three girls run under 20 minutes for three miles.
At the Washington County Championships the Boonsboro girls dominated the team scores, going 2-5. The third place finisher was one of the team's youngest runners, Cami Row. Row finished 27th at the CMC Championships last weekend and will be a big part of a Warriors' squad that will look to punch its ticket to states from a highly competitive 2A West region this week.
Finally, Charles E. Smith's Ella Sheintal was the runner-up at the PVAC Championships on Thursday in a young field (four out of the top five and five out of the top ten finishers were all freshmen). Sheintal was the top runner for the Lions squad that finished second, just seven points behind Washington International. Her 21:07 time was a huge personal best and ranks 25th in the state among freshmen this year.