Photo by Keeley Olson
Who was the top boys runner of the eighth week of the 2019 cross country season? Vote below!
It was the closest team battle of county and conference championship week as North Point defeated Chopticon on a sixth-runner tiebreaker at the SMAC Championships. However, it would never have come down to a tiebreaker had Eagles junior Joshua Doughty not taken the individual title. Doughty ran 16:02 - easily a 5K personal best and 12 seconds faster than the runner-up - at last Wednesday's meet, giving North Point the low stick it needed to edge Chopticon. Doughty's 16:24 time at Bull Run this year was the second-fastest by a 3A runner behind only Anish Nanjappa.
Last year's PG County individual champion had yet to win another major race this fall - at least, until last Wednesday. That's when Parkdale's Jafar Hussen ran 16:09 at the PG County Championships in what was a breakthrough performance for the senior, dropping his 5K personal best by 17 seconds. Hussen will also try and defend his 4A South regional title this week against Roosevelt's Brandon Lewis, whom Hussen has beaten in each of their last two meetings.
Behind the two front-runners at the Anne Arundel County Championships, the Severna Park boys were doing what they do best - putting plenty of runners in the top ten. Those runners were led by junior Jake Gelfand who has become the team's #1 this fall. Gelfand finished third, just six seconds behind Sam Keeny, and led a Severna Park pack that went 3-6 and put all seven runners in the top 11. Gelfand and the Falcons will try to repeat their performance this week at the 4A East regional.
Finally, South Hagerstown's Elom Akakpo has enjoyed a breakout junior season of his own this fall. Akakpo finished second at the Washington County Championships on Thursday and his 15:55 three-mile time from Frank Keyser earlier this month ranks tenth among all 3A runners. Akakpo will contend for a top spot at the 3A West regional meet and potentially for a top ten spot at the state meet in November.