Revisiting the Best Girls Races at States Since 2015

Photo by Eric Green

There have been plenty of eye-opening, down-to-the-wire girls races at the state meet over the past four years at Hereford High School. Get pumped for this year's meet by revisiting some of the best races at the state meet during that period!

2016: Coffin and Green Set the Standard (WATCH)

Photo by Debbi Persinger

It was both a much-anticipated culmination of two incredible individual seasons and a precursor to the state's most successful showing at Foot Locker regionals and nationals later in the season. A sub-18 minute performance on the new Hereford course - a barrier that had not been approached on the old rendition of Hereford's course - was suddenly in play if either girl was willing to go for it. And go for it, they did. It took until late in the race for Annapolis' Maria Coffin to create separation from Walter Johnson junior Abigail Green, and while she never quite dropped her, Coffin won by five seconds in a new course record of 17:49. That year, Hayley Jackson (another Foot Locker qualifier that year) also ran 18:19 in the 2A race, and no girl besides Green had run under 18:40 until Bull Run earlier this year.

2016: Rhoten Surprises Everybody (WATCH)

Photo by John Roemer

Entering the race, Northern Garrett sophomore Ana Rhoten had turned in some good season performances (19:34 three mile at Frank Keyser) but was not considered one of the top contenders entering the race. She had finished fifth at the 1A West regional meet, 50 seconds behind Boonsboro's Camryn Harper who was considered the favorite to win the state title. Nobody told Rhoten, however; she took the lead with a little over a mile to go and spent the final part of the race building an impressive 30-second gap on Harper and the rest of the field. It was a career day for Rhoten, and the only state title she would win in her career at Northern Garrett.

2017: Betz Gets Her First (WATCH)

Photo by Craig Amoss

Ashley Betz had finished second at the state meet twice as a freshman (XC and outdoor 3200) and third in the outdoor 1600 as a sophomore. The third time, however, happened to be the charm. In a field that included defending state champion Ana Rhoten and Boonsboro senior Camryn Harper (whose 19:19 three mile time led all 1A runners heading into the state meet), it was Betz and Brunswick's Elly McGillivray who wound up the top two finishers. Betz held off McGillivray by two seconds to claim the first of two state titles (she would also win the 1600 that spring). The team battle in this race was also airtight, as Boonsboro beat the upstart Railroaders by just six points to win their third straight 1A title. 

2018: Patriots Hold Off Bel Air, Win Third Straight (WATCH)

Photo by Dasam Gill

Last fall the Northern girls entered the state meet defending champions but had lost earlier in the year to a young Bel Air team at the Bull Run Invitational. The resulting team battle was one of the best of the past couple years, as both teams put five runners in the top 25. The Bobcats had a much tighter spread and even put their fifth finisher before Northern's fourth, but the Patriots' 2-3-5 finish, led by senior Claudia Dolan, was just too much for Bel Air to overcome. When the dust cleared and the scores were calculated, Northern emerged victorious by 12 points, their slimmest margin of victory in their run of three consecutive state titles. The bonus? These two teams will be back at it again on Saturday!