We unveil our all-Carroll County team of the decade (2010-11 through 2019-20).
Boys Runner of the Decade: Nick Tilson (Liberty High School, Class of 2017)
Photo by Brandon Miles
Personal Bests: 15:32 3M, 16:06 5K
Medals: 1 county, 1 region
Tilson began his cross country career at Liberty High School as a freshman in 2013. That fall, Tilson won JV races at the Southern and Frank Keyser invitationals and worked his way onto the team's varsity squad for championships season, finishing 28th at the state meet. It would be the first and last time he finished lower than third at the cross country state meet. As a sophomore Tilson finished in the top five at the MVAL and Carroll County championships and 2A West regionals, then was a surprise runner-up at the state meet, leading the Lions to their first podium appearance at states since 2005. He emerged as the team's undisputed leader in 2015, and along with freshman Daniel Saxon helped kickstart a four-year state title streak for Liberty. Tilson finished first or second at all but one meet as a junior (including runner-up at all three championship meets) and set a personal best in the 5K at the Hood College Invitational. As a senior, Tilson ran a three-mile personal best at the Frank Keyser Invitational and won his only county and regional titles. He actually slipped one spot to third at the state meet but still led Liberty to their second straight 2A state title.
Tilson's 15:32 personal best three-mile time was the fastest among Carroll County runners this decade, and his 16:06 5K personal best ranked fourth. His 16:42 personal best on his home course at Liberty High School ranks eighth throughout the decade and third among county runners to only his teammate, Chad Sussman, and James Beacham. He is one of just four runners this decade (along with Justin Diehl, Ty Franks and Zachary Laird) to finish third or better at states three separate times.
James Beacham (Westminster High School, Class of 2011)
Photo by Steve Lee
Personal Bests: 16:43 3M, 16:02 5K
Medals: 1 county, 1 region
Beacham is the only boys runner on this list to have competed in the 4A classification. He joined the Westminster cross country team as a sophomore in the fall of 2008, finishing 18th at counties and 64th at states. Beacham ascended to the upper echelon of the county as a junior, running 17:47 at Bull Run (the fifth-fastest time by a Carroll County runner that day) before finishing fifth at counties. He broke 17 minutes for the first time at the 4A North regional, then broke that personal best in the first race of his senior season. A 16:02 personal-best performance at the Barnhart Invitational soon gave way to an end-of-season winning streak at the Crossfire Invitational, Carroll County championships and 4A North regionals. He finished his career with a sixth-place finish at the 4A state meet.
Beacham's 16:02 5K personal best ranks third among Carroll County runners throughout the decade. From 2010-2012 (while the old Hereford course was active), no county runner bested Beacham's 16:43 performance at the Bull Run and state meet venue. Throughout the decade only Liberty's Chad Sussman ran faster at Liberty High School, the site of the Crossfire Invitational and multiple regional races.
College: University of Maryland - Baltimore County
Personal Bests: 25:52 8K
Beacham ran for three seasons at UMBC, running an 8K personal best at the 2013 Navy Invitational.
Weston Carvalho (Winters Mill High School, Class of 2013)
Photo by Rollie Jacobs
Personal Bests: 15:46 3M, 15:56 5K
Medals: 2 county
Carvalho won two county titles during his time at Winters Mill and, perhaps most importantly, was a key member of easily the best three-year run in boys' program history at Winters Mill. As a freshman Carvalho didn't compete on the varsity squad until regionals and states, but it meant that he was one of the seven runners to help bring the Falcons their first-ever state title, boys or girls. As a sophomore Carvalho was a more prominent member of the varsity squad, finishing ninth at counties and 13th at regionals; although he missed a medal at states by one place, he was the fourth finisher on a team that defended its state title. He began to emerge as one of the team's leaders as a junior, winning the Mountain Run Invitational in early September before capturing his first individual county XC title in October. On a team that featured five seniors, Carvalho (then a junior) rebounded from a fourth-place finish at regionals to finish third at the 2A state meet, and the Falcons won their third (and final) state title in a row. Heavy graduation losses hit the team in 2012 but Carvalho continued his success, defending his Carroll County title and recording his highest (second place) finish at the state meet.
Along with Century's Matthew Kane, Carvalho is one of just two Carroll County runners this decade to have run a sub-16:00 5K (which he did at NXR Southeast as a junior in 2011). Carvalho and James Beacham are the only two Carroll County runners to break 16:50 at Hereford High School between 2010 and 2012. Carvalho is one of two repeat county champions (along with Daniel Saxon) dating back to 2007.
College: Duke University
Personal Bests: 15:44 5K, 20:32 6K, 25:35 8K
Competing for Duke University, Carvalho set 5K and 6K personal bests as a freshman in the fall of 2013. He ran an 8K personal best at the Royals XC Challenge as a junior in October 2015.
Brian Cave (South Carroll High School, Class of 2016)
Photo by Jeff Lagasse
Personal Bests: 16:14 3M, 16:34 5K
Medals: 1 county, 1 region, 1 state
As a freshman on South Carroll's JV squad, Cave won his first cross country race at the MVAL Championships. It would be three years before he emerged a winner in a cross country race again, all the while improving before emerging as a dominant force in Carroll County as a senior. As a sophomore, Cave finished 15th at counties and was a surprising medalist (22nd place) at the 2A state meet after having finished 20th at the 2A West regional meet. Cave had a knack for turning in his best performances at states; as a junior, Cave finished tenth at counties and 15th at regionals, but came back strong and placed tenth at the state meet. Cave dominated the Brunswick Invitational to begin his senior season, setting the stage for a big breakout that saw him finish in the top four at all but two races (Oatlands and Bull Run invitationals) that year. He beat Liberty's Nick Tilson to sweep counties, regionals and states; despite the 2015 cross country state meet playing slower than more recent meets on the new course at Hereford, his 16:33 time is still the sixth-fastest by a county runner on it.
Cave finished the decade as the county's lone male state champion, and is one of just three Carroll County state champions since 2000, joining fellow former Cavaliers Jake Zamostny (2008) and Phil Diven (2003). Among Carroll County runners during the decade Cave ranked first at the Oatlands Plantation and second on the three-mile course at Centennial High School.
College: University of Maryland - Baltimore County
Personal Bests: 16:01 5K, 26:09 8K
At UMBC, Cave has competed once at the America East Conference championships, finishing 59th as a junior in 2018. He also ran an 8K personal best that year, finishing in 26:09 at the 2018 Princeton Invitational.
Zachary Fenton (Century High School, Class of 2019)
Photo by Craig Amoss
Personal Bests: 15:46 3M, 16:34 5K
Fenton didn't crack the Century High School varsity squad until his sophomore year in 2016, but not for lack of ability. He immediately slotted in as a key contributor that fall, running a 17:33 5K in his second race of the season and placing in the top ten at both counties and regionals. By finishing 16th at states Fenton was the third runner on the Knights' only (to date) podium-finishing team in school history. As a junior Fenton set new personal bests, breaking both 17 minutes (in his first major win at the Crossfire Invitational) and 16 minutes (at the Frank Keyser Invitational) in the 5K and three mile, respectively; he topped off the season by finishing seventh at states. After finishing tenth at the Seahawk Invitational to begin his senior season, Fenton never finished lower than fourth. That season included runner-up finishes at the Spiked Shoe Invitational, counties and regionals, plus a second-place finish at the state meet where he beat both county champion Daniel Saxon and regional champion Kyle Lund.
His second-place finish at the state meet as a senior tied John Mead and Nick Pezza for the highest finishes in school history. He is the county's current leader at the post-2013 Hereford course, where his 16:08 time beats teammates Matthew Kane (16:11) and Hayden Hebert (16:17).
College: University of West Florida
John Mead (Century High School, Class of 2014)
Photo by Don Rich
Personal Bests: 16:17 3M, 16:12 5K
After running on the JV squad as a freshman in the fall of 2010, Mead worked his way onto Century's varsity team as a sophomore. He immediately found success, running under 17 minutes for three miles twice and placing eighth at the county championships. Mead was easily the Knights' best runner in the fall of 2012; his runner-up effort at the county championships also led Century to the school's first-ever boys county title. After finishing fifth at regionals, he went on to finish fourth at the state meet. As a senior Mead was a regular top-ten finisher, including an eighth-place effort in the elite section at the Spiked Shoe Invitational. For the second straight year Mead finished as the county runner-up, and for the second straight year he followed up an alright regionals performance (fifth) with a great state meet race (second place). It was just the second time in school history a boy had finished as high as second at states.
Mead's 16:12 performance at McDaniel College in the 2013 state meet is the fastest by a Carroll County runner on the course this decade. It also stood as his 5K personal best, ranking him fifth among county runners this decade. He led all Carroll County competitors over the course of the decade on Urbana High School's 5K course and fourth among county runners at the old Hereford course (where he ran 16:54 as a junior).
Daniel Saxon (Liberty High School, Class of 2019)
Photo by Lisa McArthur
Personal Bests: 15:35 3M, 16:27 5K
Medals: 2 county
Not coincidentally the Liberty boys didn't do a whole lot of losing during Saxon's four years of cross country. They finished second at the 2015 county championships to Westminster and second (in a tie) to Oakdale at the 2018 2A West regionals; other than that, Saxon was a key contributor to ten county, regional and state team titles, and picked up two individual Carroll County titles along the way. Saxon played the right hand man to Nick Tilson during his first two years at Liberty; he ran his 5K personal best as a freshman, although he would consistently run in the same time range throughout his career. His top finish at states came as a freshman in 2015, and he was the county and regional runner-up in 2016. Saxon's first individual win came in the small school division at the Brunswick Invitational in 2017; later that year, he would win the first of two county titles. Saxon won three more races as a senior, including the medium school race at the Bull Run Invitational and Carroll County championships, to go along with a three-mile personal best at the Frank Keyser Invitational. He finished fourth at states as both a junior and senior, making him and fellow class of 2019 2A runner Justin Diehl the only runners this decade to finish in the top five at states four separate times.
Saxon and Winters Mill's Weston Carvalho were the only two-time Carroll County individual champions of the decade. His presence on four state championship teams from 2015-2018 makes him the only boy to do that entirely within the decade; Walter Johnson's Josh Ellis was part of four winning teams from 2008-2011, and Severna Park's Nick Benedict has currently won two as a freshman and sophomore in 2018-2019. Saxon's 15:35 three mile personal best ranks fourth among Carroll County runners this decade, as does his 16:20 time on the modern Hereford course.
College: Carroll Community College
Personal Bests: 16:25 5K, 23:08 6K, 26:46 8K
As a freshman at Carroll Community College, Saxon ran an 8K personal best at the Hood College Open.
All-County Second Team:
Zach Hopkins (Winters Mill High School, Class of 2012)
Matthew Kane (Century High School, Class of 2015)
Woodrow Kashima (Liberty High School, Class of 2020)
John Lemaster (Liberty High School, Class of 2018)
Nick Pezza (Century High School, Class of 2011)
Doug Pickett (South Carroll High School, Class of 2015)
Chad Sussman (Liberty High School, Class of 2015)
Table of Champions:
2010 (South Carroll HS): James Beacham (Westminster) - 17:06
2011 (McDaniel College): Weston Carvalho (Winters Mill) - 16:52
2012: Weston Carvalho (Winters Mill) - 16:48
2013: Doug Pickett (South Carroll) - 16:21
2014: Chad Sussman (Liberty) - 17:17
2015: Brian Cave (South Carroll) - 16:34
2016: Nick Tilson (Liberty) - 16:35
2017: Daniel Saxon (Liberty) - 16:42
2018: Daniel Saxon (Liberty) - 16:31
2019 (South Carroll HS): Woodrow Kashima (Liberty) - 17:21
Girls Runner of the Decade: Hannah Oneda (Winters Mill High School, Class of 2012)
Photo by Marleen Van den Neste
Personal Bests: 16:58 3M, 18:03 5K
Medals: 2 county, 2 region, 1 state
Oneda's senior season in 2011 was one of the most dominant by any Maryland runner across the entire decade, and her body of work over three seasons rivals anybody's in recent state history. Oneda began running cross country at Winters Mill as a sophomore in 2009 after switching from soccer. She finished no lower than 11th at any meet that fall, including top five finishes at counties and regionals and a seventh-place finish at the 2A state meet. As a junior in 2010, Oneda formed one of the top rivalries of the decade with Century senior Maura Linde. Linde won their first matchup at the Crossfire Invitational, but Oneda came back to win their next four races (including counties and regionals). Linde saved her best for last, however, beating Oneda in the final race of the year at the 2A state meet. That only seemed to fuel Oneda even more; after winning her first four individual state titles on the track as a junior, she came back to the course in the senior ready to dominate. Not only did she go undefeated through states, but Catholic High's Ellie Gonzalez was the only girl to finish within a minute of her. After states she became the first Maryland girl since 2006 to qualify for Foot Locker Nationals, where she closed out her cross country career by finishing 33rd.
According to the MPSSAA fall record book, Oneda's time at Hereford (18:28) was the fastest on the certified three mile course, which was active from 1995 to 2012. During that time, only five other runners (Middletown's Emily Buzzell, Dulaney's Tenke Zoltani, Quince Orchard's Karen Pulliam, Hereford's Kristen Malloy and Tatnall's Reagan Anderson) even broke 19 minutes on the course - and only Buzzell did so at the state meet.
College: Johns Hopkins University
Personal Bests: 17:57 5K, 21:03 6K
As a freshman at Johns Hopkins in 2012, Oneda set a 6K personal best at the Centennial Conference championships, which she won. She also won the NCAA DIII Mideast regional and went on to place tenth at the DIII National Championships. As a sophomore in 2013 Oneda placed third at conferences, second at regionals and then fourth at nationals - the highest nationals finish of her career. She would go on to compete at nationals as a junior and senior in 2014 and 2015, and finish as the conference runner-up in 2015.
Rubie Goffena (Manchester Valley High School, Class of 2022)
Photo by Erik Cloyd
Personal Bests: 19:29 3M, 19:20 5K
Medals: 1 county, 2 region
Only still in the midst of her sophomore track campaign, Goffena is still adding to an already-impressive cross country resumé that is good enough to make this list after just two seasons. She burst onto the scene as a freshman in 2018 with one of the better freshman seasons across the entire decade. Goffena's lone loss prior to the state meet was a close, runner-up finish to Nelle Ray at the Gunpowder Invitational. She swept county and regional titles before going on to place fifth at states, where her 19:29 time led freshmen across all four classifications. While her sophomore season wasn't quite as dominant, she picked up wins at the Gunpowder Invitational and 3A East regionals (her second regional title in her first two years) before finishing seventh at the state meet.
Goffena's 19:24 time at McDaniel College, which she ran at the 2018 Carroll County Championships as a freshman, ranks third among county runners on the course this decade behind only Hannah Oneda and Sarah Rinehart, and her 19:29 time is fourth-fastest among county runners at the modern Hereford course. It's also the sixth-fastest time run by a freshman on the new Hereford course which has been active since 2014.
Kathryn Hopkins (Winters Mill High School, Class of 2021)
Photo by Craig Amoss
Personal Bests: 19:12 3M, 20:01 5K
Hopkins has been one of the county's top runners since arriving at Winters Mill High School as a freshman in 2017. That fall it was actually her twin sister, Makenzie Hopkins, who led the way, winning a county title and finishing third at regionals and states. Kathryn improved towards the season's end, finishing eighth at both regionals and states, and has taken over as the Falcon's top runner in the two years since. As a sophomore Hopkins won the small school division at the Brunswick Invitational and finished as the Carroll County individual runner-up. She shaved over a minute and a half off her time between Bull Run in September and states in November, where she placed third. As a junior this past fall Hopkins picked up her first two outright victories at the Rebel and Wildcat invitationals, and finished second at the county championships for the second consecutive year. The 2A state championship race was an instant classic, won in surprising fashion by Middletown freshman Erin McQuitty; Hopkins, meanwhile, chased down South Carroll's Grace Siehler (who had won counties and regionals in dominant fashion) for second place.
Only Liberty's Sarah Rinehart has a faster personal best on the modern Hereford course among Carroll County runners than Hopkins, who ran her three-mile personal best on the course this past November. Hopkins and Maura Linde are the only two Carroll County girls this decade with multiple top-three finishes at states before their senior season.
Katie Leisher (Manchester Valley High School, Class of 2015)
Photo by Lisa McArthur
Personal Bests: 19:41 3M, 18:53 5K
Medals: 2 region, 2 state
After running track as a freshman Leisher joined the Manchester Valley cross country team as a sophomore in 2012. She had multiple top-ten finishes that year, including ninth place at the 1A West regionals, and she finished the season with a 17th-place effort at states. After a breakthrough sophomore track season (third place in the 1600 and 3200 at indoor states), Leisher came back to the course in the fall of 2013 as one of the best runners in the county. She finished fourth at MVAL and second at counties before dominating at regionals and states, winning both races by more than 75 seconds. Leisher was even better and more consistent during her senior season, picking up wins at the Don Stoner and Brunswick invitationals and setting new 5K and three mile personal bests. While she still couldn't take down Rinehart at the county meet, she rebounded for two more dominant, runaway victories at the regional and state meets, making her one of two Carroll County runners this decade to win multiple state titles.
Leisher's 19:41 time at the modern Hereford course ranks fifth among Carroll County runners since the course's inception in 2014; it's also the second-fastest time by a 1A runner at states on the modern course, trailing only Boonsboro's Haley Wright. Her 18:53 5K personal best was fourth-fastest among county runners during the decade. Leisher also remains the only individual state XC champion in the school's 11-year history.
College: Temple University
Personal Bests: 14:30 4K, 19:14 3M, 17:47 5K, 20:54 6K
Leisher set a 6K personal best at Temple University as a sophomore during the fall of 2016 at the Paul Short Invitational. In the fall of 2017 she ran her 5K personal best at the Joe Piane Notre Dame Invitational and turned in the top American Athlete conference (7th), NCAA DI Mid-Atlantic regional (32nd) and IC4A ECAC (11th) finishes of her cross country career.
Maura Linde (Century High School, Class of 2011)
Photo by Patrick O'Dowd
Personal Bests: 17:32 3M, 18:00 5K
Medals: 3 county, 3 region, 3 state
Linde's career highlights the complexity of devising all-decade teams that feature arbitrary endpoints. Through no fault of her own, obviously, Linde only competed in one year during the 2010 decade (her senior year). Therefore, do we consider only her 2010 season for this exercise? Or is that imposing an unjust penalty? There are cases to be made for both Oneda and Linde, two of the top runners in the mid-Atlantic during their time at Century and Winters Mill. Oneda's senior-season excellence, standing head and shoulders above every other runner in the state, earned her runner of the year honors, but Linde's extraordinary career accomplishments make a solid case.
Linde burst onto the Maryland cross country scene as a freshman back in the fall of 2007. She finished the year on a roll, winning counties and regionals and placing second at states (the only time she would lose a cross country state meet race). In 2008, Linde - still only a sophomore - went undefeated through the state meet, leading the Century girls to their first-ever state team title along the way. She finished the year by placing 35th at the Foot Locker Northeast regional - she would finish 29th and 30th as a junior and senior, respectively. In 2009 Linde was still dominant, losing just two races all year to IAAM standouts Elizabeth Tauber (John Carroll) and Madeline Dulac (McDonogh). Once again, the Knights won the state title behind Linde's individual effort. Linde's dominance faded just a bit during her senior season; not only was inter-county rival Hannah Oneda hitting her stride (she would lose to Oneda at counties and regionals, the only time in her career she wouldn't win those races), but she also finished second at Bull Run and third at the Gettysburg Invitational. On the big stage, however, Linde put that all behind her and gapped Oneda by 22 seconds to win her third consecutive 2A state title. The Knights also won their third consecutive team title behind Linde's performance.
Between 1995 (when Hereford's three mile course was certified) and 2012 (the final year of the old Hereford course), only five girls ran faster than Linde did at the state championships as a senior in 2010. Over the course of the decade Linde's three mile time among Carroll County runners ranked second, and her 5K time third (although her personal best, which she ran as a junior in 2009, would have ranked second as well). Since 1997, Linde is one of just three girls, along with Allegany's Lauryn MacFawn and Atholton's Alison Smith, to have won three state titles and finished second in a fourth state championship.
College: Syracuse University
Personal Bests: 14:49 4K, 21:01 6K
Linde first competed at the ACC Championships for Syracuse in 2013, finishing 39th. She also finished 53rd at the NCAA DI Northeast regionals, helping Syracuse advance to nationals where she placed 197th. In the fall of 2014 she recorded her highest regionals (25th) and nationals (140th) finishes. She ran a 6K personal best at the 2015 Wisconsin adidas Invitational.
Sarah Rinehart (Liberty High School, Class of 2015)
Photo by Lisa McArthur
Personal Bests: 18:09 3M, 19:00 5K
Medals: 2 county
Rinehart was a staple for the Lions throughout her entire high school cross country career, one that culminated in the school's first-ever team state title. As a freshman, Rinehart made an immediate impact, placing fifth, seventh and seventh at counties, regionals and states (she was the sixth-fastest freshman across all classifications). In 2012 Rinehart won her first major race on her home course at the Crossfire Invitational and improved her county (second) and regional (fifth) finishes. Her junior year brought more invitational victories and her first championship season medal, when she ran 19:19 at McDaniel - a time she topped just a few weeks later at the 2A state meet, where she finished fifth, then the highest state finish of her career. Rinehart successfully defended her county title as a senior back at McDaniel, and after finishing second at regionals she went on to finish second at states (beating regional champion Haley Wright). The Liberty girls, who had lost to Oakdale by 12 points at the regional meet, rallied behind Rinehart to capture the school's first-ever girls team title.
Rinehart's 18:09 three mile personal best, set at the 2013 Frank Keyser Invitational, was the fourth-fastest three mile performance of the decade by a Carroll County runner. Rinehart is still the only Carroll County runner to have broken 19 minutes on the modern Hereford course; in fact, no other county runner has finished within 20 seconds of her 18:49 time from the 2014 state meet. Only Hannah Oneda - the only other two-time county champion this decade - has a faster performance at McDaniel College than Rinehart's 19:15 from the 2013 state meet.
College: Gettysburg College
Personal Bests: 15:22 4K, 18:43 5K, 22:02 6K
Rinehart competed four times at the Centennial Conference championships and NCAA DIII Mideast regionals while at Gettysburg. Her best performances came during her junior season in 2017; she finished 12th at conferences, 20th at regionals and 74th at the NCAA DIII national championship, running a 6K personal best in the process.
Grace Siehler (South Carroll High School, Class of 2021)
Photo by Erik Cloyd
Personal Bests: 18:00 3M, 18:48 5K
Medals: 1 county, 1 region
The third active runner in our list of seven, Siehler showed promise on the course and the track as a freshman for the Cavaliers in 2017-18. In the fall she finished seventh at the county championships (the third freshman behind the Hopkins sisters) and medaled at the 2A West regional meet. Siehler then missed the entirety of the 2018 cross country season before returning to the track in the winter of 2019; but even her 5:14 1600 as a sophomore could not have hinted at the magnitude of her junior year breakout. In 2019 Siehler turned in one of the best seasons by a Carroll County runner in recent history, winning nearly every one of her races in dominant fashion. Her only loss came at the hands of freshman phenom Storrie Kulynych-Irvin at Bull Run and in a surprising upset loss at the 2A state meet, but even that race couldn't change the fact that her 2019 was probably the best season by a county runner since Hannah Oneda in 2011.
Even though her resumé is, at this point, effectively just one season, it stands out among the rest of the county field. Her 18:48 5K ranks second among county runners this decade, and her 18:00 three mile third. She also ranks third at the Hood College Invitational and fourth at Liberty High School among Carroll County runners this decade and has the opportunity to add to her resumé in 2020 for the next all-decade list.
All-County Second Team:
Jennifer Breichner (Winters Mill High School, Class of 2013)
Abby Culp (Manchester Valley High School, Class of 2013)
Natalie Eastwood (Westminster High School, Class of 2013)
Colleen Kernan (Westminster High School, Class of 2013)
Maeve Lyons (Liberty High School, Class of 2018)
Heidi Rinehart (Liberty High School, Class of 2018)
Nicole Rutherford (Winters Mill High School, Class of 2012)
Table of Champions:
2010 (South Carroll HS): Hannah Oneda (Winters Mill) - 18:13
2011 (McDaniel College): Hannah Oneda (Winters Mill) - 19:54
2012: Abby Culp (Manchester Valley) - 19:48
2013: Sarah Rinehart (Liberty) - 19:19
2014: Sarah Rinehart (Liberty) - 19:53
2015: Erin Langille (South Carroll) - 20:17
2016: Emma Kartalia (Winters Mill) - 20:03
2017: Makenzie Hopkins (Winters Mill) - 20:00
2018: Rubie Goffena (Manchester Valley) - 19:24
2019 (South Carroll HS): Grace Siehler (South Carroll) - 20:23