Boys Runner of the Decade: Braden Bruning (Linganore High School, Class of 2012)
Photo by Megan Zeller
Personal Bests: 14:51 3M, 15:30 5K
Medals: 1 conference, 1 county, 2 region, 1 state
When Bruning debuted for the Linganore boys in the fall of 2008 as a freshman, the Lancers finished 18th at the state championship meet. In 2011, led by a senior Bruning, they placed second, earning their first podium finish since 1999. As a freshman Bruning was one of the team's top runners, placing fifth at the Frederick County Championships. By the next year, Bruning had become one of the top runners in not only the county, but the entire 3A classification. He clocked a 15:46 three mile at Frank Keyser, and after a runner-up finish at the county meet he won his first regional title by 19 seconds. He capped off his senior year by finishing seventh at states. In 2010, Bruning began to rack up invitational victories as well; he won the large school race at the Frank Keyser Invitational by a staggering 23 seconds and beat out eventual 3A champion (and senior) Mason Rivera in the elite race at Bull Run. In the rematch with Rivera later that fall at the state meet, Bruning dropped to third place, running nine seconds slower than he had earlier in the season at Hereford. Bruning would capture his first two state titles on the track that spring in the 3200 and 1600, setting the stage for the fall of 2011. After racing sparingly throughout the first month of the season Bruning swept MVAL, Frederick County and 3A West titles, leading Linganore to comfortable team victories in all three. Back at Hereford he beat out county rival Hassan Omar to win the 3A state title, the third of four he would earn in his high school career. In his last high school cross country race, Bruning ran 15:30 at the NXR Southeast meet, placing eighth overall.
In 2011, Bruning became the first Frederick County boy since fellow Lancer Kyle Ryan in 2005 to win an XC state title. His 15:30 and 14:51 personal bests in the 5k and three mile rank first and second, respectively, among all county runners throughout the decade, and his 14:51 mark ranks second in Maryland. Between 2010 and 2012 only six boys ran faster than Bruning at Hereford High School. He is also one of just ten Maryland boys to have finished eighth or better at NXR Southeast in the 2010s.
College: Shippensburg University
Personal Bests: 19:41 6K, 25:04 8K, 30:56 10K
Bruning ran his 8k personal best at the 2015 Paul Short Invitational; later that fall he clocked his 10k personal best at the NCAA DII regionals, where he finished eighth (he also finished eighth at the regional meet as a senior). He competed at the NCAA DII national championship three times, recording his best finish (66th) in the fall of 2015.
Michael Belmaggio (Linganore High School, Class of 2019)
Photo by Phil Grove
Personal Bests: 15:31 3M, 15:40 5K
Medals: 1 conference, 2 region, 1 state
Belmaggio burst onto the scene as a freshman in the fall of 2015 when teammate Micah Hewitson was a junior, eventually forming a duo that rivaled Bruning and Duboyce's from earlier in the decade. He placed fourth at the Frederick County Championships that fall and was also a medalist at the 3A West (11th) and 3A state (20th) meets. In the fall of 2016 he was the county runner-up behind Hewitson and the tenth-place finisher at the 3A state meet. That year, Linganore finished second in the team standings for the second team during the decade. The team was Belmaggio's to lead in the fall of 2017 after Hewitson graduated, and Belmaggio responded by winning two of his first three races of the season (Brunswick and Hood College invites - he broke 16 minutes for the first time at the latter). He won his first championship season medals at the CMC championships and 3A West regionals and finished second at the 3A state meet; it was that final performance that helped the Lancers win their first state title since 1996 and third in school history. Belmaggio went on to set three mile and 5K personal bests as a senior in the fall of 2018, picking up another regional title along the way. The top returning runner from the 2017 3A state meet did not disappoint at Hereford, either, winning his first state title by 22 seconds. He wrapped up his cross country career with a 20th-place finish at NXR Southeast, his second time finishing in the top 30 in the championship race.
Belmaggio's 15:40 5k personal best ranks fourth among Frederick County runners across the course of the decade. He and Bruning are the only two Frederick County boys to win multiple regional XC titles during the decade. Belmaggio is also the only counter runner to record multiple top-two state meet finishes, and one of six Maryland runners to accomplish that in the 3A classification or above.
College: University of Maryland - Baltimore County
Personal Bests: 16:06 5K, 25:21 8K
Belmaggio ran his 8K personal best as a freshman in the fall of 2019 at the America East conference championships where he finished 39th.
David Dorsey (Catoctin High School, Class of 2014)
Photo by Brandon Miles
Personal Bests: 14:50 3M, 15:38 5K
Medals: 2 conference, 1 region, 1 state
Dorsey's career at Catoctin, along with his brother Kevin and teammate Zach Gascho's, spearheaded the golden age of Catoctin's cross country program. Before Dorsey's freshman year in the fall of 2010 the Cougars had only once finished in the top two at the state meet (a runner-up finish way back in 1976). Dorsey was an immediate leader for Catoctin, pacing the team with seventh-place finishes at both counties and states;at the latter, Catoctin won its first-ever team state title. Dorsey was more than a small-school wonder, too - he opened up his sophomore season with a 16:03 5k and recorded several runner-up finishes at prominent meets throughout the year, including the 2A West regionals (Catoctin moved up a classification that year). Dorsey and the upstart Cougars more than held their own that year in 2A - he finished eighth, and Catoctin finished sixth as a team. The next year, Dorsey and the team got back to their winning ways. He won his first conference meet in mid-October, and a minor late-season injury to Poolesville's Chase Weaverling (the 2A favorite throughout most of the season) was all the opportunity Dorsey needed, and he seized it, running away with regional and state titles. Catoctin won its second state title in three years as well, this time in 2A. Even though he didn't repeat as the 2A state champion as a senior, he reached new heights still, running 14:50 and 15:38 personal bests in the three mile and 5k, respectively. That year, behind Dorsey once again, Catoctin turned in its most dominant state meet performance of their three from 2010-13, scoring just 61 points.
Dorsey's 14:50 three mile effort at the 2013 Frank Keyser Invitational was the fastest three mile time recorded by any Maryland runner throughout the decade. Only Chase Weaverling ran a faster time at the Oatlands Invitational than Dorsey did throughout the decade, as well. Dorsey was one of only five non-senior boys to win an XC state title this decade, along with Anish Nanjappa, Ryan Lockett, Will Merritt and Ty Franks (x3).
College: St. Joseph's University
College: 19:07 6K, 24:33 8K, 31:34 10K
Dorsey ran 8K and 10K personal bests during the fall of 2016, when he finished 29th at the Atlantic Ten conference championships and 37th at the NCAA DI Mid-Atlantic regionals. As a senior in 2017 he recorded his highest finish at the conference championships (24th).
Patrick Duboyce (Linganore High School, Class of 2013)
Photo by Don Rich
Personal Bests: 15:09 3M, 15:40 5K
Medals: 1 conference, 1 county, 1 region
From the beginning of his cross country career, Duboyce was one of the top runners in his class; he was the only freshman in 2009 to break 17 minutes in the 5K, doing so at NXR Southeast. His 18:22 time at the state meet was the third-fastest time that year at Hereford by a freshman. As a sophomore, Duboyce and Bruning were already one of the top duos in the state. Duboyce recorded top-three finishes at the Frank Keyser Invitational, the Frederick County championships and the 3A West regional. His 16:50 time at the state meet (good for fifth) was the best time by a sophomore at Hereford that year. In the fall of 2011, Duboyce and Bruning became the top duo in the state. Duboyce broke 16 minutes for the first time at the Oatlands Invitational, then did so again at the Octoberfest Invitational and NXR Southeast regional (where he finished 14th). Duboyce's third-place finish at the state meet (his XC career best) helped Linganore finish a narrow second behind Hereford in the 3A team standings. After Bruning had graduated, Duboyce began to pile up the wins as a senior, beginning with the Spiked Shoe and Barnhart invitationals in September. He swept his way through the conference, county and regional meets, entering the state meet as one of the contenders for the 3A title. At the state meet, Duboyce ran with the leaders all the way up The Dip but eventually faded back to a 130th-place finish.
Duboyce's times at Hereford as both a sophomore and a junior led his class in both years. His 12:57 4k time from the 2012 Manhattan Invitational ranks fourth among Maryland boys throughout the decade. He also holds the 12th-fastest 5k time by a junior throughout the decade at 15:40.
College: University of Maryland - Baltimore County
Personal Bests: 15:46 5K, 25:30 8K, 33:04 10K
Duboyce ran his 8K personal best as a freshman in the fall of 2015 at the Princeton Invitational.
Ben Freed (Gov. Thomas Johnson High School, Class of 2014)
Photo by Mary Ann Magnant
Personal Bests: 15:20 3M, 15:34 5K
Medals: 1 conference, 1 county, 1 region, 1 state
Like Dorsey, Ben Freed helped to lead Thomas Johnson's program to its pinnacle. He enjoyed a solid freshman season in the fall of 2010, running in the 17:30 range multiple times and finishing 66th at the state meet (clocking the fifth-fastest freshman time across all classifications). Freed opened his sophomore year at Thomas Johnson with a 16:29 5K at the Peter Geraghty Invitational and kept the sub-17 performances coming, including eighth-place finishes at both counties and regionals. Freed finished seventh at the state meet that year, and a young Patriots squad (led by senior Hassan Omar) placed fourth in the team standings. He wrapped up his sophomore year with a 16:19 season best at the NXR Southeast regional. In 2012, Freed stepped in as the leader of a Thomas Johnson team that was almost exclusively juniors. He finished second, third and fourth at conferences, counties and regionals, respectively, and seventh for the second straight year at the 3A state meet. The Patriots also beat out the 3A West champions from Einstein and the 3A East champions from Centennial to earn their first podium finish in the school's 46-year history. He also broke 16 minutes for the first time at that year's NXR Southeast regional. As a senior, Freed won his first major XC race at the Southern Invitational, sparking a five-race winning streak that carried all the way through the state meet, which he won by nine seconds. Freed also led Thomas Johnson's now senior-laden squad to the school's first (and only) team state XC title on either the boys or girls side. Freed wrapped up his XC career with a 15:43 performance at the 2013 NXR Southeast regional meet.
Freed's 15:43 5K personal best ranks fifth among Frederick County runners on the all-decade leaderboard. Among county runners only Patrick Duboyce (fifth) finished higher at the state championships as a sophomore than Freed. His 16:06.90 time at McDaniel College (the site of the 2013 state championship and many county and regional meets) ranks sixth among Maryland runners throughout the decade.
College: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Personal Bests: 25:36 8K
Freed ran his 8K personal best at the 2016 NCAA DIII New England Cross Country championships. That year he competed at the NCAA DIII National Championship, finishing 165th.
Kyle Lund (Oakdale High School, Class of 2020)
Photo by Craig Amoss
Personal Bests: 15:19 3M, 16:38 5K
Medals: 2 conference, 2 county, 1 region, 1 state
After running 4:37 as a freshman in the spring of 2017, Lund joined Oakdale's cross-country team that fall as a sophomore. Lund hit the ground running, breaking 17 minutes in his third race of the year at the Hood College Invitational. He went on to finish third, third and fourth at conferences, counties and regionals. His 12th-place finish at the 2A state meet was actually one place higher than the Oakdale boys finished in the team standings, but behind Lund and teammate Collin Dempsey, they were about to rise to heights never before reached in the school's brief decade-long history. As a junior Lund won the large school division at the first race of the year, the Brunswick Invitational, and then won his first outright meet at the Patriot Invitational. As the calendar flipped to October, Lund reached another level: a runner-up finish at the Frank Keyser Invitational was followed by three straight victories at conferences, counties and regionals. Despite falling back to fifth at the state meet (behind two runners he had beaten at the 2A West regional meet), Oakdale climbed all the way to fourth in the team standings, just 14 points away from the team's first-ever podium finish. As a senior, Lund finished first or second at every race except for one (the elite race at the Bull Run Invitational, where he placed fifth). He defended his CMC and Frederick County titles, although a surprising loss at the 2A West regional meet put his status as favorite at the 2A state meet into question. He was part of one of the best state meet races in Maryland's history, eventually outkicking three juniors over the final hundred meters to win the 2A title. Behind Lund and Dempsey, Oakdale captured its first-ever XC state team title, ending Liberty High School's four-year winning streak in the 2A classification.
Lund's 15:47.76 time at the 2019 state championships is the fastest by a runner in the afternoon session of the state meet (1A and 2A classifications) on the modern Hereford course. His 15:11.9 three mile personal best is fifth-fastest among Frederick County runners during the decade.
Hassan Omar (Gov. Thomas Johnson High School, Class of 2012)
Photo by Tim Dillistin
Personal Bests: 15:11 3M, 15:56 5K
Omar did not join Thomas Johnson's cross country team until the fall of 2010, after he had recorded a 10:20 3200 as a sophomore. It wasn't until October of that year that Omar began to run in some of the team's varsity races, and he quickly ascended to the top of the county ranks, placing fifth at the Frederick County championships that year. After a runner-up finish at the 4A North regional meet he went on to finish 21st at the 4A state championships. His improvement carried throughout the track season when he ran 9:28, finishing fourth at the 4A outdoor state meet and setting the stage for his senior season. He ran his K personal best in his first race of the fall of 2011, and finished in the top four at every race except for the Oatlands Invitational, where he placed eighth. Had it not been for Braden Bruning, Omar would have won conference, county and state titles that year, as he finished second at all three races. He would go on to win his only state title of his high school career in the 3200 later that spring.
Between 2010 and 2012 only seven Maryland runners clocked a faster time at Hereford High School than Omar, who ran 16:22.7 at the 2011 state championship. His 15:11 three mile personal best was the fourth-fastest by a Frederick County throughout the decade. Only Patrick Dubyoce and Northwest's Chris Miller clocked faster times at the Octoberfest Invitational during the decade than Omar did, and his Oatlands Invitational time ranks eighth among Maryland runners at the Oatlands Invitational throughout the 2010s.
College: University of Maryland - Baltimore County
Personal Bests: 15:35 5K, 23:57 8K, 30:16 10K
Omar ran 24:20 at the 2013 Princeton Invitational as a sophomore. That year he finished third at the America East conference championship and 22nd at the NCAA DI Mid-Atlantic regionals. In 2014 he dropped his 8K personal best to 24:06, again at the Princeton Invitational. In 2015, Omar broke the 24-minute mark at Princeton, then won the conference title. A third-place finish at the NCAA DI Mid-Atlantic regional qualified him individually for the national championships, where he placed 27th.
All-County Second Team:
Dan Beck (Linganore High School, Class of 2014)
Kevin Dorsey (Catoctin High School, Class of 2014)
Zach Gascho (Catoctin High School, Class of 2015)
Austin Hayslett (Urbana High School, Class of 2012)
Micah Hewitson (Linganore High School, Class of 2017)
Stephen Keith (Walkersville High School, Class of 2011)
Louis Levine (Gov. Thomas Johnson High School, Class of 2014)
Table of Champions:
2010 (Catoctin HS 5k): Stephen Keith (Walkersville) - 16:13
2011: Braden Bruning (Linganore) - 16:09
2012 (Catoctin HS 3M): Patrick Duboyce (Linganore) - 15:09
2013 (Old National Pike): Ben Freed (Gov. Thomas Johnson) - 16:29
2014: Zach Gascho (Catoctin) - 16:54
2015 (Urbana HS): Micah Hewitson (Linganore) - 16:14
2016 (Woodsboro Park): Micah Hewitson (Linganore) - 17:00
2017 (Brunswick HS): Nathan Davis (Urbana) - 16:02
2018 (Gov. Thomas Johnson HS): Kyle Lund (Oakdale) - 15:11
2019 (Catoctin HS 5k): Kyle Lund (Oakdale) - 17:28
Girls Runner of the Decade: Emily Mulhern (Urbana High School, Class of 2015)
Photo by Tim Dillistin
Personal Bests: 17:30 3M, 18:04 5K
Medals: 2 conference, 2 county, 2 region, 3 state
One of the most dominant runners of the decade, Mulhern's reign over the 3A classification spanned across her entire high school career, complete with state meet records, seven state titles and a berth to Nike Cross Nationals. She won her first race in the fall of 2011 in the large school race at the Frank Keyser Invitational. She swept conference, county and regional titles with an average margin of victory of 31 seconds (even larger if you only include runners from other teams). She beat out Hereford's Sara Carter to win the 3A state title that year, and the Urbana girls finished third in the team scores. At NXN Southeast she found herself in a unique situation: she finished 12th - a great showing for a freshman, but a placing that doesn't usually qualify one for NXN. However, the dominance of Tatnall (DE), who put an incredible four girls in the top nine, allowed for Mulhern to grab one of the final individual qualifying spots for nationals; she went on to finish 110th in Oregon. In 2012, Mulhern was nearly unbeatable, only losing races outside state borders (and never finishing behind another Maryland runner until NXR Southeast). She won her second state title, this time beating out fellow sophomores Allison Krein and Shreya Nalubola, and the Hawks once again finished third. She finished 14th at NXR Southeast that year, clocking her 5K personal best in the process. The next fall, Mulhern started off her usual unbeatable self, winning big races like the Oatlands and Frank Keyser invitationals. However, injuries slowed her down later in the year as she dropped to sixth at both the county and state championships. She came back strong on the track, however, winning the 3A indoor 3200 title that winter. More injuries held her back in the beginning of her senior season in the fall of 2014, but never enough to force her to miss many races at a time. Mulhern did sit out the 3A West regional meet and entered the state championship having not won a major race all season, but she was able to regain her 2011-12 form and capture her third state title, going 1-2 with teammate Maria Carberry. She wrapped up her high school cross country career with another top-20 finish at NXR Southeast, running 18:10.7 and finishing 18th.
Mulhern was one of just three girls to win three state titles spanning into the decade, along with Hayley Jackson and Maura Linde. She also became the first girl to win at least three XC state titles in the 3A or 4A classifications since Walter Johnson's Sally Glynn won a staggering four 4A state titles from 1992-1995. She was the first of only four girls to qualify for NXN throughout the decade along with Ellie Gonzalez, Nora McUmber and Isabel Griffith (who all qualified two years later in 2013).
College: University of Virginia/Virginia Commonwealth University
Personal Bests: 17:22 5K, 20:37 6K
As a freshman in the fall of 2015, Mulhern was a top-15 finisher at both the ACC Championships (15th) and NCAA DI Southeast regionals (12th) and competed at the NCAA DI National Championship (247th). In 2016 Mulhern set a 6K personal best at the regional meet where she finished eighth overall, a career-best finish. In the fall of 2018 she competed at VCU, finishing third place at the Atlantic Ten conference championships (where she ran her 5k personal best) and 29th at the NCAA DI Southeast regionals.
Sarah Askine (Urbana High School, Class of 2013)
Photo by Scott Reid
Personal Bests: 18:28 3M, 19:24 5K
Had it not been for Mulhern, Sarah Askine's medal count would be much higher, but she still enjoyed one of the best high school cross country careers of any Frederick County runner throughout the decade. She became the team's top runner during the 2009 season, pacing the team at counties (fourth), regionals (seventh) and states (22nd) - all three finishes would be her lowest at all three meets throughout her career. She won the large school division of the Don Stoner Invitational as a sophomore and broke 20 minutes at the county championships, finishing second to Thomas Johnson's Savanna Plombon. It was the first of three consecutive runner-up finishes at the county meet for Askine. She once again led Urbana at the state meet, improving to 13th in the 3A race. In the fall of 2011 Askine relinquished the role of top runner for the Hawks to newcomer Emily Mulhern but continued to cut down her personal bests. She clocked her three mile personal best at the Frank Keyser Invitational in early October, then finished second behind Mulhern at three consecutive meets (conferences, counties and regionals). Mulhern and Askine went 1-3 at the 3A state meet, helping them finish third overall (tied for the team's highest-ever finish at states). She finished 54th at NXR Southeast to round out her junior year. As a senior, Askine once again finished second behind Mulhern at both the MVAL conference and Frederick County championships and third at regionals as the Urbana girls won all three. Askine turned in another top-five state meet performance (running nine seconds faster at Hereford than she had in 2011) as Urbana finished third once again, and then ran her 5K personal best at NXR Southeast to round out her high school cross country career.
Askine was the only Frederick County girl to finish in the top two at the county championships three different times during this decade. Between 2010 and 2012 she was one of just three Frederick County runners (along with Mulhern and Plombon) to break 20 minutes at the old Hereford course. Both her three mile and 5K personal bests rank seventh among Frederick County runners this decade.
College: Loyola University (MD)
Personal Bests: 19:17 5K, 22:36 6K
Askine ran her 6K personal best at the 2014 Patriot League championships, finishing 56th. As a senior in the fall of 2016 she recorded her highest finishes at both the Patriot League championships (38th) and NCAA DI Mid-Atlantic regionals (105th).
Reilly Caldwell (Middletown High School, Class of 2017)
Photo by Debbi Persinger
Personal Bests: 18:25 3M, 18:28 5K
Medals: 1 county
Caldwell came to Middletown during the spring of her freshman year in 2014. The next fall she quickly established herself as one of Frederick County's top cross country runners. She won races at the Don Stoner (beating Manchester Valley's Katie Leisher, a two-time 1A state XC champion) and Blazers (where she won by 51 seconds) invitationals, and was runner-up to Urbana's Maria Carberry at the county meet. She ran 19:38 at the 2A state meet, good for seventh (both the time and place were the best of her career at states). The next year, in 2015, Caldwell had finished second at a number of meets leading up to the county championships, and this time she did not miss the opportunity to grab a championship season title, winning by 19 seconds. She placed third at the 2A West regional meet and 14th at the state championships to round out her sophomore season on the course. Caldwell began her senior season on a roll, kicking it off with a big win against a talented field at the Seahawk Invitational. She also clocked an 18:43 5K at the Barnhart Invitational, which would end up being her last race for a month and a half. Caldwell returned at the beginning of November, returning strong with a runner-up finish at the 2A West regional meet. She recorded her second top-ten finish at the 2A state meet the next weekend, placing ninth, and then wrapped up her high school cross country career with two postseason meets highlighted by a win at the 2016 Battle of the Potomac race at Smokey Glen Farm.
Caldwell's 18:28 5K personal best is the fifth-fastest by a Frederick County runner over the course of the decade. Her 18:43 time at Dulaney High School is the 14th-fastest by a Maryland runner since 2010 and her 20:01 time at Smokey Glen Farm from the 2014 Battle of the Potomac ranks seventh. Caldwell is also one of just seven Frederick County runners to have broken 20 minutes on the post-2013 Hereford cross country course.
College: Furman University/Appalachian State University
Personal Bests: 18:20 5K, 21:11 6K
Caldwell ran both her 5K and 6K personal bests in the fall of 2018 at the Southern Conference championships and NCAA DI Southeast regionals, respectively. She was the seventh runner on the Furman team that qualified for the NCAA DI National Championships, where she finished 219th.
Maria Carberry (Urbana High School, Class of 2016)
(Carberry on right; photo by John Roemer)
Personal Bests: 18:08 3M, 18:26 5K
Medals: 2 conference, 1 county, 2 region
Carberry was the third member of one of the top trios in the state in 2012 along with sophomore Emily Mulhern and Sarah Askine, and for the next two years formed a terrific 1-2 punch alongside Mulhern. She clocked an 18:42 three mile as a freshman at the county meet, finishing third behind her two elder teammates. She was also the third finisher (and fourth overall) on the 3A West champion team, and the 16th-place finisher at the state meet. Carberry wrapped up her freshman year with a 19:16 performance at NXR Southeast, a mark she would not top until the fall of 2014. As a sophomore Carberry was a frequent third-place finisher (including her three mile personal best at the Frank Keyser Invitational), and then took over as the team's leader when Mulhern dealt with injuries throughout the second half of the year. She took home the MVAL Piedmont title and captured her first regional title, going 1-2 with Mulhern as the Hawks repeated as regional champions. Carberry led the team at the 3A state meet that year, beating out Reservoir's Karli Smiraglia for second place. Her junior cross country season was easily her most consistent, as her 19:46 time at the season-opening Great Meadow Invitational was her slowest performance of the season. She went undefeated throughout the month of October, which included a win on her home course at the Urbana Invitational and a sweep of the conference, county and regional titles. Despite having beaten Mulhern throughout the season, Mulhern turned in a throwback performance at the state meet, beating out Carberry, who finished second for the second consecutive year. It was the first time (and only time) since 2009 that a pair of girls teammates went 1-2 at the state championships. She wrapped up that fall by running her 5K personal best at NXR Southeast, finishing 32nd. Carberry missed her senior cross country season but returned to the track that spring to help Urbana win the 3A 4x800 state title.
Both Carberry's three mile and 5K personal bests rank fourth among county runners over the course of the decade. She led all sophomores across all classifications at the state championships in 2013 and was second among juniors at the 2014 state meet, behind only Easton's Kathryn Geahart. Her 19:10 time from the 2014 Oatlands Invitational was the ninth-fastest performance of the decade at the meet by a Maryland runner.
College: Duquesne University
Personal Bests: 18:21 5K, 22:30 6K
Carberry ran her 6K personal best at the 2016 University of Buffalo Stampede Invitational.
Erin McQuitty (Middletown High School, Class of 2023)
Photo by Keeley Olson
Personal Bests: 18:50 3M, 19:17 5K
Medals: 1 conference, 1 county, 1 state
Despite only competing as a freshman in the decade, McQuitty makes the list on the strength of one of the bigger upset performances at states over the course of the decade. That's not to say that McQuitty wasn't having a great freshman season through the regional meet. She kicked off her cross country career with a 19:06 three mile effort at the Seahawk Invitational, then broke the 19-minute barrier in the event at the Frank Keyser Invitational. McQuitty then went on to beat Urbana senior Sara Jarman at both the CMC and Frederick County championships, clocking the state's second-fastest freshman time of the year in the three mile in the process. However, at regionals she had finished second, a distant 34 seconds behind South Carroll junior Grace Siehler, who had been dominant all season long. It became apparent throughout the first half of the state meet, however, that Siehler wasn't just going to run away with the title, as both McQuitty and Winters Mills' Kathryn Kopkins remained close. In the end, McQuitty pulled off the surprising victory, pulling away in the final quarter mile of the race and becoming the Knights' first state champion since 1999. She wrapped up her season with a 19:17 effort at NXR Southeast, the state's second-fastest freshman time.
Among Frederick County runners only Urbana's Emily Mulhern clocked a faster freshman 5K time than McQuitty did, and McQuitty came within four seconds of clocking the county's fastest performance on the post-2013 Hereford course.
Savanna Plombon (Gov. Thomas Johnson High School, Class of 2011)
Photo by Tim Hagen
Personal Bests: 18:41 3M, 18:18 5K
Medals: 1 county, 1 region
Unlike many of the runners on this list, Plombon was not an instant star at Thomas Johnson, as she didn't finish higher than 50th at the state championships until her junior season. As a freshman she instantly fit in on a young Patriots squad that featured a new top runner at seemingly every meet; she was never the team's top runner, but was their #2 or #3 finisher in each of the team's final four meets. In 2008 she was a top-ten finisher at both the Don Stoner and Frank Keyser invitationals, and improved from 83rd to 50th at the 4A state meet as the Patriots moved up into the top ten as a team. Things truly came together for Plombon and the team in the fall of 2009. They opened the season with dominant wins, including a 20-point effort at the Barnhart Invitational where Plombon finished second. They dominated once again at the Frank Keyser Invitational, taking places 3-6; Plombon was fourth and clocked her three mile personal best. She finished as the runner-up to senior teammate Stephanie Bryan at counties and regionals (where they scored a perfect 15 points) and was the team's top finisher (second) at the state meet. The Patriots earned their first (and only) XC podium finish, losing to Severna Park by just six points. After Bryan graduated, Plombon was the team's top runner at nearly every meet in the fall of 2010, and she earned her first major victory at the Barnhart Invitational (where she broke 19 minutes for the first time) and, later, the county and regional meets. She placed third at the 4A state meet that year behind Whitman's Anna Ryba and Walter Johnson's Anna Bosse. Plombon rounded out her high school cross country career with a 14th place, 18:18 performance at NXR Southeast, finishing as Maryland's top runner.
Plombon and Frederick's Jennifer Novak (1990) are the only two Frederick County girls to have ever finished second or better in the highest classification at the state XC championships. Her 18:18 5K personal best is third behind only Mulhern and Julien Webster on the Frederick County all-decade leaderboard. Her 18:39 time at Dulaney High School is the tenth-fastest time on the course by any Maryland runner since 2010.
College: Lehigh University/West Virginia University
Personal Bests: 18:05 5K, 20:53 6K
Plombon ran her 6K personal best at the 2013 NCAA DI Mid-Atlantic regionals, where she finished 26th and helped the Mountaineers qualify for the NCAA DI National Championships (where she placed 211th). She came back in the fall of 2015 and bested her placing at the regional meet by three spots, although West Virginia dropped to fifth and did not qualify for nationals.
Julien Webster (Catoctin High School, Class of 2017)
Photo by Steven Pisano
Personal Bests: 17:44 3M, 18:08 5K
Medals: 1 county, 1 region
For the success she had throughout the first three years at Catoctin, Webster didn't really burst into the state spotlight until her senior year when she was the surprising fourth member of the best team Maryland has ever sent to Foot Locker Northeast. Although somewhat overshadowed by their state-championship boys teams during Webster's first two years, the Cougars more than held their own on the girls' side, finishing sixth and eighth at the 2A state meets. Webster was a contributing member on both teams: she finished 52nd at states as a freshman and then jumped all the way up to 16th - the team's top finisher - as a sophomore, despite having finished just 12th at the 2A West regional meet. As a junior, Webster started to consistently finish at or near the front of every race. She won the small school division (second overall) at the Brunswick Invitational, recorded an 18:09 three mile at the Frank Keyser Invitational (also second) and broke 19 minutes in the 5k at the county championships, where she was third. After finishing fifth at regionals, Webster broke into the top ten at states, finishing seventh and helping Catoctin jump all the way up to third in the 2A team standings. Webster opened up her senior year with outright wins at the Brunswick and Track and Trail invitationals, then clocked what was then a big 5K personal best (18:27) at the Oatlands Invitational. Aside from a third place, 17:44 three mile showing at the Frank Keyser Invitational, Webster went undefeated through regionals (she won both county and regional titles by well over a minute). Behind her the Catoctin girls captured the county team title, and after a subpar showing at the regional meet without one of their key runners, rebounded to take the runner-up spot at the state meet (still the team's only podium finish at the state XC meet in school history). Webster might have won the state title had she waited one more year but had to settle for third behind Patuxent's Hayley Jackson and Hereford's Kelly Wesolowski. That third-place finish made her tenth-place finish at Foot Locker Northeast two weeks later seem like an even bigger surprise, as she ran a 19-second personal best on the tough Van Cortlandt Park course. Along with three other Maryland runners she represented the region (and the state) at Foot Locker Nationals, finishing 30th in the 40-girl field.
Webster's 18:08 5K personal best ranks second among Frederick County runners to only Emily Mulhern's 18:04 and, considering the two courses upon which the races took place, may be the most impressive 5K performance of the decade in Frederick County. She is one of just seven Maryland girls to have represented the Northeast region at Foot Locker Nationals this decade. Her 17:44 three mile time is tied for 12th-fastest among all Maryland runners in the 2010s, and she is one of just four Maryland runners (along with Mulhern, Abgail Green and Juliette Whittaker) to have finished in the top three at Oatlands.
College: University of Delaware
Personal Bests: 19:13 5K, 21:33 6K
At Syracuse, Webster ran both her 5K and 6K personal bests and competed at the 2018 ACC Championships, finishing 99th. At Delaware, she placed 48th at the 2019 Colonial Athletic Association conference championships and 119th at the NCAA DI Mid-Atlantic regionals.
All-County Second Team:
Megan Bertolette (Walkersville High School, Class of 2020)
Sara Jarman (Urbana High School, Class of 2020)
Charlotte Kowalk (Oakdale High School, Class of 2016)
Abigail Pinto (Gov. Thomas Johnson High School, Class of 2017)
Eleanor Stafford (Middletown High School, Class of 2021)
Brin Strouse (Urbana High School, Class of 2019)
Kelly Winklbauer (Urbana High School, Class of 2015)
Table of Champions:
2010 (Catoctin HS 5k): Savanna Plombon (Gov. Thomas Johnson) - 19:10
2011: Emily Mulhern (Urbana) - 19:28
2012 (Catoctin HS 3M): Emily Mulhern (Urbana) - 18:06
2013 (Old National Pike): Charlotte Kowalk (Oakdale) - 19:40
2014: Maria Carberry (Urbana) - 19:38
2015 (Urbana HS): Reilly Caldwell (Middletown) - 18:28
2016 (Woodsboro Park): Julien Webster (Catoctin) - 19:35
2017 (Brunswick HS): Brin Strouse (Urbana) - 19:18
2018 (Gov. Thomas Johnson HS): Sara Jarman (Urbana) - 18:53
2019 (Catoctin HS 5k): Erin McQuitty (Middletown) - 20:36