Photo by Craig Amoss
The 2018 cross country season was defined by wet and muddy weather. Ask anyone who competed throughout the fall and they will tell you that, almost every week, rains soaked courses and turned dirt into mud, slowing down some of the state's fastest meets. That pattern kicked off the season on September 8, 2018, when over 30 teams met at Stevenson University for the annual Spiked Shoe Invitational.
The field in the girls race was particularly star-studded, and it wound up turning into a two-girl race between Annapolis senior Anna Coffin and Strath Haven (PA) senior Grace Forbes. Coffin held off Forbes, 19:13 to 19:16, setting the stage for a senior season during which she also won races at the Bull Run and Frank Keyser invitationals. While she did not win the 4A state title that year, Coffin did win her only individual state title that indoor season in the 3200.
While the times on the wet course may not have been eye-opening, the accolades of those who finished behind Coffin were. Forbes would go on to clock a 4:44 full mile that spring at the Brooks PR Invitational and win a state title in the 800. The third place finisher, South River sophomore Bronwyn Patterson, was the reason Coffin did not win the XC state title that season; coming in behind her was fellow sophomore, and fellow eventual XC state champion Oakley Olson. Rounding out the top five was Mount de Sales senior Samantha Facius, a ten-time IAAM champion and one of the top milers in the class of 2019.