Meet Recap: 2021 Bull Run XC Invitational Morning Session

Hereford High School once again played host to the 2021 Bull Run Cross Country Invitational. Athletes from over 100 teams registered for the meet, including some teams from Virginia. As always, the most riveting part of the course comes from "The Dip," a harrowing hill that is featured in the beginning and the end of the course. Surrounded by many race-enthusiasts on the sidelines and filled by tumultuous applause, "The Dip" is a must-see sight for this meet. 

The meet was broken down into two sections: the morning session and the afternoon session. The morning session was comprised of a total of six races: Boys Elite Varsity; Girls Elite Varsity; Boys Large Varsity; Girls Large Varsity; Boys Large Elite/Junior Varsity Open; and Girls Large Elite/Junior Varsity Open

Boys Elite Varsity:

(Timothy Synowiec sets the pace early with Manchester Valley's Aiden Neal and Oakton's Elham Huq)

(Timothy Synowiec finishes first in the Boys Elite Varsity race, time: 16:09.90)

For the Boys Elite Varsity race, there were many leaders early on. However, it was James M. Bennett senior Timothy Synowiec that surpassed the rest. Synowiec ended up taking the win with a time of 16:09.09. He separated himself from the second-place winner with a lead of over 15 seconds and had the fastest time of the day. Then, Dulaney junior Tyler Dailey finished second with a time of 16:26.3, closely followed by Walter Johnson senior Andrew Schell with a time of 16:26.7. The fourth-place title was grabbed by Howard senior Joseph Raudabaugh with a time of 16.31.8. Fifth was Northeastern senior Cole Perry with a time of 16:37.3. It was the eight-place finisher, Walt Whitman's Jackson Megary (17:06.00), that ended up leading his team to victory with a team score of 95 points. The second was Loyola-Blakefield (115 points), third was Mount St. Joseph (115 points). 

(The Walt Whitman boys pose with their first-place plaque)

Girls Elite Varsity:

(Varri Higgins emerges as a leader in the race during the first half) 

(Varri Higgins separates herself from the rest of the pack, finishing first in the Girls Elite Varsity race)

The Girls Elite Varsity race was won by Bethesda-Chevy Chase sophomore Varri Higgins with a time of 19:40.00, which granted her a lead of 17 seconds. It was a close battle for second place as Howard senior Nimrit Ahuja, Hereford junior Estelle Snider, and James Hubert Blake senior Ella Zeigler fought for the next spot. However, it was Ahuja that managed to out-pace the others, finishing second with a time of 19:57. Snider finished third, also with a time of 19:57, while Ziegler was a second behind with 19:58, making her the fourth-place finisher. Another Howard senior ended up joining the ranks as Elizabeth Holcombe finished fifth with a time of 20:06. Ultimately, it was Howard's Ahuja that secured the team title with a mere 29 points. Even more impressive was the fact that their top five runners all scored within the top 15: Nimrit Ahuja (2nd, 19:57); Elizabeth Holcombe (5th,  20:06); Kiley Mann (6th, 20:08), Jasmine Wilson (9th, 20:34); and Hannah Schwab (11th, 20:34). The team that took home the second-place title was Hereford with 94 points, while Tuscarora snagged third with 108 points. 

(The Howard girls pose with their first-place plaque)

Boys Large Varsity:

(Edward Lyness emerges as an early leader during the race, pictured alongside Jacob Loveranes

The Boys Large Varsity race had a few challenges unlike some of the other races. There was some course mix-up early on in the meet, which caused some confusion. However, the race continued as planned. The more interesting part of the race was the last stretch, which included a head-to-head battle between Gaithersburg senior Sadou Sow and Montgomery Blair senior Edward Lyness. The two battled all the way down to the finish line, until Lyness tripped, allowing Sow to take home the first-place title with a time of 16:35.3. Lyness ended up finishing second with just a few seconds behind with a time of 16:41.8. Arundel senior Tucker Sangster followed in third place with a time of 16:49.9. Another battle ensued as Northwest junior Gage G. Osborne and Linganore senior Jack Sears fought for the fourth-place title. Ultimately, it was Osborne that managed to out-kick Sears. Osborne finished fourth with a time of 17:13.2, while Sears finished fifth with less than a second behind with a time of 17:13.5. For the team scores, it was Severna Park that was victorious with 95 points. Richard Montgomery placed second with 109 points. Linganore placed third, as led by Sears, with a total of 130 points. 

(Edward Lyness and Sadou Sow battle for first place) 

(Hear from Boys Large Varsity race champion Sadou Sow

Girls Large Varsity:

(Alexa Avila starts off strong in the early phases of the race) 

(Alexa Avila takes control of the race, finishing first in the Girls Large Varsity race) 

The Girls Large Varsity race saw Montgomery Blair junior Alexa Avila finish first with a time of 19:53.2. She was quite ahead of the rest of the pack with an impressive lead of almost 30 seconds. Avila was followed by Arundel senior Katherine Leddy, finishing second with a time of 20:20.8. Very close behind Leddy was Leonardtown sophomore Elena Blodnikar with a time of 20:22.0. River Hill senior Chloe McGeehan finished fourth with a time of 20:28.9. Gaithersburg senior Alana Dyce-Giraud placed fifth with a time of 20:33.3. Regarding the team scores, Urbana took home the top honors with 83 points. Leonardtown, led by Blodnikar, finished second with 114 points. Close behind in third was Thomas S. Wootton with 123 points. 

(Hear from Girls Large Varsity race champion Alexa Avila)

Boys Large E/JV Open:

(Philip Kwan takes home the first-place title for the Boys Large E/JV Open)

For the Boys Large E/JV Open, Walt Whitman junior Philip Kwan was the first-place winner with a time of 18:11.0. He was followed by Walter Johnson junior Ben Dutko with a time of 18:36.9. A battle for third place emerged as Calvert Hall teammates Andrew Foulk and Elliot Palmer fought for the next spot. Foulk ended up victorious and became the third-place winner with a time of 18:57.8. His teammate, Palmer, finished less than a second behind with a time of 18:58.0. Another Walter Johnson athlete joined the top 5 as senior Jacob Hillman snagged fifth place with a time of 19:13.9. With Walter Johnson teammates Dutko and Hillman in the top 5, it was to no surprise that their team placed first with 64 points. South Lakes placed second (78 points), followed by River Hill (107 points). 

Girls Large E/JV Open:

(Ella Meccia separates herself from the rest of the pack)

The Girls Large E/JV Open saw Northern-Calvert freshman Ella Meccia as the winner with a time of 21:01.4. Meccia said in an interview that this was her first meet, ever. Even more shocking was that she finished with a lead of a minute and a half. Then, it was Severna Park junior Meadow Mackey that came in second with a time of 22:31.3. She was followed by Walter Johnson senior Hannah Reily with a time of 22:47.8. The fourth-place finisher was Broadneck junior Caroline Pace with a time of 22:54.8. Another Walter Johnson athlete made it to the top 5 as Georgia Myers finished fifth with a time of 23:01.6. Mackey paved the way for her team's first-place finish as Severna scored 45 points. Their top five runners all placed in the top 20: Meadow Mackey (2nd, 22:31.3); Sophie Magyarosi (6th, 23:08.5); Becca Jimeno (7th, 23:21.9); Jackie Testerman (12th, 23:50.1); and Madison Davis (18th, 24:19.4). The second-place team was Walter Johnson, led by Reily and Myers, with a score of 69 points. The third-place team was Broadneck, led by Pace, with a score of 97 points. 

(Hear from Girls Large E/JV Open champion Ella Meccia

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