Meet Preview: 2021 Montgomery County XC Championships

Montgomery County Public School Championships

(Nov. 1, 2021) 

The 2021 Montgomery County Public Schools Championships will now take place on Monday, Nov. 1, 2021, at Bohrer Park in Gaithersburg, Md. After deteriorating course conditions due to heavy rainfall, the meet was postponed. 

There will be a new race schedule: 

  • Varsity A Girls' Race: 2:30 P.M. 
  • Varsity A Boys' Race: 3:15 P.M.
  • Varsity B Girls' (11th/12th) Race: 4 P.M.
  • Varsity B Boys' (11th/12th) Race: 4:45 P.M.

The Girls' and Boys' Varsity B (9th/10th) Races will not be conducted. 

(Andrew Schell pictured during the 9th Annual Gunpowder Falls XC Invitational)

Photo: Keith Leadbetter

Regarding the Boys races, Walter Johnson's Andrew Schell is a likely contender for first place. Schell has been on a winning streak with over five first-place finishes this season. He has also improved on his times for the season with PRs in all of the different events he has run. Early in the season, Schell placed third during the Boys Elite Varsity Race at the 2021 Bull Run Invitational with a 3 mile PR of 16:26.70. He also managed to snag a 5K PR this season after finishing third in the Boys Seeded Race at the 2021 Great American XC Festival with a time of 15:42.00. Another notable performance came from the Boys JV D Race at the 2021 Manhattan College Cross Country Invitational where Schell placed first in the 2.5-mile event with a time of 13:42.20. With these strong performances, Schell has become our number one seed for the race. 

(Jackson Megary pictured during the 2021 Great American XC Festival)

Photo: Dan Loughlin 

Though Schell has torn through this season, we can't count out some other competitors that have been making a name for themselves all season long. Walt Whitman's Jackson Megary comes in at second, just less than five seconds behind Schell. Megary became the second seed after a 5K PR at the 2021 Great American XC Festival where he placed fifth with a time of 15:46.60. Most notable was his performance at the 2021 Manhattan College Cross Country Invitational. Megary finished fifth in the Boys Varsity B Race (2.5 mile) with an impressive 13:11.90, which puts him ahead of our number one seed, Schell, by approximately 30 seconds. However, our rankings are based on 5K performances.

(Edward Lyness pictured during the Hood College HS Invitational

Photo: Craig Amoss

Another competitor that could take the win for the championship is Montgomery Blair's Edward Lyness. Lyness has had only top 5 performances in the 5K and 3 Mile events. Lyness recently had a PR and third-place finish at the 2021 Maryland XC Invitational with a time of 16:00.00. He also finished second at the Boys Large Varsity Race at the 2021 Bull Run Invitational with a 3-mile time of 16:41.80, which also happened to be a PR. Other notable athletes include Winston Churchill's Sebastien Breton and Nathaniel Encinas, as well as Northwood's Lamar Wilson

For the team title, the Winston Churchill boys seem likely to take the title with Breton and Encinas coming in at a possible fourth and sixth place (56 points). Walt Whitman, led by Megary, could take second (68 points), while Walter Johnson, led by Schell, could take third (84 points).

(Grace Finnegan pictured during the 2021 Frank Keyser Invitational)

Photo: John Roemer

Regarding the Girls' races, Richard Montgomery's Grace Finnegan is expected to dominate the field. Finnegan became our number one seed after a phenomenal performance at the 2021 Octoberfest Invitational. Finnegan ran a Maryland No. 19 all-time 5K with a time of 17:59.00, becoming the only other girl to break 18 minutes this season. She has had at least five other races where she placed first, including her 3-mile PR at the 2021 Frank Keyser Invitational with a time of 17:46.4. 

(Varri Higgins pictured during the 2021 Patriot Invitational)

Photo: Patrick McKinney

Another athlete to watch is Bethesda-Chevy Chase's Varri Higgins. Higgins first caught our eye after a first-place finish in the Girls Elite Varsity Race with a 3-mile PR of 19:40.00 at the 2021 Bull Run Invitational. More recently, Higgins won the 2021 Patriot Invitational with a 5K PR of 18:32.50.

(Alexa Avila pictured during the 2021 Bull Run Invitational)

Photo: Craig Amoss

Behind Higgins is Montgomery Blair's Alexa Avila with a 5K PR of 18:37.00 from the 2021 Maryland XC Invitational. Avila has made a name for herself with multiple top 10 finishes at meets like the Consortia Championships (2nd, 19:43.00), Bull Run Invitational (first in Girls Large Varsity Race, 19:53.20), and the Hood College HS Invitational (9th, 21:51.00). Other notable athletes include Sherwood's Avery Graham and James Hubert Blake's Ella Zeigler

For the team scores portion, it looks like the Walter Johnson girls could be coming home with the team title with a possible 68 points. The second contender is Walt Whitman with 96 points. The third contender is Winston Churchill with 127.5 points. 

MileSplit Maryland will be covering the 2021 Montgomery County Public Schools XC Championships.