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Boys Half-Decade XC Team
By: Kevin Milsted

The end of the 2019 cross country season marks ten years since published the 2000's All-Decade Teams (Boys, Girls) which celebrated the best XC athletes who participated in Montgomery County, Maryland between 2000 and 2009. After completing those articles in 2009, Mocorunning decided that it would be a more manageable project if there was a halfway checkpoint. Hence, Mocorunning named the "Half-Decade Teams" in 2014. Today we celebrate the best cross country athletes who competed in Montgomery County between 2015 and 2019, and yes, there will be a Montgomery County All-Decade Team for 2010 to 2019 coming soon.

Selection Process
MoCorunning editor, reporter, photographer, keeper-of-statistics, and cross country fan Kevin Milsted researched and nominated 20 boys and 20 girls for consideration for this Half-Decade Team. Montgomery County coaches with more than 5 years of experience in Montgomery County were asked to review MoCorunning's nominees and rank all twenty boys and twenty girls in order, based on whatever criteria was most important to him or her. The 10 male and female athletes with the highest scores based on the coaches' votes are now shown here as members of the MoCorunning Half-Decade Team. Coaches were asked to write in additional boys and girls who were not already nominated by MoCorunning. The athletes with the most write-in votes were added to the honorable mention list along with the other nominees.

The following coaches contributed to this Half-Decade Team. Without their thoughtful consideration of each athlete, this project would not have been possible.

Angelique Bosse - Montgomery Blair
Bryant Adams - Gaithersburg
Chad Young - Bethesda Chevy Chase
Dan Reeks - Sherwood
Dave Warren - Richard Montgomery
Dessalyn Dillard - Paint Branch
Elrid Cason - Damascus
Eric Da Silva - Albert Einstein
Giovanni Reumante - Northwood
Herb Tolbert - Gaithersburg
Kellie Redmond - Thomas S. Wootton
Mark Anderson - Paint Branch
Michael Trumbull - Clarksburg
Mike Davila - St. Andrew's Episcopal
Paul Jacobson - Winston Churchill
Peter Rook - Stone Ridge
Prasad Gerard - Poolesville
Rob Burke - Clarksburg
Scott Silverstein - Winston Churchill
Seann Pelkey - Quince Orchard
Stan Pawlowski - Magruder
Steve Hays - Walt Whitman
Thomas Martin - Walter Johnson
Tom Arnold - Good Counsel

Half-Decade Team Athletes

Athlete of the Half-Decade:
Rohann Asfaw, Richard Montgomery 2017

High School Personal Bests: 15:15.0 5k (NXR Southeast)

Title Count: 2 County, 2 Region, 1 State

Notes: NXN qualifier and two time top ten finisher at NXR. Finished 4th at NXR and 94th at NXN as a senior. Finished 6th at NXR as a junior to miss qualifying for NXN by one spot. 15:15.0 5k was the fastest 5k by a Montgomery County athlete of the decade (2010 to 2019). State champion, two time county champion, and winner of the Oatlands Invitational. Ranks #5 and #6 all-time on the Bohrer Park County Championship Meet course.

Adam Nakasaka, B-CC 2018

High School Personal Bests: 15:35.60 (County)

Title Count: 1 Region, 1 State

Notes: 2017 4A state champion and 2016 4A state runner-up. 15:50.63 3 mile is fifth fastest Montgomery County performance recorded at the Hereford state championship course according to the MPSSAA record book. Recorded three 5k performances under 15:45 including 4th at the DCXC Invitational (15:44) and 2nd at the Montgomery County Championship Meet (15:35.6).

Eldad Mulugeta, Northwood 2019

High School Personal Bests: 15:15.5 5k (NXR Southeast)

Notes: Fastest and highest placing Montgomery County finisher ever at NXN (15:38.7, 38th). 15:15.5 5k at NXR Southeast is the second fastest Montgomery County 5k of the decade. 15:44.29 3 mile is third fastest Montgomery County performance recorded at the Hereford state championship course according to the MPSSAA record book. Consortia, County, Region, and State runner-up in 2018.

Garrett Suhr, Richard Montgomery 2020

High School Personal Bests: 15:16.0 5k (Great American)

Title Count: 1 County, 1 Region

Notes: Montgomery County and 4A West Regional champion. 15:16.0 5k is the third fastest Montgomery County 5k of the decade. Oatlands Invitational runner-up and winner of the Interstate Classic. Four time top fifteen finisher at the Montgomery County Championship Meet.

Jack Wavering, Good Counsel 2016

High School Personal Bests: 15:22.3 5k (NXR Southeast)

Title Count: 1 County (Independent), 2 WCAC, 1 State (Independent)

Notes: DC-MD Private Schools State Champion and two time WCAC champion. Missed qualifying for NXN by two positions (7th) in 2015. Winner of the Chancellor Invitational and runner-up at the Glory Days Invitational, Great Meadow Invitational, and Mercersburg Invitational.

John Riker, Wootton 2019

High School Personal Bests: 15:30.0 3 Mile (Frank Keyser), 15:39.0 5k (County)

Title Count: 1 Region

Notes: 2018 4A West Region Champion. Three time top ten finisher at the 4A West Regional. Four time top five finisher at the DCXC Invitational and three time top ten finisher at the Track and Trail Invitational.

Nicholas Karayianis, Bullis 2020

High School Personal Bests: 15:40.6 5k (Third Battle)

Title Count: 2 State (Independent), 1 IAC

Notes: Only two-time independent schools state champion of the decade. Completed five 5k's under 16:00 in senior season. Winner of the Barnhart Invitational, Bullis Invitational, IAC Championship, and MD Private Schools State Championship. 3rd at the Third Battle Invitational in personal best 15:40.6.

Obsaa Feda, Northwood 2019

High School Personal Bests: 15:20.1 5k (NXR Southeast)

Title Count: 3 Consortia, 1 County, 2 Region, 1 State

Notes: NXN qualifier after 8th place NXR finish in 15:20.1. County, region, and state champion. Consortia Championship Meet course record holder (16:03.58) and three time individual Consortia champion. 15:44.05 3 mile is second fastest Montgomery County performance recorded at the Hereford state championship course according to the MPSSAA record book.

Ryan Lockett, Poolesville 2018

High School Personal Bests: 15:32.00 5k (County)

Title Count: 1 County, 2 Region, 2 State

Notes: Only Montgomery County two time public school state champion of the decade. Missed Footlocker National qualification by two positions (12th). Winner of Glory Days Invitational. Ranks #4 all-time on the Bohrer Park County Championship Meet course (15:32.0). Four time top ten finisher at the DCXC Invitational including freshman year champion.

Surafel Mengist, Springbrook 2020

High School Personal Bests: 15:37 5k (County)

Title Count: 1 Region

Notes: Winner of the 4A North Regional. Two time top ten finisher at the State Championship Meet. Three time top ten finisher at the 4A North Regional and the Consortia Championships. Finished 2019 ranked #2 by Mocorunning.

Half-Decade Team Honorable Mention

Aaron Bratt, Whitman 2019
Aidan Smyth, B-CC 2019
Andrew Lent, Poolesville 2017
Ayalew Fantaw, Northwood 2020
Chris Thoms, Quince Orchard 2018
Colin SyBing, Wootton 2016
Mark Unger, Richard Montgomery 2019
Matt Lopez, Good Counsel 2016
Michael Abebe, Northwood 2016
Sean Enright, Sherwood 2020
Simeon Mussie, Albert Einstein 2018
Tamrat Snyder, Damascus 2020


Ben Thoms
2019-11-27 21:19:40

Who let Chris on this list?

Ben Aris
2019-11-28 01:50:21

I think this list has the wrong Thoms brother. Despite graduating in 2015, much of MoCo’s XC power can be directly attributed to the mentorship and guiding force of Ben Thoms and the Google Doc All-Stars

2019-11-28 04:01:50

Yikes the fact that no northwest runners are on here is wrong, especially not Diego Zarate? Ur trippin

Brown Sugar
2019-11-28 17:06:37

I think that Ellen should have made this list

Smh too
2019-11-30 20:04:57

Diego Zarate is on the 2010-14 all half-decade XC team.

2019-12-01 01:30:11

Riker lacks a top 10 cross state finish in 4 tries ...

2019-12-03 06:07:38

Oh, now do the rest. Roast them all. We are all here for your negative comments.

2019-12-04 11:03:25

Well 8 of the 12 honorable mention have a top 10 state finish, 2 of them actually have 2 top 10 finishes. With the state meet being the most important meet of the year and the best test of cross country ability I think it’s notable that someone without a top 10 finish was included over these runners.

2019-12-04 21:52:47

States should get a greater emphasis, but shouldn't be the only thing, and the coaches get to choose their own criteria. Riker finished top 15 twice, as a sophomore and senior. He had an off day at states as a junior in a season where he ran 15:39 at counties. I would put him on this list.

2019-12-05 00:35:52

That’s a fair argument. IMO I still think michael or some others may have deserved first team honors but I get why that counties time stands out

How about
2019-12-05 12:45:03

How about John Riker won the 4A West and nobody on honorable mention can claim that. Do you think that is not important? You said in the girls article that top 10 finishes at states is overvalued. Go away troll!

2019-12-05 14:25:59

1 top ten finish and not much else, should not be put on over a girl with 3 top 10s and another top 16 on the girls time. 4 time all state didnt make the team, and outside of states had 2 top 30 finishes at eastern states and fast runs down in cary. That is a complete body of work. Abebe had a county runner up and another top5. 2 top 10s at states including a wicked fast 16:16. He also had a region win. Very complete career with success and county region and state level.

2019-12-05 16:20:26

Can't speak for the coaches, but Riker has a pretty solid case. He had the strongest first two years of anyone on this list outside of Suhr/Rohann and has the time/title later on to back it up. Didn't have the peak of a Rohann or Eldad, but as far as consistency, Riker gave his team four pretty good years within the time period (2015-2019).

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