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Preseason Poll Results - Boys
By: Kevin Milsted

Montgomery County Preseason Poll Results
The Boys - As Voted On By You

10. Artem Panasenkov - Quince Orchard High School '08

Before we knew about Laratta, Joson, or Darmody, there was Artem Panasenkov. No one knew how he moved as fast as he did, he just did it. He spent part of his freshman year as the team's top runner. Over the past few year's he has opted to spend the track season pole vaulting instead of distance running, but when cross country rolls around, he always gets right back into it. He placed 14th in last year's county championship and has finished in the top 35 in each of the last three state meets.

9. Brandt Silver Korn - Walt Whitman High School '10

It really wasn't fair that Brandt Silver-Korn was the second best freshman on his team last year, but now he is starting to get some recognition of his own. His 26th place finish at last year's county cross country meet helped his team to a 2nd place finish, barely getting edged out by the mighty QO team. He won the 3200 meter race at the Montgomery County B meet in a time 10:22 and is now expected to run with the big dawgs.

8. Dylan Straughan - Bethesda Chevy Chase High School '08

Dylan Straughan is one of just a few remaining Montgomery County athletes under 10 minutes in the 3200 meters. This spring he strung together a series of 4 races under 10:10 including his personal best of 9:56 at the Viking Invitational. Despite a series of injuries that has held him back over the last two years, Montgomery County acknowledges what he does when he's healthy and what he has the potential to do if he stays healthy.

7. Russell Speiden - Sherwood High School '08

After years of running in the shadows of Chris Barnard and Tommy Mullings, it is now Russell Speiden's time to shine. He stepped it up at last year's county championship with his 13th place finish and really turned up the intensity at the outdoor track state championship where he flew to a 4:25 1600. He will be the third returnee in the 1600 at next year's state meet. Montgomery County sees that he can really turn it on when it counts.

6. Josh Joson - Quince Orchard High School '08

Josh Joson's 9:36 was one of the top 3200 meter times in the state in 2006, but he later struggled to repeat a performance of that caliber. Last cross country season, he struggled to stay on the varsity roster. When he was relegated to the junior varsity race at the county championship, he responded with a decisive victory. He got back on track this spring with a few 3200 meter races under 10:00 and a 1600 meter personal best of 4:30. Montgomery County expects to see him back on his game this fall with big team implications on the line.

5. David Laratta - Quince Orchard High School '08

David Laratta has been the most consistent member of the Quince Orchard boys team that broke into the top 10 in last year's Southeast Regional NTN Ranking. He is usually not first on the team, but he is never last. He's got all the natural talent of anyone else in the county and knows how to put it on the line when it's race time. He focused more on middle distance this track season, but he will have no problem changing gears to the 5k and helping his team this fall.

4. Wil Zahorodny - Damascus High School '08

Wil Zahorodny does it all. He has been one of the top distance runners in the county in the past two years, but just recently became the indoor county champion at 500 meters and the outdoor county champion at 400 meters. He has qualified individually for each of the last two state cross country meets and should finally break into the top ten at the county cross country meet this year after barely missing the top ten the past two years.

3. Andrew Palmer - Walt Whitman High School '10

Andrew Palmer was the best freshman distance runner in the United States last year. He caught local attention when he finished in the top ten at the Montgomery County Championship and Maryland State Meet. He rose to national prominence when he won the freshman race at the Northeast Footlocker Regional Championship. He later earned All-American status in the freshman mile at Nike Indoor Nationals, and won the freshman mile at Nike Outdoor Nationals. The county has him ranked third overall in the preseason, fully acknowledging his accomplishments, but unsure of how he will stack up against the other older athletes in the 5k.

2. Neal Darmody - Quince Orchard High School '08

There was a learning curve for Neal Darmody when he joined the Quince Orchard cross country team last fall, but by the end of the season he knew exactly what he was doing. He placed in the top ten at the county and state meets. He ran with the best athletes in the area in the 3200 outdoors, eventually dropping his PR down to 9:26 and winning the 4A state 3200 meter title. He is expected to continue with his rapid improvement as he leads the 18th ranked team in the national preseason rankings.

1. Chris Moen - Walter Johnson High School '08

Despite talks of someone possibly upsetting the defending county champion this season, if anyone crossed the finish line before Chris Moen, it would be exactly that: an upset. Seldom has he lost a race to anyone. He broke the county 1600 meter record in his sophomore year in a time of 4:15. He won the Montgomery County cross country title in 15:55 last year, followed by a victory in the 4A West meet and a 4th place finish at the state meet. During indoor track, he won the elite mile at the Montgomery Invitational, New Balance Games, Montgomery County Championship, and Maryland State Championship. He focused on the 800 during outdoors, winning his 3rd consecutive county title at 800 meters despite increased competition within the county. He returns this season voted as the heavy fan favorite in Montgomery County and the top 4A returnee in the state.

The Best of the Rest
(In No Particular Order)

Ramsey Chapin - Georgetown Preparatory School '09

Either you know him or you don't. Georgetown Prep's Ramsey Chapin quietly became the number one middle distance runner in the IAC this spring. He won the 800, 1600 and 4x800 meter titles at the IAC Championship. He ran 4:06 for 1500 meters in a small home meet and later lowered his personal best to 4:03 in a summer track meet. He failed to break 17 minutes in the 5k last fall, but judging by the way he improved in his sophomore year, his junior year may have great things in store.

Ian McDermott - Good Counsel High School '08

Ian McDermott from Good Counsel has been running at the top of the WCAC for a few years now and finally had his break through race at the WCAC outdoor track championship where he won in 9:52. In that race he defeated the Dematha duo that went 1-2 in last year's WCAC cross country championship. It's a good sign for things to come this fall as he leads one of the stronger teams in the county.

Brian Graves - Walter Johnson High School '08

Brian Graves has always shown signs that he could be among the elite runners in Montgomery County, but then he goes and gets injured again. He was 2nd in the 3200 at the Montgomery County B Meet in his sophomore year and entered the fall season in great shape. Injuries set him back for most of the season, but he bounced back in indoors, placing 4th in the 3200 at the Montgomery County Championship. He eventually got his PR down to 10:10 and is looking like he is in great shape so far this season.

Nick Gummo - Northwest High School '09

It is too difficult to determine who will be Northwest's number one guy this season. Any one of their top 4 could potentially break into the top 10 in the county this year, but Nick Gummo had the best track season of all of them. As only a sophomore, he was able to consistently run under 10:20 in the 3200. By the end of the season, he achieved a personal best of 10:04; an outstanding time, but doesn't get you anywhere if you are in the 4A West.

Antonio Palmer - Gaithersburg High School '09

Antonio Palmer was included in the poll just out of curiosity to see if people would vote for him. Normally the results outside of the top ten would remain secret, but this kid who has never run cross country placed 11th in the poll. The people believe. They believe in Antonio. (no known relation to Andrew)

Nick Bax - St. Albans High School '08

Nick Bax goes to school in Washington D.C. and therefore is outside of the mocorunning coverage zone, but his accomplishments are worthy of mention here because you will be seeing a lot of him. He is the defending IAC Champion, DC/MD Private Schools Champion, Battle of the Potomac Champion, and a returning Washington Post All-Met athlete. He is one of the top ten returnees to this year's Footlocker Northeast Regional Cross Country Championship. As one of the best junior bikers in the United States coming off another outstanding summer of biking, he is definitely an athlete to watch for this upcoming season.


STA Runner
2008-03-28 15:04:38

Nick Bax is ridiculous

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