MoCoRunning.com conducted an open online poll in mid-August for anyone to rank their top teams in the county. On the left you will find the result of 65 rankings combined into one. On the right, you will find the personal opinions of Kevin Milsted. Below the rankings, you will find analysis on each team supporting the ranking on the right.
1. Quince Orchard - 4A West
|Voted County Team Ranking|
Expected Varsity: Neal Darmody, David Laratta, Josh Joson, Artem Panasenkov, Mike Migdall, Ryan Priovolos, Kris Lasko
Quince Orchard is the easy pick as the top team in the county. The returning state champions have earned recognition from the Nike Team Nationals (NTN) committee as the 3rd best team in the region. They were also recognized by Marc Bloom in the Harrier's Fall 2007 Preseason Rankings as the 18th ranked team in the country. Led by 3200 meter state champion Neal Darmody and a crew of guys who would be #1 runners on any other team, their depth puts them in another class from the other teams in the county this year.
2. Whitman - 4A West
Expected Varsity: Andrew Palmer, Brandt Silver-Korn, Dan Miller, Dan Nowakowski, Justin Krumm, John Yarchoan
At first glance, Whitman appears to be a young team placing all of their hopes on two talented sophomores. But upon further examination, those two sophomores are backed up by an enthusiastic team of juniors and seniors who will use their experience to help their team back to the top of the county.
3. Walter Johnson - 4A West
Expected Varsity: Chris Moen, Brian Graves, Roni Teich, Ishan Dey, Alexander Conant, Rafi Moersen, Tyler Boatright
Last year, Chris Moen had the best season of any Montgomery County athlete, but his team lent very little support along the way. The Wildcats are hoping that this season will be a different story with everyone on the team another year older. If they stay healthy throughout the entire season, they are going to be tough to beat.
4. Good Counsel - WCAC
Expected Varsity: Ian McDermott, Drew Collins, Ross Stafford, Sam Rainard, David Sullivan, Kyle Graves
Good Counsel returns a very good team this year. After some growing pains during last cross country season, they improved greatly during track season by putting 3 athletes under 10:30 at the WCAC Championship including the winner Ian McDermott. After McDermott, expect to see a tight pack led by Rainard and Collins to make a serious challenge for the WCAC title.
5. Northwest - 4A West
Expected Varsity: Managi Biggers, Nick Gummo, John DiNardo, John Ingraham
After Quince Orchard, Northwest has the best top 4 in the county heading into the season. Expect to see them divide teams with their pack and pray that a fifth man comes along. They have a few up and coming runners who could fill out that fifth spot nicely, but that is something that will need to be addressed for the time being.
6. Gaithersburg - 4A West
Expected Varsity: Vikas Bhatia, Mike Limongelli, Luke Reding, Antonio Palmer, Brendan Stepek, Ryan Everett, Sahil Rahman
Gaithersburg loses three key member of their 6-man pack that made them so tough last year. They are hoping that one of the county's most talented 800 meter runners, Antonio Palmer, will be able to fill in the void. Until he or someone else moves up, they might be hurting.
7. Damascus - 3A West
Expected Varsity: Wil Zahorodny, Ben Constantinides, Jon Constantinides, Thomas Arias, Billy Thane
Damascus has one senior who is already among the best runners in the county, and four sophomores who have all the potential in the world. While this team might be a year or two away from being truly great, they should be tough to beat as early as this year. They head to 3A this year where they should do very well.
8. Sherwood - 4A West
Expected Varsity: Russell Speiden, Kyle Balderson, Michael Packer, Jacob Lowe
Nobody got hit harder by graduation than Sherwood. They lost their top 3 from last year's team that placed 2nd at the cross country state championship. There is still a great deal of promise for the Warriors to create another winning season this year with 4:25 miler Russell Speiden leading the way and supercoach Dan Reeks whipping them into shape.
9. Churchill - 4A West
Expected Varsity: Sean King, Mark Hannallah, Sei Masuoka, Shervin Sepehri, William Draffin
Churchill is similar to Damascus's team without the strong #1 guy. They are young and have tons of potential. This could be the year that their boy's team breaks out of its funk or maybe not, but they are certainly looking good for next year.
10. Magruder - 4A West
Expected Varsity: Emilio Galis, Nicolas Escobar, Ian Chasler, Joey Schaeffer, Rodrigo Tranamil
After another rebuilding year for Magruder, the Colonels return nearly everyone from last year's varsity roster including two athletes who qualified individually for last year's state championship. Now this older group will look to be more competitive this year and make a push to qualify as a team for states.
11. B-CC - 3A West
Expected Varsity: Dylan Straughan, Alex Prevost, James Lough, Matthew Davey-Karlson
Like Sherwood, B-CC is another team that got hit hard by graduation after losing the county's favorite duo of Tousley and Bowie. They still look good with two very strong runners returning, but they will need to stay healthy and develop some depth to keep up with the county.