Four teams from two different divisions met at the Gaithersburg High School cross country course for a Saturday quad meet. The weather was cool and windy for the middle of September and most athletes warmed up in long sleeves for the first time in a very long time.
The girls race went off at 9am and within two minutes of the gun, a pack of three girls had pulled away from the field. Wootton senior Veronica Salcido led the way while Gaithersburg’s Abby Spitler chased. Wootton sophomore Jessie Rubin settled in an equal distance behind Spitler. It remained this way for about two miles of the race. At some point unknown to me, Rubin broke Spitler pushing her to third place by a large gap. Salcido won the race in 19:49, followed shortly by Rubin in 19:53. Spitler was the only athlete to break up Wootton’s top 4, who took up 4 of the top 5 spots. In the other match up, Clarksburg beat Blake by default due to lack of athletes.
Similar to the girls’ race, the boys quickly formed a front pack, this time with 4 athletes. Antonio Palmer, Mike Limongelli, and Vikas Bhatia from Gaithersburg led Kenny Siu from Wootton. These four all stayed relatively close until the final half mile when Palmer decided to see what distance runners are made of. Feeling better than he had in any distance race this season, Palmer pulled away with Limongelli. He had a slight lead going into the final 100 meters before he turned on the jets. He won his first 5k race in 17:05, 40 seconds faster than the personal record that he set earlier in the week. Limongelli fell to 17:10, Bhatia 17:19, and Siu 17:26. Gaithersburg put 5 guys in front of Wootton’s #2 to win easily. Clarksburg beat Blake with superior depth, placing all 7 of it’s scoring runners in front of Blake’s 3rd.