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MoCoRunning Newsletter
By: Various
2006-09-08


Table Of Contents

Introduction - Kevin Milsted
What's New on MoCoRunning - Kevin Milsted
Welcome Clarksburg High School - Kevin Milsted
Steven Duplinsky and Junior Worlds - Kevin Milsted
Woodward Relays Recap - Reagan Lynch
B-CC @ Gaithersburg Preview - Kevin Milsted
Whitman @ WJ Preview - Alex Booth
Northwest @ QO Preview - Reagan Lynch
Lady Lions Bring Depth to Title Defense - Dave Brandt


Introduction
By Kevin Milsted

Greetings!

The MoCoRunning Newsletter will be a periodic article published on MoCoRunning.com. It will be a large collection of articles that otherwise may not be long enough or important enough to stand as articles on their own. It will be very casual and you may even see many of the headlines that have shown up in other areas of the site. It will be very useful to put out good content from various authors throughout the season. Anyone can send in content to be published as a part of the MoCoRunning Newsletter. Coaches, athletes, and fans are strongly encouraged to send in recaps, previews, and editorials at any time (if you send in a few articles to get published, you could always put that on your resume). If you'd prefer, you could also send in info and have us write the article for you.

I decided to start the MoCoRunning Newsletter for several reasons. First, unlike the indoor and outdoor track seasons, I will be competing in cross country for my own college and will rarely, if ever, be able to go to high school meets throughout this season. I feel like if I am not at the meet, I cannot write a good article about the meet. This newsletter will allow others to send in brief summaries, previews, and articles which, by themselves, may not warrant an entire article devoted to that topic. I also view the newsletter as a casual medium for me or anyone else to post thoughts, even if I'm not fully emerged in the county competition. Be ready for some opinions and predictions that I otherwise hold my tongue on. What it boils down to is me trying to put out the best content that I can throughout the season while trying to rope in more athletes, coaches, and fans to help me do so. Email all contributions to webmaster@mocorunning.com.


What's New on MoCoRunning.com?
By Kevin Milsted

You have probably noticed a great deal of changes on MoCoRunning.com since the end of the track season. I have been hard at work over the summer developing the site to become more dynamic, interactive, maintainable, and cool! This process began with moving the site from my university server to a new professional server with much more powerful capabilities and more space for pictures and videos. The new server also provides a database to store large amounts of quickly accessible data. Much of the site was copied over to the new server, but it was also enhanced with PHP scripting language. PHP is the same language used to create sites such as the Milesplit Network and thefacebook.com. This means that the site will do many things automatically based on the information in the database. Read on to learn about many of the new features.

At the top of the front page, you will see "Upcoming Events" and "Recent Results and Articles." As indicated by its name, "Upcoming Events" will display the events happening in the near future that involve MoCo schools. This is automatically updated each day. Recent Results and Articles will display the most recent results and articles as soon as they are put into the database. Similarly, if you click the Articles, Calendar, or Results button, these pages will be instantly updated when information is added to the database. The leaderboard page will also look much the same, but is now automatically updated as soon as results are added to the database.

The coolest new features are on the school pages. Almost everything on these pages is now clickable: divisions, regions, conferences, athletes, coaches, and more. There is now school records pages for every school with top 5 times and marks in every event dating back to the 2006 track season. Athletes to watch are now added to team pages automatically when the athlete meets the Athletes to Watch standards. Coaches can add a bio to their team page. Anyone can associate themselves with a team by adding a Superfan Bio. And probably the coolest feature of all is the athlete pages. Every athlete who appears in results will have their own page with their own statistics and optional bio to fill out.

I hope you enjoy the new features on the site. I've just brushed over the big ones so make sure you explore and discover all that the site has to offer. If you have any suggestions, I will always do my best to give you what you want.


Welcome Clarksburg High School!
By Kevin Milsted


MoCoRunning.com welcomes the newest addition to Montgomery County Public Schools: Clarksburg High School in Clarksburg, Maryland. This new school is pulling 9th - 11th grade students from Seneca Valley, Damascus, and Watkins Mill High Schools.

Reports from the team have been favorable. Head coach Nick Caretti tells MoCoRunning that he now has 18 athletes on his brand new team. Not only does he have the bodies, but he also has a few strong athletes to begin the year. The team will be led by former Damascus athlete, junior Mike Leaman who clocked a 17:30 at last year's William and Mary Invitational and junior Ramon Munoz, formerly of Watkins Mill, who ran a 10:53 3200m at last year's 4A West Regional Meet. Caretti also believes they have a freshman with great potential, stating that James Thomas reminds him of Blake's Kyle Gaffney. He looks forward to developing his young squad of girls, which will likely be lead by sophomore Alex Miles.


Steven Duplinsky and Junior Worlds
By Kevin Milsted

Former Georgetown Prep athlete and former Triathlon Junior World Champion Steven Duplinsky competed in the 2006 Junior World Triathlon in Switzerland last weekend. Duplinsky placed 23rd in the world with a finishing time of 1:00:39. Although he could not defend his triathlon title, he was the top USA finisher and he ran the fastest 5k time of any competitor, clocking 15:20 after a 750m swim (10:17) and 20km on the bike (31:50).

In September 2005, Duplinsky won the Junior World Triathlon in Gamagori, Japan with a final time of 55:08. Duplinsky now heads to Stanford University to run cross country this Fall.


Woodward Relays Recap
By Reagan Lynch

Hey there Moco. This Tuesday marked the exciting beginning to the cross country season at the Woodward Relays. Located at Walter Johnson, athletes paired up and alternated miles running three each for a total of six. Wet and muddy conditions slowed down the times as a whole, but made for an exciting day. In the boys race, Walter Johnson pair Chris Moen and Jared Schneider took the individual title while Quince Orchard took the team title. The surprise of the day was certainly the Gaithersburg boys team firmly establishing themselves as a team contender in the county with their second place finish.

For the girls, Blair’s Sinclair twins stormed away from the field for an easy victory, while Good Counsel’s third pair secured first place in a very tight team battle. The top four teams finished within roughly ten points of each other with public schools Walter Johnson, Richard Montgomery, and Quince Orchard taking 2-4. While the girls powerhouses of Northwest, Churchill, and Magruder have not yet made their debut, Moco girls made an impressive showing at the Woodward Relays.

The Novice Race - a 5k run for first years runners only, was dominated by a Dematha athlete who tore away from the field and impressively finished in the mid-17's. The 2nd place finisher and top MoCo finisher was first year runner, junior Greg Toohey of Quince Orchard who clocked 18:40. In 12th place overall was the first female finisher, Appy Spitler, the strong freshman from Gaithersburg who came across the finish line close to 20:00. Despite the less than stellar conditions, the meet marked another excellent start to another excellent season of Montgomery County cross country.




B-CC @ Gaithersburg Preview
By Kevin Milsted

This may look a little familiar to those of you who read the forum. Although my bias may get in the way of me talking about my own former high school (Gaithersburg), allow me to break this one down for you.

So the audience collectively has B-CC boys slated as 5th in the county with Gaithersburg boys in 7th. Despite who you think is the better team, the general consensus is that these are undoubtedly the top two boys teams in MCPS Division II and here they are battling it out in their first dual meet of the season. On Wednesday, September 13th, these two teams will face off in what likely will be the deciding matchup for the Division II crown.

Here is how it will work out.

Chris Bowie and Elias Tousley of B-CC are untouchable. It would be shocking if anyone from Gaithersburg beat them. 3 points for B-CC.

I love the Sam Boimov and Mickey Stepek duo of G-burg, but after watching Dylan Straughan race several times and seeing some of his results, I've concluded that he is a sick talent and will probably finish 3rd in this one. 6 points for B-CC, uh oh.

Then, in my modest opinion, Gaithersburg will put 6 runners in front of B-CC's #4. They have a strong deep pack that not everyone knows about yet. Everyone knows Sam and Mickey are very good. 9 points for Gaithersburg. Then we have some lesser known names that will be very competitive with every other team in the county. Mike Limongelli was one of their top athletes last season and broke his arm before regionals. He should be on par with any other #3 in the county...assuming he is their #3. Paul Riggio really came around as a key member of Gburg's excellent 4x8 last year and yes, it will transfer over to XC. Then the young Vikas who came on late in the XC season last year and quietly posted great freshman track times. Lastly, Luke Reding was also injured most of last XC season and could even be their #3. He's good. I compare this entire pack to last year's QO boys. They have no obvious front runner to replace Ryan Janes, but they have a very solid, dangerous pack. 30 points for Gaithersburg.

Alex Prevost will probably help B-CC later in the season. Based on the Watermelon Scrimmage, I'm under the impression that he is not ready for this one and will slip to 10th. 16 points for B-CC.

One of G-burg's many talented runners will come in before B-CC's #5. 28 points for B-CC.

B-CC 28
Gburg 30

Conclusion: B-CC's top 3 will be the death of Gaithersburg. In a larger race, Gaithersburg has the advantage but it will be tough for any Division II team to beat B-CC in a dual format. If B-CC slips up in this early season race, Gaithersburg will be right there to steal the crown from them.

The B-CC's girls were destroyed by graduation, losing atleast their top 3, maybe even more. They will be led by Katie Caffey and Addie Tousley...which probably doesn't scare anyone. The potential is there, but they have alot of developing to do. Gaithersburg girls return one of the county's top athletes Tara Weiss and are backed by Madeline Montgomery, but their secret weapon is freshman Abby Spitler who was the convincing first female finisher at the Woodward Relays novice race. I'm not sure who has more depth at this point. Gaithersburg has homefield advantage but B-CC has an army from what I saw at the Watermelon Scrimmage. Like the boys race, if Gaithersburg puts 3 infront of B-CC's #1, it won't matter who has more depth because it is probably too late at that point.

It will be an exciting day as these two teams square off at the site of the County Championship!


Whitman @ WJ Preview
By Alex Booth

The storied rivalry between Walter Johnson and Whitman will add a new chapter in the opening dual meet of the season. This matchup features everything from the clash of two top dogs to the emergence of several future stars. The foursome of Chris Moen, Will Palmer, Jared Schneider, and Sam Epstien should set the early pace in the boys race. The favorite has got to be Moen, after two incredible performances already this season at the Watermelon Scrimmage and as the anchor leg of the winning individual team at the Woodward Relays. Not to be forgotten, Palmer will be hot on his tail and will make for an interesting matchup. The combination of the respective 9th and 8th place finishers at last year's 4A State Championship will make for an interesting individual race. The battle after that will be just as exciting as the two seniors Schneider and Epstien attempt to stick with the top 2. Don't be surprised if one or both of these runners dethrone either Moen or Palmer, as neither is far behind. The rest of the boy's race will be a fight between many younger and relatively unknown runners. Dan Miller and Daniel Nowakowski of Whitman and Carlos Moerson of WJ were in the top 5 for their respective teams last season and will be amidst a pack of younger runners from each team. WJ's Brian Graves has shown signs of being one of this year's breakout runners on the county level. Sophomores Anthony Popiel and Roni Teich from WJ and freshmen Andrew Palmer and Brandt Silver-Korn are a few runners to keep an eye on. The race at this point is too close to call, as it will probably come down to the #3-5 for each team.

There may not be as much of a rivalry on the girls side, but this race should be just as close as the boys. Both teams have a strong top 2 and then a host of returning upperclassmen. Freshman Jennifer Spencer of WJ is the biggest variable in this meet, and could very well run away with it. WJ's Stephanie Alberico will also be up in the top pack. Spencer and Alberico will have no easy task with Whitman's top 2 of Morgane Gay and Debbie Isen, who return as two of the county's top distance runners. The battle between the top 2 on each team will be just as exciting if not more exciting than the boys race. Look for the next wave of runners to include WJ's Elizabeth Howcroft, Annmarie Decker, and Cristina Devia along with Whitman's Maureen Golan and Catherine Griffin. Both teams will need their upperclassmen to step up out of the second pack to win the meet. Sarah Shannahan and Sarah Kramer of Whitman are two newcomers to the top seven to keep an eye on. Just as in the boys race, the meet will be won with the 3-5 runners. At this point in the season, it is a toss-up between the two teams due to the uncertianty of each team's 3-5. Both the boys and girls races could go down to the wire and include some big surprises, so stay tuned for the outcome!


Northwest @ QO Preview
By Reagan Lynch

As the divisional meet schedules begin next week, a key division 1 matchup takes place between Northwest and Quince Orchard. Dual meets are the single most unpredictable events of the cross country season. While still too early to tell, this meet, taking place at Quince Orchard, may be one of the determining meets in the race for the girls division championship. Arguably, the strong top three in the county of Emma Eckerstrom, Becca Stinner, and Kathy Aherne seem to give NW the slight advantage, though QO, too, is strong up front led by Cara Harrison, Aimee Moores, and Vie Duncan. Should the battle in the top 6 places come out fairly evenly matched, the battles for the last two scoring spots on each team will decide the meet. Quince Orchard’s Ahn-Chi Do, Maddie Horan, and Audrey Morrow matched up against Hillary Bell and Melinda Nguyen from Northwest may end up deciding this meet.

The boys race will give the NW squad a chance to measure up against QO’s strong pack. While the Quince Orchard team is in all likelihood too strong for Northwest, a good performance would re-establish Northwest as a competitive boys team after losing Raphael Chazelle and Ryan Eickel from the 2005 team. Watch out for David D’Alessio and Managi Biggers to lead the Northwest squad.

Final Analysis:

Northwest girls have the slight edge up front, while the Quince Orchard girls have a slight edge in depth. Meet outcome is too close to call.

Quince Orchard boy’s tight pack will prove to be too strong for Northwest giving QO the win.


Lady Lions Bring Depth to Title Defense
By Dave Brandt

Entering his twenty-sixth year of coaching cross country at St. Andrew’s, head girls’ coach Gary Wyatt is expecting good things this season from his Lion runners and with good reason. Coming off perhaps the greatest season in a quarter century of the running program at the school, Wyatt is fielding a squad deep in talent. The Lady Lions, winners of both the ISL and Small School State championships in 2005, lost only one top 7 runner to graduation (State champion and All-ISL runner Meghan Murphy ’06). Despite the significance of the loss, St. Andrew’s can count on experienced leadership and talented underclassmen as it looks to defend both titles this season.

“Our goal this season is obviously to defend our titles while improving on our finishes at the big invitationals.,” says Wyatt. “Last year we finished second at William & Mary and third at Mercersburg. It would be nice to get higher finishes in both those races. We have good returning talent with the addition of some fine freshmen runners. As long as we stay healthy, it should be a good season.”

Captains Julia Greco and Gie Gie Hart, both standout runners since middle school, enter their senior seasons as the heart and soul of the team. Greco, a three time All-ISL performer, will team up with Hart to lead the Lady Lions this season. Greco, Hart, an All-ISL runner as a sophomore, and sophomore Yaa Addison all earned All-State honors last season. All three runners enter the season in excellent shape.

Sophomore Emily Hatton has shown great improvement over the summer and could challenge for a top three position on the squad. Senior Alex Azzara should be vying for a top five place on the squad as well. Megan and Lisa Nash, both sophomores and varsity runners in 2005, should round out the top 7. According to Wyatt, freshmen Diana Brown and Katherine Weech have shown great promise and could jump into the top 7 as the season moves on.

Having sent ten girls to cross country camp this summer in Vermont, Wyatt believes his harriers are ahead of where they were last season. “The girls ran at Sandy Spring last week and their times were a good thirty seconds to a minute ahead of where they were at this point last season.” says Wyatt. “They trained hard this summer so I think we should see some good results this fall.”

The Lady Lions open their season this Saturday at 9:00 am at the Great Meadows Invite in Plains, Virginia.







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