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Preseason Poll Results
By: Kevin Milsted

Montgomery County Championship Poll

Between March 23 and March 30, conducted an open online poll to find out the preseason fan favorites. Participants were instructed to select their favorites in each event and rank the top teams for the outdoor county championship meet. 119 valid submissions were collected, although voters were not required to vote for every category.

Below you will find the results. The county champion favorites are listed with the percentage of people that voted for them.

Event Name, School % Name, School %
100m Dash Avery Graham, Clarksburg 33.7 Olivia Ekpone, Wootton 85.6
110/100m Hurdles Tyler Jackson, RM 73.2 Olivia Durr, Poolesville 55.2
200m Brendan Etzel, RM 69.2 Olivia Ekpone, Wootton 80.9
400m Wil Zahorodny, Damascus 51.9 Olivia Ekpone, Wootton 68.7
800m Chris Moen, WJ 51.4 Morgane Gay, Whitman 34.1
1600m Solomon Haile, Sherwood 45.2 Morgane Gay, Whitman 50.6
3200m Solomon Haile, Sherwood 70.9 Louise Hannallah, Churchill 64.0
300m Hurdles Tyler Jackson, RM 55.8 Olivia Durr, Poolesville 58.1
4x100 Blair 45.0 Wootton 41.7
4x200 Blair 47.0 Wootton 43.0
4x400 Blair 44.0 Churchill 36.7
4x800 Quince Orchard 67.3 Churchill 61.4
High Jump Owen Cain, Gaithersburg 38.0 Vanessa Jules, Paint Branch 46.3
Long Jump Alonzo Evans-Chase, RM 32.3 Suzanne Falk, Wootton
Arielle Statham, Paint Branch
Triple Jump Ian Francis, WJ 41.8 Arielle Statham, Paint Branch 37.2
Shot Put Sean Stanley, Gaithersburg 69.1 Arleigh Rose, Sherwood 46.8
Discus Sean Stanley, Gaithersburg 68.8 Arleigh Rose, Sherwood 53.2
Pole Vault Artem Panasenkov, QO 38.5 Liz Calhoun, Wootton 42.5
Top Scorer Wil Zahorodny, Damascus 32.3 Olivia Ekpone, Wootton 72.3
Rk Boys School Poll Points Rk Girls School Poll Points
1 Quince Orchard 420 1 Churchill 415
2 R. Montgomery 392 2 Wootton 402
3 Damascus 295 3 Whitman 300
4 Gaithersburg 282 4 Paint Branch 228
5 Blair 246 5 Poolesville 166
6 Clarksburg 196 6 B-CC 163
7 Walter Johnson 113 7 Northwest 145
8 Sherwood 104 8 Damascus 138
9 B-CC 101 9 Gaithersburg 134
10 Paint Branch 87 10 Walter Johnson 82

Rk Boys School Poll Points Indoor County Finish
1 Quince Orchard 420 2
The Quince Orchard Cougars have never won a track & field county title, but after winning the 2008 indoor 4A state title this winter, Montgomery County fans expect them to be the team to beat outdoors. Neal Darmody is one of the biggest point scorers in the county, but will also be joined by strong athletes in the sprints, distance, hurdles, and throws.
2 R. Montgomery 392 1
Despite winning the last three indoor county titles and the last two outdoor county titles, Montgomery County fans are sensing a lack of depth from this year's team. For the first time in a long time, they are not considered the team to beat in Montgomery County, but they may just thrive off of that.
3 Damascus 295 4
Despite losing state champion high jumper Ryan Mullsteff, Montgomery County fans are counting on the well-rounded Damascus team to continue its rapid improvement behind the leadership of versatile star runner Wil Zahorodny.
4 Gaithersburg 282 3
Gaithersburg will be in the hunt for the county title behind the triumvirate of Antonio Palmer, Sean Stanley, and Owen Cain. Much will depend on who else steps up to contribute outdoors. They always find someone to surprise people.
5 Blair 246 6
Blair is expected to be the dominant sprinting school in Montgomery County this year. Louis Varella, Jonathan Haughton, Mohamad Mansaray, and Nilan Schnure will lead the way, but their overall success is dependent on their depth.
6 Clarksburg 196 5
Clarksburg is one of the most rapidly improving teams in the county (and state) and are led by the renaissance man and two-event state champ Avery Graham. Ranked 6th by Montgomery County, they are still within reach of that #1 spot, especially if their whole team makes it through the season healthy.
7 Walter Johnson 113 8
The county anxiously awaits what Chris Moen will do in his final high school track season. With the help of Moen, Brian Graves, Ian Francis, and a killer 4x8 relay, WJ is a good bet for a top ten spot.
8 Sherwood 104 12
National 5000-meter champion Solomon Haile immediately boosts Sherwood into the top 10 in Montgomery County. By the way, Russell Speiden and Kyle Balderson were two of the best in the county before Haile came along this winter.
9 B-CC 101 9
One of the best distance running schools in the state will be back at full strength this spring. Expect B-CC to score big in the distance events, but any points elsewhere are uncertain at this time.
10 Paint Branch 87 14
All-American sprinter John Jones will be joined by teammate Nicholas South who is just as strong. Other strong young sprinters and jumpers have potential to step up and contribute this season.

Mocorunning's Missing Top-10 Choice: Northwood
Even the Northwood athletes would admit that they were not a great team the last few years, but the first graduating class from Northwood proved indoors that they have enough stars on their squad this year to compete with the best in moco. Giovanni Reumante and Derrick Powell combined for three 2A state titles, and Keenan Woods shattered the indoor triple jump county record.

Rk Girls School Poll Points Indoor County Finish
1 Churchill 415 2
Montgomery County still has faith in the Bulldogs who dominated the previous two outdoor county championship meets. Despite losing to Wootton at counties and states this indoor season, Churchill is one of the most elite teams in the state and are still a favorite for MoCo fans. Katie Wolf, Louise Hannallah, Erin McManus, and Amirah Polite are just a few of the many contributors capable of scoring big at the important meets.
2 Wootton 402 1
Despite being the dominant team in Montgomery County this indoor season, Montgomery County fans are still not convinced. Afterall, their star runner, three-time All-American Olivia Ekpone, can only compete in four of the eighteen events. Jessie Rubin, Veronica Salcido, Suzanne Falk, Liz Calhoun and many others will be out to prove that they are a complete, championship-caliber team.
3 Whitman 300 3
This indoor season showed that Morgane Gay and Leslie Morrison are not invincible, but they should be in great shape come outdoor season. 2008 may be the farewell tour for Montgomery County's favorite middle-distance duo, but there are several freshman waiting in the wings to contribute this year and take over the team next year.
4 Paint Branch 228 4
Arielle Statham and Vanessa Jules make up one of the strongest duos in the county. The points from the two of them combined should be enough for a top 5 spot.
5 Poolesville 166 5
Winning the 1A State Title this indoor season should be a confidence booster for each girl on the team. When they return to competition with the 3A and 4A teams of Montgomery County, it will be a dog fight to return to the top 5 in the county.
6 B-CC 163 6
The surprise of this indoor season was the B-CC girls winning the 3A State Title with three girls. The key to their success, however, will elect to play soccer instead of track this spring. B-CC will use their winter success as motivation to remain near the top teir of the county.
7 Northwest 145 7
Northwest is a strong distance-oriented team this year who did quite well indoors despite not putting too much emphasis on it. Britt Eckerstrom and Kathy Aherne will lead the way.
8 Damascus 138 7
You won't find a superstar on this Damascus girls team. The Zyzak sisters symbolize the versatility of every athlete on their team.
9 Gaithersburg 134 18
Gaithersburg traditionally does not put too much emphasis on indoor track, which hopefully explains their 18th place finish at the indoor county championship. They should have four of the top ten sprinters in the county this spring.
10 Walter Johnson 82 9
Like Damascus, WJ has no real superstars, but will be strong in the sprints, distance, and jumps.

Mocorunning's Missing Top-10 Choice: Richard Montgomery
Richard Montgomery's 17th place finish at the indoor county championship was not very promising, but a more focused squad this spring gives them a good shot for a top ten finish. A few key members will rejoin the team this spring, and sprinter Rianne Webb hopes to return to her 25 second 200-meter form.


2008-04-02 08:15:55

malone malone malone malone malone

wootton fan
2008-04-06 19:45:26

Wootton girls should be able to win the outdoor county title. You have Olivia Ekpone in the dashes and on a relay, Suzanne and Katie Falk in the relays and jumps, Liz Calhoun in the pole vault, and Jessie Rubin and Veronica Salcido in the longer distances. Also, theres Cally Deppen and Maya Walsh who run beastly legs in the shorter distances on the 4x1 and 4x2 realys. There are also good 4x1, 4x2, 4x4, and 4x8 relays that the girls should be able go get points in. There is no doubt in my mind that the Wootton girls can pull off another county title this year. Good Luck Wootton Patriots!!!

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