On the second day of classes for Montgomery County Public Schools, The Sandy Spring Friends School held its annual preseason cross country meet on the school's campus. With irregular August temperatures and a much needed overcast, it was a perfect day for one of the first meets of the 2008 season. Teams rocking the customary short shorts and hair ties on this day were Blake, Good Counsel, Holton Arms, St. Andrews, Glenelg (which I realized during the meet is a palindrome*), The Heights, Landon, and the Wildabeests of Sandy Spring. From the gun, it was obvious that the front runners of each gender would not be touched. Jack Strabo of Landon led from the wire, cruising through splits of 5, 10:48, and 16:56 for the win. He seemed to have had more left...or at least enough to spell out his name to me immediately after he finished. The same happened with Maeve Ricaurte of Glenelg as she hit splits of 5:50, 12:55, and 20:15. According to an anonymous father figure, she went into the race "cold", though you couldn't tell with the amount of smiling she did throughout the race. The private power house that is the Good Counsel Boys packed it up through the first 2 miles and only started to spread out in the last half mile or so. Their top 4 were all under 18 minutes with the 5th finisher running an 18:12. All around, a good opening meet to show who's at the top, what needs to be improved, and who has to bring the necessary post race snacks and goodies to the next meet.
*a word spelled the same forwards as it is backwards; can be found on the SAT