|Jack Strabo is a man with a mission. The Landon junior showed he meant business today by picking up his fourth invitational win of the season, with a time of 16:56 on the 5-kilometer course. Strabo is in the middle of a breakout season, having lost to only two athletes this season- Solomon Haile of Sherwood and Robert Patterson of DeMatha- and his goal of winning the IAC title is looking more and more obtainable with each race. He is clearly in a league of his own, but that's not to say no one else is worth mentioning.|
The varsity girls' race saw St. Andrews win with a mere 24 points, earning them their fourth consecutive title at the Landon Invitational. They were led by Yaa Addison, who led the race early on as a pack of about six runners followed closely behind. As the pace continued, however, the pack began to dwindle, and by two miles, Addison saw herself followed by only one other runner, Lauren Police of Flint Hill. It wasn't long before Police took over the lead, opening up a ten meter gap on Addison which she never relented for the remainder of the race. The Flint Hill sophomore kicked it home for a winning time of 21:48, four seconds ahead Addison, and twenty-six seconds ahead of third place finisher Nina Roumell of the Bullis School. After that, St. Andrews showed its dominance as a team thanks to Hannah Hastings, Megan and Lisa Nash, Charlotte Kiernan, and Elana Taub placing 4th, 6th, 7th, 10th, and 12th, respectively, giving St. Andrews a huge margin of victory over second place Holy Cross. Speaking of Holy Cross, those hoping for a Chiny Asher sighting were disappointed, as she will apparently be focusing on soccer, not cross country, for the remainder of the season.
As expected, Jack Strabo led from the gun in the boys' varsity race, but that's not to say he wasn't alone. A sizeable chase pack dwindled after the first half-mile, leaving only two runners, Tim Hadley and Tim Vaughan of the Heights School, following closely behind. Jack and the Tims passed through the mile in a relatively pedestrian 5:40, but over the next mile the pace quickened and Vaughan fell off, leaving Strabo with only Hadley to deal with as they passed through two miles together in the 11:30s. Strabo used this opportunity to increase the pace yet again, creating a gap on Hadley that would only grow for the remainder of the race. For the last five minutes, Strabo flew, as he covered the final mile in well under five minutes for a 16:56 win, while Hadley brought home the silver sixteen seconds back in 17:12.
It wasn't a completely unhappy ending for Hadley, though. The Heights eeked out its first major invitational win of the season thanks to strong finishes by Tim Vaughan (3rd), Greg Hadley (5th), Sebastian Lulli (11th), and Phillip Allen (27th) for a total team score of 48, a mere three points ahead of host school Landon.