Fun Stuff


By: Kevin Milsted


Georgetown Prep has a cross country team that is loaded with talent, yet plagued with issues. Ramsey Chapin spent the summer working through mononucleosis. Carl Dennis dealt with hamstring issues throughout the season. Phillip Williams has a history of passing out.

OK - maybe that last one was an exaggeration.

The point is that everything needed to work out perfectly in order for Georgetown Prep to have any chance at winning this year's IAC cross country title. This was one of two things going through Williams' mind as he slowed to nearly a walk coming down the final stretch. The other thing going through his mind was the time that he passed out and did not finish his very first cross country race at the beginning of the season. He wasn't going to let that happen again. He stumbled across the finish in 8th place and fell to the ground. Race volunteers assisted him as he laid there for minutes, but nothing could change the fact that he was the fourth All-Conference runner from Georgetown Prep.

St. Albans put six runners in front of Georgetown Prep's fifth, but it wasn't enough to overcome Prep's dominance up front. Georgetown Prep won 42 to 45 over St. Albans. Williams was fine by the time the awards ceremony rolled around and joined his teammates in celebration of their victory.

Leading the IAC race was Landon junior Jack Strabo, Episcopal's Reid Nickle, and Georgetown Prep's Ramsey Chapin. The three were able to separate from the rest of the field by the first mile, which they came through in just under five minutes.

The second mile was tougher and slower. All three runners remained together until the final half mile of the race. Strabo laid it all on the line and began to pull away. He admits that he was worried that the others would catch him, but kept telling himself that he had worked too hard to let anyone else win. It turned out that he didn't have much to worry about. He had created a sizeable gap over Nickle and ran to his first individual IAC title in a time of 16:06, twelve seconds ahead of Nickle.

It was the goal Strabo had been shooting for all season and arguably his biggest accomplishment to date. He plans to finish out his season with races at the Private Schools State Meet, the Battle of the Potomac, and possibly the Footlocker or Nike XC Regional Meet.


The Sidwell Friends boys team placed five runners in the top ten to win decisively with 26 points. The St. Andrews boys had broken up Sidwell's pack early in the race, but the runners from Sidwell showed great strength over the back half of the course.

Leading the way for Sidwell was the race winner John McGowan. Most people, McGowan included, expected another fierce duel between the Sidwell star and Campbell Ross from Potomac, but after running the first mile in just over 4:50, Ross had already fallen off the pace. McGowan continued to pull away throughout the race. He often looked over his shoulder to reassure himself that no one was gaining on him. Indeed, he was all alone for the final mile. He cruised to victory in 15:53. Ross was second in 16:17.


To no one's surprise, Potomac's Anneka Wilson had another dominating performance and won her second consecutive ISL title. What was more unexpected was that she ran one second faster than her time on the same course a week earlier at the Georgetown Prep Classic under much more difficult conditions. Just as the ISL Championship race began, the wind and rain picked up to make for the worst conditions of the day. Running all by herself against the wind and the rain, she charged around the fields for the win in 17:44.

Nearly two minutes after Wilson finished, National Cathedral's Lottie Hedden crossed the line in 19:44. It was a second place performance that may have won the ISL in previous years, showing just how rapidly she has improved over the last few weeks. Her finish helped her team to its third consecutive ISL title. NCS had five runners in the top 17.


2008-10-25 20:07:33

STA will be back next year. Well done Prep, but I don't think that anyone doubts that the IAC result was a fluke. St. Albans remains the stronger team. Congratulations also to Sidwell and NCS.

2008-10-25 20:32:17

stop being a sore loser

2008-10-25 20:42:06

I disagree. I think Georgetown Prep's top four are very talented and could easily do this again. They have just had trouble putting it together so far. As for next year, Prep is going to be rebuilding for sure, and St. Albans is looking mighty good.

2008-10-25 23:50:08

It worked out exactly as someone had commented about the preseason IAC article: St. Albans didn't have the frontrunners or the depth to beat Prep this year. Prep's 3-4-5 men ran a a fine last mile to put the race away. But things look bleak for Prep in the future except for freshman Andrew Gyenis. Prep's juniors who were so good two years ago as freshmen haven't improved at all. St. Albans' depth and superior coaching under Jim Ehrenhaft make them a threat every year and consistently one of the finest cross-country programs in the area. Prep has the better track program since Greg Dunston took over: just look at what he has done with Chapin and Dennis.

2008-10-26 16:52:15

What do you mean the Prep juniors haven't gotten better? Anthony Warfield, Nick Ashur, and Nick McGuire have all come down to low 18s and high 17s from the mid to high 19s. Expect all three to run near 17 flat next year to complement Gyenis.

2008-10-26 17:08:06

Drewyer and Ashur were 7th and 11th as freshman. Haven't improved since then.

2008-10-26 17:19:44

The IAC has improved a lot since then. Ashur was actually 15th in that race in a time of 19:12. Sure Drewyer hasn't improved, but runners like Warfield and Ashur haven't gotten much closer to St. ALbans runners such as Francis Thumpassery.

2008-10-26 17:20:52

typo- Wafield and Ashur have gotten much closer to Thumpassery

2008-10-26 20:59:44

Thumpasery just had a very bad day at IAC's - look at the results from the Prep Classic one week earlier on the exact same course: Thumpasery - 16:39 Ashur - 17:43 Warfield - 17:54 for context, some further numbers from the Classic: Williams - 16:56 Gyenis - 16:57 Please do not make ignorant comments without looking at all of the numbers. Ashur and Warfield do not compare when any meaningful analysis is used.

2008-10-26 21:23:45

Agreed. Private school meet on the 9th should settle that issue. St. Albans had been much more consistent throughout the season than Prep. The larger field in that meet probably puts more men ahead of Prep's 5th man, even if the 2 teams run the same as in IAC's. And it won't be on Prep's home course.

2008-10-26 21:35:45

Great article. Bill Wooden has done a terrific job bringing along his sophomore and freshman phenoms. They may be the team to watch in the next few years. Do they have any good middle school boys to follow?

2008-10-26 21:52:14

Hey, guy talking about Thumpassery. You should check your facts. The course wasn't exactly the same. Last week it was 3.07 miles. At IACs they changed the start and made the straightaway before the turn to the finish longer to make it a full 5k, which is why most of the times were slower.

2008-10-26 21:56:57

rain probably slowed the times even more

2008-10-26 22:10:12

Different course lengths irrelevant to the argument that Thumpassery didn't run as well as at Classic visa-vis Prep runners.

2008-10-26 23:53:06

This was NCS's 3rd team title, not 4th.

2008-10-27 14:21:53

Big advantage for St.Albans is a very successful middle school program. Whoever brought up Dunston: look out if he ever takes over Prep's xc program also.

2008-10-27 21:34:03

After Watching the start of the Varsity race, all of the STA guys seem to fall. Actually, they do fall, but thats besde the point. Why didn't the official restart the race. It seemed like an unfair advantage that the other schools had, and for prep it was enough to seal the IAC. Also, who is to blame for the fall, STA or SSSA or Landon.

2008-10-28 06:03:13

Starter should definitely have recalled the IAC start. Looks like Chapin cut sharply from right to left causing the fall. Probably because start was changed to protect new grass at end of football practice field.

2008-10-28 07:30:08

Nickle's 2nd place finish ahead of Chapin is interesting as reports circulated Saturday morning that he had been sick with respiratory problems for several days and even spent one night in the hospital earlier in the week. One Episcopal parent said he was not released by doctors to run until early Saturday morning.

2008-10-28 11:50:23

What a great run by Wilson in the ISL race--an amazing effort especially considering she was all alone out there. Congrats to NCS as well--five runners in the top 17!

2008-11-08 17:54:31

BTW, St. Albans kid on top, u guys lost to prep in metros... and prep got pretty close to us (Calvert hall) and they are a much smaller school than most others that close by. hats off to prep.. and us haha jk

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