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3A Team State Preview
By: Kevin Milsted
webmaster@mocorunning.com
2008-11-06


3A GIRLS

Damascus Girls
County Finish: 3rd
Region Finish: 1st
State Prediction: 3rd

Taylor Colbert, 2009 Janna Domico, 2009 Alexandra Carroll, 2011 Emily McIlvried, 2010 Megan Patton, 2009 Chelsey McMinn, 2010 Karly Najaka, 2012 Megan Dutchess, 2010


The Damascus varsity girls team is a mix of rookies and veterans with every grade from ninth to twelfth. Coaching such an eclectic group of runners requires special consideration, especially with the horror stories surrounding the difficulty of the Hereford course.

Says Coach Robert Youngblood, "Hereford is no more difficult than Watkins Mill. [The young girls] hear the stories, but I counter them."

When they visited the course this past week, the team came in from the back and looked at "the good parts" of the course first. After seeing the back section of the course which includes "the maze," the team saw the dip and was not intimidated.

The Damascus girls get their confidence from knowing that one of their teammates is never far away. They won every race they ran prior to the Manhattan Invitational this year thanks to a very tight pack of five runners that travels right in the thick of the race. Their strategy for the state meet is to run as a pack exactly as they have done all year. A top five finish (if not a state title) should result, but Youngblood says that they have not talked about a state title. They are simply excited to be competing at the state meet.

B-CC Girls
County Finish: 7th
Region Finish: 2nd
State Prediction: 7th

Addie Tousley, 2009 Kate Bouvatte, 2009 Ava Farrell, 2012 Kate Lueba, 2010 Naomi Roochnick 2009 Darcy O'Connor, 2010 Claire Cohen, 2012


The depth of the B-CC girls team has been surprising this year. Despite only two members from last year's third place regional team making the top seven this year, their average team time improved by over a minute from a year ago on the same course. After improving on last year's county and regional finish, expect them to greatly improve on last year's 13th place state finish.

What should not surprise anyone is that Addie Tousley is running fast at the right time. After a monster personal record of 18:44 at the Montgomery County Championship, she made a wrong turn at the regional meet and still won her second consecutive regional title with ease. Young says that she has been running with a confidence that shows she wants to win and is confident in her ability to win. In her senior year, she is the cornerstone of her team.

Addie Tousley is mocorunning.com's pick to win the individual 3A state title.

Einstein Girls
County Finish: 12th
Region Finish: 4th
State Prediction: 13th

Yodit Solomon, 2011 Ariam Solomon 2011 Sisi Reid, 2010 Tracy Morales, 2012 Sarah Hyman, 2009 Xena Dreyfuss, 2011 Mary Claire Erskine, 2009


Last year, the Einstein boys qualified for the state meet for the first time in decades. This year the Einstein girls made that same leap. Despite the momentum they are gaining, Coach Eric DaSilva still regularly works on the confidence of his runners to help them believe that they can run at the highest level.

"We are continuing to focus our attention on getting out and believing that we can run with the best teams and the best runners."

The Solomon twins and freshman Tracy Morales have been an outstanding compliment to long time running junior Sisi Reid. Expect Einstein to be more than just a back of the pack team in this break out year for the Titans.

3A BOYS

Damascus Boys
County Finish: 6th
Region Finish: 1st
State Prediction: 2nd

Thomas Arias, 2010 Cecil Jonas, 2010 Charlie Ramirez, 2011 Ben Contantinides, 2010 Alex Arias, 2011 Jon Constantinides, 2010 Lorenzo Acosta, 2012


Similar to the girls team, the Damascus boys won their first regional title in years thanks to a focus on pack running as opposed to individuals. Youngblood explains that it is their 1-6 time spread, not 1-5, that is key to their success.

"We want our 6th runner near our fifth runner with the other teams' 4th," explains Youngblood.

Despite losing their star runner Wil Zahorodny, the Damascus pack led by Thomas Arias should improve on last year's fifth place finish. Atholton will be tough to beat with their two big guns and strong back up pack, but Damascus should be able to pack it in in front of the other teams. They could be anywhere from 1st to 5th depending on where their pack lands.

B-CC Boys
County Finish: 8th
Region Finish: 2nd
State Prediction: 7th

Eric Damtoft, 2010 Eliot Gerson, 2011 Matt Davey-Karlson, 2009 Andrew Finkelstein, 2009 Nikolas Theiss, 2009 Thomas Erickson, 2009 Chris Henderson, 2010


This week has been very status quo for the defending 3A State Champions.

Says Young, "We really try to keep things simple the week before big meets. We keep the same routine at practice and our workouts are assigned very similarly to how they are the entire season to make it feel like it's just another week."

The B-CC boys team is not as loaded as it was last year, but Young says they are shooting to win the state title anyways.

"I know that seems very matter of fact, but this sport is very simple, run fast."

Expect an improved performance from the regional meet with junior Eric Damtoft running well and senior Matt Davey-Karlson possibly bouncing back, but B-CC will need more than they have had lately just to crack back into the top five this year.

Einstein Boys
County Finish: 13th
Region Finish: 4th
State Prediction: 11th

Dawit Zewdie, 2009 Alex Hevey, 2012 Benjamin Rivers, 2010 Milo Johnson, 2011 Andrew Ceruzzi, 2011 Noah Tondari, 2012 Ziv Dreyfuss, 2011


The Einstein boys eased into the state championship for the second consecutive year despite graduating their strong top two duo from last year. They are a young team with only one senior. With that youth comes inconsistency and a lot of untapped potential.

Says Dasilva, "I really want to see the boys put a race together where everyone maxes out. Iíve yet to see it this season."

If that happens, a top ten finish could be possible. DaSilva works up an individual race plan for each of his runners with a common thread of "belief." Each runner must believe that he can do what is necessary to succeed individually and as a team.

Paint Branch Boys
County Finish: 19th
Region Finish: 6th
State Prediction: 19th

Hayder Cherinet, 2011 Fernando Herrera, 2009 Patrick Kind, 2009 Daniel Gregoire, 2009 Michael Kunz, 2010 Alec Stewart, 2012 Jeffery Keane, 2011 Michael Noyes, 2009


What set Paint Branch apart from the rest of the 3A West Region is their #1 runner Hayder Cherinet, whose 12th place finish was nearly two minutes ahead of their #2 runner. Just a sophomore, he only joined the Paint Branch program during outdoor track last spring, but has made all the difference for his cross country team.

"Oh it means so much to me my team, my coaches, even our school. To represent Paint Branch at states this year is a wonderful feeling knowing that it has been a while since we qualified as a team, and we are looking forward to running at states and giving it all we got."

The Paint Branch boys have not qualified for the cross country state meet since 2004 where they finished 21st out of 21 teams. They hope to stay out of the basement and finish in the top half of the 3A field at this year's meet.





Article Comments - Add A Comment

NameComment

Anonymous
2008-11-07 13:39:59

Go PB! Represent the Alums.

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