Montgomery County represented itself well at yesterday’s Maryland Independent School State Championships held at the Glenelg Country School in Ellicot City. Individuals as well as teams from the ISL, WCAC, PVAC, IAC, and MAC came home victorious in the final meet of the season. St. Alban’s Nick Bax, the IAC champion, won the individual title in the boys’ large school race while St. Andrew’s Joe Peterson repeated as the small school individual champion. On the girls’ side, ISL champion Moira Ryan from Georgetown Visitation won the large school race title while Bullis’s Ellie Gass took home the small school title. St. Andrew’s, for the third time in three years, won the boys and girls’ team titles in both the varsity and junior varsity races. WCAC champions Good Counsel won the girls’ large school title.
St. Alban’s Nick Bax capped off a stellar season by winning the boys’ overall race. In a race that featured 23 large and small teams racing against one another, Bax beat 155 runners to the finish line. Challenged nearly the whole way by MIAA champion Robert Wetzel of Archbishop Spalding, Bax used a strong kick to beat Wetzel by ten seconds to finish the 5,000 meter course in 16:14. Georgetown Prep’s Mat Abernethy had another strong race to finish sixth overall. Bax’s teammate Brian Rooney, Gonzaga’s Tom Kelly, St. Andrew’s Joe Peterson, the PVAC champion runner-up Ollie St. John of Edmund Burke, and Georgetown Day School’s James Moss finished ninth through thirteenth respectively to give Montgomery County runners a strong showing. IAC champs St. Alban’s finished third overall in the large school team race behind MIAA schools Calvert Hall and Archbishop Spalding while Gonzaga and Good Counsel finished fourth and fifth.
In the small school boys’ race, Joe Peterson led St. Andrew’s to the team title with help from his teammate Dylan Thayer, who finished ninth overall of the small school competitors. Peterson, who had finished third at the MAC league, beat off a challenge from Edmund Burke’s Ollie St. John to win the individual title for the second time in two years. The Heights put up a serious fight with St. Andrew’s through the first two miles of the race to finish as small-school runner-ups. The Heights was led by medalist performances from Timothy Hadley (5th) and Matthew Sushinsky (6th). Bullis also got strong medalist efforts from Teddy Funger (8th) and Jesse Overall (10th).
WCAC champion Nora McCall and her teammate Beth Conlon’s fourth and fifth place finishes brought home the team title to Good Counsel in the girls’ large school race. Good Counsel’s ability to put its top four runners in the top fifteen of the race gave it the edge to beat ISL champions the National Cathedral School by a score of 53 to 83. The ISL got great performances from individual champion Moira Ryan who controlled the race the entire way to win by six seconds in 20:06. In addition, Sidwell’s Lauren Lewis (8th), Georgetown Day’s Sally Marx (9th), and Molly Pritchard of National Cathedral (10th) all cracked the top ten to win medals.
The St. Andrew’s girls won their third straight small school title by staying close to one another the entire race. A little more than one minute separated the Lions’ top five runners. Lisa Nash (3rd), Gie Gie Hart (4th), Yaa Addison (5th) Julia Greco (6th), Megan Nash (7th) and Alex Azzara (10th) all medaled for the Lions to help in the victorious cause. Small school individual winner Ellie Gass and her teammate Sara Putterman (2nd) helped Bullis to a strong second place finish.