Fun Stuff


Preseason Poll Results - Girls
By: Kevin Milsted
2009-09-03 conducted an open online poll between August 18 and August 30 for anyone to rank their top athletes in the county. 72 valid girls individual votes were collected and tabulated to form the ranking you see below.

10. Stephanie Joson - Quince Orchard 2010

Poll Points: 90
2008 County Finish: 15
2008 4A West Region Finish: 10
2008 4A State Finish: 15

Stephanie Joson finished in the top fifteen at the Montgomery County championship meet the last two years. Now she will be the leader on a younger QO girls team. She finished second in the 3200 at the indoor county meet last spring in 12:00 and has a personal best of 11:50.

9. Shayna Barbash - Whitman 2010

Poll Points: 170
2008 County Finish: 6
2008 4A West Region Finish: 7
2008 4A State Finish: 8

Shayna Barbash was running with the leaders at last year's county xc championship until the final stretch when her kick placed her sixth in 18:56 in the middle of a tight pack. She quietly got her track times down to 5:23 and 11:29 last spring.

8. Alexandra Giedd - Churchill 2010

Poll Points: 224
2008 County Finish: 10
2008 4A West Region Finish: 16
2008 4A State Finish: 46

In her final three 3200 races on the track last spring, Alex Giedd dropped her personal best from 11:43 to 11:35 to 11:24 to 11:19. The 11:19 placed her second in the state. We can assume that she peaked perfectly and that she was just beginning to realize her potential.

7. Anna Ryba - Whitman 2012

Poll Points: 227
2008 County Finish: 11
2008 4A West Region Finish: 8
2008 4A State Finish: 5

The county championship was probably not her best race last cross country season, but after finishing fifth at the state meet as a freshman, she has to be thinking about a state title somewhere down the line. She ran 5:28 and 11:34 on the track.

6. Maryam Fikri - Churchill 2010

Poll Points: 292
2008 County Finish: 9
2008 4A West Region Finish: 9
2008 4A State Finish: 10

Maryam Fikri has been steady as a rock since her freshman year of cross country. She reportedly put in a good work load this summer to make something happen in her senior year. She got her track times down to 2:19 and 5:12 last year.

T-4. Alyssa Henshaw - Northwest 2010

Poll Points: 366
2008 County Finish: 3
2008 4A West Region Finish: 3
2008 4A State Finish: 11

Alyssa Henshaw and Abby Spitler flip-flopped for fourth place in this poll every time the votes were added up. After the very last vote was counted, it was a dead tie. Henshaw was third at last year's county meet and there's no reason to think she can't do better. She was superwoman on the track last spring, setting personal bests in the 800, 1600, 3200 (2:20, 5:15, 11:31) and helping Northwest win the 4x400 state title.

T-4. Abby Spitler - Gaithersburg 2010

Poll Points: 366
2008 County Finish: 4
2008 4A West Region Finish: 4
2008 4A State Finish: 6

Abby Spitler got her track times down to 5:21 and 11:28 last spring, but she has and perhaps always will have a reputation as being better in cross country than on the track. She won multiple early season invitationals last year before finishing top ten in the three championship meets.

3. Britt Eckerstrom - Northwest 2011

Poll Points: 558
2008 County Finish: 1
2008 4A West Region Finish: 2
2008 4A State Finish: 3

Britt Eckerstrom is the defending county champion, but not too many fans are giving her a chance to repeat. Perhaps it is because she looked more like a sprint star than a distance runner on the track, failing to qualify for the state meet in the 3200 but splitting 58 seconds to help her team win the state title in the 4x400. Whichever Britt Eckerstrom we see this fall, she still has PR's of 11:11 and 18:01 in the 3200 and 5k.

2. Anna Bosse - Walter Johnson 2011

Poll Points: 572
2008 County Finish: 5
2008 4A West Region Finish: 1
2008 4A State Finish: 1

Anna Bosse surprised most fans when she won the region and state titles last fall. After an injury in the winter, she struggled to return to dominant form in the spring but still qualified for the state meet in the 3200 with a PR of 11:40. With a full summer of injury-free conditioning, she will be poised to defend her state title in the end, and hopefully contend for the county title along the way.

1. Jessie Rubin - Wootton 2010

Poll Points: 596
2008 County Finish: 8
2008 4A West Region Finish: 5
2008 4A State Finish: DNF

Jessie Rubin did not finish out last cross country season the way she may have wanted, collapsing in the final stretch of the state championship race, but she trained through the winter with no racing and came out stronger than ever in the spring. In fact, she came out stronger than almost any distance runner to come through the county in over ten years. She easily won county and region titles in the 1600 and 3200. At the state meet, she helped her 4x800 relay win the state title, and hours later, won the 3200 by sixteen second in 11:03. The following day she placed second in the 1600 in a personal best 5:03. She has not won any major championship titles in cross country, but must be considered the favorite heading into the season after her dominance on the track last spring. She received 34 of 72 first place votes in this poll.

Tie Breaker: The tie breaker question asked the voters to predict the winning girls time at the county championship meet regardless of who they thought would win. The average answer for the girls was 18:26.


2009-09-03 21:59:50

Andrea Maxwell of Wootton can definitely get top 10

2009-09-04 11:47:12

I agree, looking back at the results, she got 13th last year at counties so she could definetly make top ten

2009-09-04 12:51:10

better pay attention there will be surprises

2009-09-05 17:12:59

shayna barbash and anna ryba deserve to be higher on the list

2009-09-19 13:55:13

anna ryba should be higher.

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