Fun Stuff


Octoberfest Recap
By: Kevin Milsted

It was no coincidence that Sherwood's Jackson Reams ran alongside Walter Johnson's Sean O'Leary for most of the race. Reams was feeling around for his Maryland competition within the race, and when O'Leary brushed by him in the first mile, he had found his man. He stuck with him until he felt it was time to go, and once he broke away, the race within the race was not much of a race at all. Reams finished 7th in 16:09, another impressive personal best. O'Leary was 17th in 16:23.

Reams remains undefeated against Montgomery County competition this year. His improvement from last year continues to astound running fans. Below is a table comparing his times from last year and this year on identical courses.

2008 Magruder Invitational 18:23 2009 Magruder Invitational 16:29
2008 Oatlands Invitational 18:02 2009 Oatlands Invitational 16:17
2008 Octoberfest Invitational 17:32 2009 Octoberfest Invitational 16:09
2008 County Championship 17:13 2009 County Championship ?
2008 State Championship 17:51 2009 State Championship ?

Reams had no way of knowing that beating the Walter Johnson boys on this day was not all it was cracked up to be. Silent frowns and hanging heads were obvious signs of disappointment from the WJ camp, but the members of the team didn't use the word "disappointment" to describe their performance. They instead used stronger words like "embarrassment," "fell apart," and "implosion."

Coach Tom Martin put it bluntly, "This was their first major test of the season and they failed."

The runners could offer no explanation as to why they ran poorly. They had two easy days leading up to this race. No one was sick or injured. No one fell down or was spiked during the race. The runners could only offer up themselves to blame, but they will need some time to figure out just where it all went wrong.

Nicholas Regan actually had perhaps his best race ever, finishing second on the team in 16:37, but the somber mood did not allow for any individual celebration. Walter Johnson's strength comes from the ability of Ishan Dey and Alex Willett to stick with Sean O'Leary, and that never came close to happening.

In the early minutes of the race, O'Leary assumed a position in the top ten, but no other Walter Johnson runner was in the top fifty. With Dey and Willett out of sync and dependable fifth man Josh Ellis even further out of the race, the team would never recover. Dey finished 20 seconds behind O'Leary. Willett was 45 seconds back. They finished fourth with 254 points.

Martin said that the objective of this meet was not necessarily to win the race, but he expected to see O'Leary, Willett, and Dey running together near the front of the race as they have done all season, with Regan and Ellis as close as they could get. It didn't happen, but they are going to get back to work. He added that by the end of the season, it might be better that they faltered today and that any complacency that he sensed during workouts would not exist any longer.

Mountain View won the boys race with an incredible 12 second spread between its first and sixth runner. They all finished between 16:26 and 16:38. Grassfield High School and Gonzaga High School took second and third place. Yazid Zouaimia of Centerville High School held off a fast charging John McGowan of Sidwell Friends to take the win in 15:45.

Contrasting the dejected mood on the WJ boys team, some of the Walter Johnson girls were more than satisfied with their performance. Three girls ran under 20 minutes including Anna Bosse who finished 9th in 19:03. Camille Bouvet broke 20 for the first time to finish second on the team and Willett rounded out the top three. Jennifer Spencer had a good race to take the fourth spot, but minutes passed before their fifth runner came in. The team's lack of a strong #5 runner killed them in the team standings. Through four runners, Walter Johnson was in fourth place. They finished ninth with 343 points.

Kaitlyn Davis of Mountain View outkicked Katherine Walker of Brooke Point to win the race in 18:09. West Potomac High School won the girls' title.


2009-10-03 16:28:57

in all this is being lost the fact that a 'disaster' of a race for wj meant finishing fourth behind three of the best teams in the area, none of them from maryland. It's a huge stretch to say that this suddenly makes them beatable at the state level.

YOUR name
2009-10-03 16:42:54

yes but teams like Dmass RM Curchill will look at this and see that it IS possible to take down WJ.

2009-10-03 17:18:08

props to Mountain view, grassfield, and gonzaga. hopefully these 4 teams race again later in the season

Dave W
2009-10-04 15:47:22

KP --- Nice write-up on Octoberfest. For MD fans, this meet is usually set up for fast times, as it's the last time the grass is cut short at the Great Meadows course. About a mile + of this course is included in the VA State XC Championship course. **I owe you some tees; had to run to Salesianum in DE

2009-10-05 08:14:43

It was an awesome day all around. The drama surrounding top teams will continue this season and I truly believe that the team titles at Prep and Private School State Champs are up for grabs. STA, Gonzaga and WJ will meet on the 17th at Prep Classic and you can expect another battle in early November. Individual honors should be hard fought as well. i don't doubt that Ledder will be back to fight again, the kid is too talented..

Contribute to the Discussion
- Add A Comment

Email | About