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Woodward Relays Recap
By: Kevin Milsted

"We have a little bit of depth."

It was the understatement of the season after Steve Hays watched his Whitman girls team put all six pairs of girls in the top fifteen. All twelve girls accepted awards at the awards ceremony.

"We still have work to do."

The Whitman girls demonstrated unmatched team depth at the Woodward Relays on a hot and sunny Tuesday afternoon. The 6xmile relay suited Whitman well because the top three pairs of runners scored points, making the #6 girl on the team more valuable than usual. Though it only takes five girls to score in a typical cross country race, this performance came just three days after they proved that their depth can sting anybody having an off day, including the county favorite Northwest girls team.

The second place Sherwood girls team is making itself into a strong pack team as opposed to a large and deep team like Whitman. While their roster size is small, Coach Dan Reeks reminded me of a workout that I witnessed in the preseason in which a pack of five girls worked together and finished the workout ahead of the prescribed pace in a tight pack. He explained that the team trains every day in a similar way.

The Walter Johnson girls are expected to be strong this year, but Coach Tom Martin is working with a very different team than the Whitman team.

"We don't have much depth," Martin explained.

And with two of the team's top five girls missing, WJ did not really stand a chance at winning the meet.

A year ago, the WJ girls mixed and matched their top six runners for the highest possible team finish and the result was a team victory. At the time, Camille Bouvet was the number three runner on the team behind Anna Bosse and Jenna Willett, but the pair of Bouvet and Bosse won the relay race in 39:22.

This year, Bosse and Bouvet are clearly the top two runners on the team and two of the very best in Montgomery County. With two other varsity runners out and no shot at the team title, Bouvet and Bosse were once again teamed up to go after the repeat victory. It was no competition as Bouvet had a lead after the first lap in about 6:30. Bosse never had an opponent to compete with except for the runners that she lapped.

Don't let the artificial grass and flat start fool you. The one mile loop around the golf course on the Georgetown Prep campus was absolutely brutal. Save for Hereford High School, this may be the most challenging course that many of the athletes compete on this year.

Beyond the view of most spectators, athletes make a sharp turn, drop down a steep hill and cross a bouncey wooden bridge before climbing a monster hill in the first quarter mile. Despite a lack of rain in the last week, muddy patches persisted on the steep ascent. Runners were offered little relief by a twenty foot downhill before climbing another sharp hill. Rolling hills and imperfect footing persisted over the middle section of the course before athletes returned to the starting area. Artificial grass, a lawn sprinkler, and an enthusiastic crowd greeted the runners as they approached the exchange zone. They must have been thinking, "These parents have no idea what I just went through."

Multiply that times three.

Leave it to Greg Dunston to tweak things. Dunston incorporated the monster hill into this year's Woodward Relays course and says that there will be changes to the course for the Georgetown Prep Cross Country Classic.

Sidwell Friends's John McGowan is flying under the radar on the national scene. Dyestat....errrr, ESPN Rise has not mentioned him just yet, but then again, they never mentioned DeMatha's Cory Puffett last year until he was already on his way to San Diego for the Footlocker National Championship.

Like Puffett, McGowan prefers the Footlocker format to the Nike National format, and he has made a free ticket to San Diego one of his goals for this season. The difficult qualifying course at Sunken Meadows Park in New York has prompted him to work more hills over the summer. The mile repeats on the Georgetown Prep campus were more good preparation for that end goal.

McGowan ran between 5:10 and 5:20 for each of his mile repeats. Compare this to last year on an easier course when he ran his fastest mile in 5:13 and slowest in 5:27.

Unlike last year, his relay partner did a great job helping him hold a lead. Matthew Kim was already among the top ten when he handed off the baton for the first time. McGowan gained the lead on his first mile and Kim never relinquished it.

Tough competition came from Walter Johnson's Josh Ellis and Nick Regan, but they settled for second place.

Walter Johnson boys easily won the team title with three pairs in the top ten. Sherwood and Churchill had a tough battle for second place. Churchill was missing one of its top runners, Will Conway.

Moses Watson from Damascus won the novice race in 21:00, and Chelsea from Poolesville was the first female finisher in 25:25.


2010-09-08 06:37:25

Chelsie Pennello from Poolesville.

Dub Jay Alum
2010-09-08 16:00:45

Dyestat.... lol

2010-09-09 10:08:28

Poolesville's girls need to step it up a bit if they want to be any match to the rest of moco runnning

2010-09-09 15:12:11

Poolesville's girls are legitimate. The hill was horrendous.

2010-09-18 17:57:22

is Cheslsa a freshman?

2010-09-18 17:57:49

is Cheslsa a freshman?

2010-09-18 17:59:30

is Cheslsa a freshman?

2010-10-12 20:04:23


2011-08-26 01:44:45

i remember that race last year it was so fun

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