The first two male winners of the Magruder Invitational, Solomon Haile and Corey Puffett, both went on to qualify for the Footlocker National Cross Country Championship.
Tonight, Gonzaga's Collin Leibold completed the Magruder Invitational 5k in 15:44, almost ten seconds faster than Haile or Puffett. Granted, this year's race took place on Friday evening with cool temperatures as opposed to a hot Saturday morning, and parts of the course have been modified. There is still no doubt that he is flying after he won the Great Meadow Invitational by seven seconds and the Magruder Invitational by a whopping 21 seconds. He broke North Point's David Dickshinski shortly after a fast sub-5:00 first mile and had a large lead before the two-mile mark.
Leibold attributes his early success to an uninterrupted, healthy summer of training, something he has not experienced in recent years. It is not likely that we see him at Footlocker Nationals in December because Gonzaga plans to compete at the Nike Southeast Regional Meet for a chance at qualifying for Nike XC Nationals. Gonzaga and Leibold are now undefeated through the first two meets of the season.
Good Counsel Coach Tom Arnold said that he was "happier than last week," as Good Counsel came up eight points shy of defeating its rival. Coach Kevin Graves explained that all of their varsity runners had good races. Good Counsel also won the 'B' race with two runners who could have cracked the top seven on the varsity roster.
The Churchill boys finished third with 97 points, thirteen behind Good Counsel. Churchill was actually the only team with seven boys under 18:00. Zach Weinstein led the team with a fifth place finish in 16:09.5, but expected top runner Will Conway only finished 21st in 17:01.9. Coach Bettis explained that Conway knows he needs to get back in shape after missing time with an ankle injury.
Jackson Reams and Kyle Tockman tried to hold Sherwood together in a pack for the early part of the race, but found themselves too far out of the lead while their teammates could not maintain their pace. After the first mile, they began picking off every runner ahead of them one by one. They eventually caught every runner in the race except for Leibold and came down the final stretch in second and third. Reams dropped a serious kick to blow by Tockman. The two finished in 16:05.5 and 16:06.0. For Tockman, it was a personal best 5k by over a minute, and also 2:13 better than he ran at the same meet last year (18:19).
|Clarksburg's Abbey Daley simply dominated the girls varsity race. She had separation from the chase pack before the first mile and increased her lead to win in 19:27, thirty seconds ahead of Leonardtown's Rachel LaBatt. It was a personal best XC 5k for Daley, according to results in the mocorunning database. The Broadneck miler Stephanie Crane chased after Daley in the first mile, but finished nearly a minute back in fifth place in 20:17.6. |
Third place Ava Farrell led the B-CC girls to the team title with 116 points. Coach Chad Young said that the team win was "very surprising." When he heard the girls celebrating the victory, he was hoping the scorers did not make a mistake. B-CC had five girls under 22:04 and seven girls under 23:00. Additionally, Amanda Cohen won the girls freshman race in 22:29 and the B-CC girls finished second in the freshman race and won the varsity "B" race.
The scoring for the girls varsity race was even tighter than the boys. The Sherwood girls finished one point behind B-CC with 117 points and Blair finished third with 122 points.
Like Young, Sherwood's Dan Reeks was pleasantly surprised with the girls team performance. Sherwood was the only team with four girls under 22:00.
The Blair girls are appearing more and more legit after two strong races this season. Led by two freshmen, their top five runners were under 22:30 and they could get even better if last year's top runner Jennifer Sholar returns from an injury.
Jonaton Baginski of Rockville won the boys freshman race in 18:29.9. Coach Karl Kraus explains that Baginski is a serious soccer player and has competed in USATF track meets previously, but Kraus was not necessarily expecting such a strong showing in this race.
Danniel Belay of Gaithersburg was the only runner who challenged Baginski throughout the race and finished second in 18:43.5. Gaithersburg edged out Gonzaga and Wootton for the meet all-freshman title.