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Blake Quad Recap
By: Kevin Milsted

The Blake boys and Kennedy girls jumped way out in front of Division IV with three wins a piece at the Blake quad meet. All that remains in the way of a division crown is victories over Wheaton, Springbrook, and Seneca Valley. There's no doubt that Springbrook in particular may cause trouble for both teams later in the season.

The temperature was falling from 90 degrees early in the sunny afternoon and the course offered almost no shade. The footing on the patchy grass trails was less than ideal although the course was not overly hilly. With so few girls among the four teams, there would only be one co-ed race.

The Blake boys established their presence early on and the race appeared to be a blowout by the first mile. Slowly, the boys from Paint Branch, Watkins Mill, and Kennedy crept into the race while Blake's fifth man was nowhere to be found. As the runners crossed the finish line, Blake had every team well-beaten through four runners, but Paint Branch began to pack in several runners in front of Blake's fifth man. In the end, Blake was still strong enough to capture three victories with Paint Branch being the closest opponent (25-32).

Winning the race was Santon Shagavah of Watkins Mill High School. Shagavah held himself back for the first two miles, but said that he always gives everything he's got on the final mile. He passed several runners as the race progressed and created a large gap on the second place runner in the final mile. Although the time was not fast (over 20 minutes), he beat several runners from Blake and Paint Branch who beat him at the Magruder Invitational.

Shagavah just arrived this school year from Kenya where he said he went to a private school where there were no organized sports. The senior says that he has some experience running and the Blake course was not challenging compared to courses he ran back home.

The victories of the Kennedy girls came much easier as they defeated Watkins Mill and Blake by default because they did not have five finishers. Kennedy beat Paint Branch fair and square, although Coach Dillard from Paint Branch was thrilled just to have over five girls finish.

The first female finisher in the co-ed race was Mary Madden from Paint Branch. Just four days after the Paint Branch cross country newcomer ran 21:13 at the Magruder Invitational, she won the quad meet by a landslide in just under 24 minutes.


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