After all of the large invitationals that the Walter Johnson boys' team has won, at least one aspect of this season is now tainted after the Churchill boys claimed victory in the final dual meet of the season to claim the MCPS Division I title.
Zach Weinstein of Churchill blew past Alex Willett and Josh Ellis in the final half mile to prevent WJ from sweeping the top three spots. Churchill's Will Conway also ran past a fading Alex Willett to finish fourth.
Walter Johnson's Nick Regan won the race in a new course record time of 16:42.8. It bested Neal Darmody's 2007 course record by six seconds.
Weinstein, who placed second with a rare 17:00 time on the difficult course, said that he was basically sprinting the entire way home. He only needed to run 17:22 to win Churchill's previous home meet.
WJ would have needed a top-three sweep to win today because their number five runner was non-existent. Churchill placed not just seven, but eight runners and a four second gap in front of WJ's fifth man. The final score was Churchill 27 - Walter Johnson 30.
Churchill Coach Steve Bettis was hanging out just past the halfway mark and thought that things were not going so well. He saw WJ leading with the top three spots and thought that Walter Johnson was in control from where he was standing.
When asked what he thought of the win, Bettis said that he was happy but that it didn't mean very much.
"We could come out here on a different day and they could beat us. We all know how good they are."
Walter Johnson had defeated Churchill in the first two meetings at the Woodward Relays and Bull Run Invitational. This was Walter Johnson's fourth race in the first twelve days of October which included a victory at the Manhattan Invitational in New York City three days ago. Churchill had not raced in the past week.
The Walter Johnson girls defeated the Churchill girls with Anna Bosse, Camille Bouvet, and Moriah Gendelman all crossing the finish line together in what was clearly less than 100% effort. The finish time was 22:27.
Nick Regan's beard will be shaved within the next 24 hours. I am told that the event will be videotaped.