It was the type of cross country race that is fascinating to watch. It was three teams without much success in recent years, each young and rebuilding with obvious strengths and weaknesses.
Springbrook had three strong girls which threatened to sweep the top three spots against the other two teams.
Gaithersburg had a pack which could easily swarm enough runners in front of the number four runner of Springbrook and Einstein, if only they could prevent a top-three sweep up front.
Einstein had one strong runner capable of preventing a top three sweep. They were deep enough to compete with Springbrook, but not nearly as deep as Gaithersburg.
When the race began, Springbrook's DeeDee Montiel rushed to the front and never looked back. She would go on to win the race in 20:37.
A secondary pack formed with Springbrook's Syndey Almeida and Maya Wallick, and Einstein's Lauren Logan. By midway through the race, it became obvious that Gaithersburg would not have a #1 runner break up Springbrook's top 3. Springbrook would have the top-3 sweep against Gaithersburg, but not against Einstein.
At the finish, Gaithersburg packed in six runners before the number four runners of the other teams. It was obvious that Gaithersburg defeated Einstein.
The final fight was between the fourth and fifth runners of Einstein and Springbrook, and while Einstein was slightly better at those positions, Springbrook did enough to get the win 27-29.
Springbrook's newfound strength up front is not the result of landing talented freshmen, but rather getting three juniors healthy and fulfilling the potential that has been there for two years. Springbrook is relieved to move to the 4A North in a year in which they have some girls running well. The girls team has finished 12th in the 4A West for each of the last four years since they were moved from the 4A North to the 4A West after the 2006 season.
The boys race saw three very distinct teams. Einstein's boys pulled a top-3 sweep over Gaithersburg while Gaithersburg pulled a top-3 sweep over Springbrook. Einstein held the top six spots in the race at the 1 mile mark, but Gaithersburg's top trio moved up to each finish in front of Einstein's #5 to prevent a complete blowout.
Einstein's Nick Simpson won the race in 16:47 with Ben Withbroe and Alex Hevey close behind.
The course produced very fast times for boys and girls alike. Most athletes ran personal bests on the course that, despite having a great deal of turns, is quite flat compared to most courses. Coach DaSilva says that times can't be compared from year to year because they modify the course slightly almost every time it is used due to other school activities on the various fields.