It was a difficult decision for Bethesda Chevy Chase head coach Chad Young to choose the Oatlands Invitational over this year's Bull Run Invitational. Despite being the defending 4A state champions, the girls team is still very young with limited experience on the Hereford course. Young had never brought B-CC to the Oatlands Invitational, but afterwards he thought that the hilly Oatlands course was a good substitute for Hereford.
"The course is comparable to Hereford," Young said. "It has a lot of rolling hills and some big ones. It doesn't have the big down hills."
Runners climb a giant hill at about 2.5 miles into the race. Oatlands is not about who gets to the top of that hill first. It is all about who can recover from that hill and finish the relatively flat final half mile with the best kick.
Caroline Beakes and Nora McUmber finished the course about as well as any runners in the race. The two B-CC runners picked off opponents in the final stretch including Churchill's Lucy Srour who was ahead as she crested the hill.
Beakes finished sixth in 19:56 and McUmber finished 12th in 20:14. Laura Nakasaka was 17 seconds behind in 20:29, but Osbourn Park High School fit 6 runners between Nakasaka and B-CC's Kat McNeill. McNeill is working back from tendonitis in the knee.
Behind Osbourn Park, B-CC took second place out of 38 teams in the Varsity 'A' race.
"We were more spread out than usual, but we'll take it," said Young.
Wootton's Joshua Trzeciak was at the back of a pack of about 10 runners approaching the final large hill. He used the hill to pick off two runners. At the top of the hill, Good Counsel's Collin Crilly was leading the pack of runners within striking distance. Trzeciak did not know the Virginia runners, but he knew Crilly.
"I wasn't going to let him beat me," Trzeciak joked after the race.
Trzeciak picked off Crilly and two other runners over the final half mile to finish 6th in 16:12. Wootton was the top Montgomery County team in 8th place.
Crilly finished 8th in 16:18 to lead Good Counsel to 13th place.
Trzeciak was not feeling particularly great after the race. He was limping around due to Achilles irritation, but he thought that it would be fine after icing it.