In a meet that was designed to simulate the upcoming 3A/4A West Championship Meets, Churchill's David Fitzgerald ran a race reminiscent of last year's 4A West Championship on the same course in which he ran out front as a freshman for as long as he could.
"I wanted to find my limit and stay with Will as long as I could," said Fitzgerald, now a sophomore. "And I ran a time that I couldn't be happier with."
Last year, it was Churchill's Will Conway who took over the race in the latter stages of the High Point Farm 5k course. This year, it was a different Will who waited patiently to make his move on Fitzgerald. Clarksburg's Will Bertrand waited for a rolling dip with a long steady uphill climb at about 2.5 miles to create separation from Fitzgerald. He steadily pulled away to earn his 8th consecutive win of the year in a personal best 5k time of 15:37. Fitzgerald finished second in 15:58.
Clarksburg's Abbey Daley picked nearly the same spot as Bertrand to make her move in the girls race. It was on an uphill just before the runner reappeared to the majority of spectators with a half mile to go that Daley created her separation from Churchill's Lucy Srour.
"I took a gamble at the point," said Daley.
Despite completing a hard leg workout with squats and lunges two days earlier, she added, "My quads hurt...but I knew I would have a kick. I always have a kick."
Srour and Daley raced side-by-side for the entire race up until that point, dropping several other talented runners including B-CC's Caroline Beakes and Nora McUmber who finished in 3rd and 4th in under 19:00.
Srour said that she thought she could still catch Daley after the separation opened up, but down the final stretch Daley just "took off." Daley won the race six seconds ahead of Srour in 18:39.
Crediting her opponent for running the better race, Srour said, "Abbey definitely took it on the hills."
The course was dry with ambient temperatures in the 70's accompanied by a slight breeze. Times were fast across the board today despite a fairly challenging course with rolling hills and uneven footing in some spots. Four girls ran under 19:00 and seven girls total were under 19:30.
Daley was certain that the course was a full 5k based on earlier measurements, adding that her father was responsible for mowing the grass.
"The time was surprising. I thought I would barely break 20:00. I guess we got rid of the muddy parts [as compared to last year's regional meet]."
Bethesda Chevy Chase won the first Clarksburg Coyote Invitational boys and girls varsity team titles.