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Around the County Week 5
By: Ryun Anderson

It was a cold and rainy week in Montgomery County, highlighted by a full slate of division matchups and ending with a relatively quiet Saturday. Here is this week's summary:

- In a prime matchup in Bethesda, Richard Montgomery's Sophie El-Masry pulled out a huge win over Whitman's Sami King and the entire slew of B-CC girls. El-Masry's 18:47 marked her fastest 5K time since her freshman season and certainly puts her right back in a crowded and uncertain county championship discussion.

- WJ's Abigail Green bounced back from the DCXC Invite to win their dual meet against Einstein in a county-leading time of 18:26. She led the Wildcat girls to a win, maintaining their position as the top challenger to B-CC girls at the county championship.

- Northwest's Branson Oduor got a chance to go up against one of the county's best in Liam Walsh and did not disappoint, beating him by five seconds at a dual meet and establishing himself as a top runner in the county. Will he be strong enough to challenge Rohann Asfaw and Michael Abebe at the county championships? That remains to be seen, but this race proves that Oduor is legit.

- Paint Branch's Bethlehem Taye ran 19:46 on Wootton's home course. It may not seem like an impressive time, but it is the second best time ever recorded on that course behind B-CC's Nora McUmber (19:04 in 2013) and just ahead of Wootton's Jessie Rubin (19:52 in 2009). Both McUmber and Rubin were NXN qualifiers in the years that they set the Wootton home course record.

- It may have gone relatively unnoticed, but Reuben Winston of Charles Smith Jewish Day was Moco's fastest junior at the DCXC Invite at 17:12. He won another PVAC Meet this week and should be a frontrunner at the MD-DC Private School Championships in the small school division in November.

What's next:

A busy, busy week for Montgomery County running. Sophie El-Masry will get a chance to go up against WJ's Green and Emily Murphy in a race that could really shake up the rankings. The tri meet involving Einstein, B-CC and Churchill should provide excellent and deep competition for both genders. Northwest will hit a fast course at the Tidewater Invitational at Salisbury. Next weekend will feature some large out-of-state meets, with the Glory Days Invitational in Virginia and the 2.5-mile Manhattan Invitational in New York City. This week marks the end of the division meet season (except for one meet on the 13th) and the beginning of championship season, starting with the Consortia Championships two weekends from now.

Here's to another great week for Montgomery County running!


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