The final week of cross country's regular season came to a close this past week. There were several important division meets that determined the county's division winners for 2015, and a couple big out-of-state invitationals highlighted the weekend. Let's recap this week in Montgomery County running:
- The Churchill boys defeated both Einstein and B-CC to remain undefeated in the division. If they defeat Walter Johnson and Whitman next week they will win division 1 for the first time since 2011 when they won the county championships. If Walter Johnson wins, it could set up a three-way tiebreaker between Churchill, WJ, and B-CC. At the same meet, the B-CC girls secured an undefeated season and a divison 1 title.
- The Clarksburg girls beat three teams on Tuesday to win division 3 on a tiebreaker. Both Blair and Blake also finished 4-1 in the division, but it was the Coyotes winning the division on a fewest combined points tiebreaker. The Blair boys went undefeated despite not having an individual winner in any of their three division meets, a testament to their depth.
- Branson Oduor won the Tidewater Classic in Salisbury on Wednesday. The flat surface of the Eastern Shore helped Oduor notch his fastest 5K of the year (16:07) and further establish himself as a top-five candidate at the county meet. Both the Northwest boys and girls won the meet.
Editor's note: this was a big breakout race for the Northwest boys as a team. Yes, Salisbury is perhaps the fastest course in the state, but consider that their #2-7 runners finished between 16:54 and 17:23 (29 second #2-7 spread). This is something that no other team in the county has, and by the way that 2 through 7 group includes no seniors. Not buying it? Three days later, Northwest came within 0.3 seconds of producing the five fastest Montgomery County times at the Manhattan Invitational where four other Montgomery County teams competed.
- Last year, Jack Wavering faced Dulaney's Eric Walz for the first time in their careers at the Glory Days Invitational and lost to him by five seconds. This time around, however, Wavering had the upper hand, using a strong finish to beat Walz by 7 seconds. With victories over Walz and RM's Rohann Asfaw, Wavering has made his case as the state's top male runner. The Good Counsel boys finished third, ahead of defending three-time state champions Severna Park.
- Before the season, Mocorunning had noted that if the B-CC girls were going to challenge Walter Johnson, they would need runners to step up. On Saturday, their third-place finish at Glory Days was led by Virginia Brown and Zoe Nuechterlein, two girls who have done just that: stepped up. These two girls are a big reason why the Lady Barons captured the division 1 title this year.
- Walter Johnson's Abigail Green won the "C" race at the Manhattan Invitational on Saturday. Her 14:45 time on the 2.5-mile course was actually 13 seconds slower than her time last year, but her win helped the Lady Wildcats capture the team title. In a non-Montgomery County note, Annapolis' Maria Coffin bested former WJ great Sally Glynn's Maryland #1 all-time performance at the Manhattan Invitational in a time of 14:21. Reminder - she is only a junior.
What's next: Churchill, WJ, and Whitman will race in the final division meet of the year on Tuesday that will determine the division 1 boys' champion. Clarksburg will host their annual Coyote Run on Thursday, an always-popular meet with Montgomery County schools as a means of letting the runners preview the 4A West regional course. Georgetown Prep will host their annual classic on Saturday. The popularity of this meet is often determined by whether of not it is run on the same day as the Montgomery County Championships, and since it isn't this year, expect a big turnout for the race. The annual Consortia Championships will also be held at Northwood on Saturday, a meet Mocorunning will preview later in the week.
Here's to another great week in Montgomery County Running!