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Around the County Week 2
By: Ryun Anderson

Maryland's second weekend of cross country has ended, and by now most teams have run in at least one meet this season. Here is what happened during week 2 of the fall season:

- The annual Woodward Relays were held at Georgetown Prep on Tuesday, featuring the first meeting between the Walter Johnson and B-CC girls. The B-CC duo of Virginia Brown and Zoe Nuechterlein finished second overall as the B-CC girls easily won in the team score department. We'll get a better sense of how good they are this coming weekend, but for now they look like the team to beat in the county. On the boys side, B-CC juniors Adam Nakasaka and Josh Fry teamed up for the win by over a minute. The Churchill boys, however, were the highest-finishing Moco school; they have yet to race in a standard 5K this season, but that changes this week as well.

- Blake and Springbrook met up for a division meet that will help decide this year's Consortium Cup winner. For those who do not know, the Northeast Consortium consists of three schools (Blake, Springbrook and Paint Branch), and the Consortium Cup is a trophy given at the end of the year to the school that won the most head-to-head matchups over the course of the year (this trophy is not to be confused with the Consortia Cup, given to the winner of the Consortia Championship Meet). The Blake boys and Springbrook girls brought home wins for their respective schools.

- There was only one invitational held this weekend in the county: the Bullis Invitational. St. Andrew's junior Luke Armbruster took home the boys individual title, and Northwood's Obsaa Feda finished in second place in his first official high school cross country race. Seniors Matthew Zischkau and Ian Denis led The Heights to the boys team championships, while the Northwood girls pulled out a team win of their own.

- Einstein, Clarksburg and Damascus traveled to Hagerstown for the Rebel Invitational on Saturday. Damascus's Heather Delaplaine was the top Moco female finisher, crossing the line in third place right at 20:00. The Einstein boys, led by 3-4 finishes from Simeon Mussie and Tyler Wilson, captured the boys team title.

- Good Counsel, Poolesville and Wheaton were at Centennial High School for the Howard County Invitational. Coming off a fifth-place finish last weekend at the Chancellor Invitational, Claudia Wendt finished second in a girls' race that stayed airtight for most of the race, clocking a sub-20:00 time in the morning heat. Less than two seconds behind Wendt was a new runner in the WCAC, freshman Cady Hyde of St. John's College High School, suggesting that this year's WCAC Championship race will be no walk in the park for Wendt who won the WCAC by 30 seconds in 2014. Jimmy Vazzana finished 12th to lead the boys to a fifth-place finish in the team scores. Poolesville's Andrew Lent was the top Moco boys finisher, coming in at 16:30.08, good enough for sixth place.

- It was the Track and Trail Invitational, however, that seemed to attract Moco schools like insects to a porch light. The large school races were each won by a county runner: the boys, Rohann Asfaw of Richard Montgomery High School, and the girls, Abigail Green of Walter Johnson High School. Green dropped a 17:54 time on the 5K course, climbing up to third place on Mocorunning's "Since 2006" cross country leaderboard. The Northwest boys looked strong again, this time placing their top five runners within a 21-second spread to assure an easy team victory. The Wootton girls turned heads on Saturday; four sophomores finished in the top 12, leading them to a dominant team victory. Not only does this team look like the real deal for 2016, but possibly for the next three years. For more on Track & Trail, see Mocorunning's complete recap of Track and Trail Invitational.

What's next: This week features the first full slate of division meets with 22 of 25 teams in action, and the schedule is more crowded than the Metro after a Nationals game. The tri-meet between B-CC, Wootton and Whitman on Wednesday at Landon should be a good one, with the B-CC girls in official 5k team action for the first time against the upstart Wootton and Whitman squads (Whitman appeared rejuvenated by youth at the Seahawk Invitational a week ago). The boys race will be exciting, too, with some of the top male sophomores and juniors in Montgomery County squaring off. On Saturday, many teams will head out-of-state: Rohann Asfaw and the Richard Montgomery boys will be one of the teams traveling to the Oatlands Invitational in Virginia, while the B-CC girls will get to show just how strong they really are against top competition at the Adidas XC Invitational in North Carolina. Barnhart, Hood and Mercersburg round out what should be an awesome weekend of cross country this coming Saturday.


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