78 valid sumbissions were collected in Mocorunning's County Championship Poll. Below are the composite results of that poll.
|Name, School||Poll Points||Name, School||Poll Points|
Richard Montgomery||491||Abigail Green, Walter Johnson||537|
Nakasaka, B-CC||393||Julia Reicin, Churchill||378|
Poolesville||311||Katriane Kirsch, Walter Johnson||340|
Poolesville||296||Nandini Satsangi, Poolesville||275|
Wootton||250||Zoe Neuchterlein, B-CC||215|
Whitman||222||Virginia Brown, B-CC||198|
Northwood||165||Heather Delaplaine, Damascus||176|
|8.||Josh Fry, B-
CC||143||Yasmine Kass, Paint Branch||161|
Mussie, Einstein||134||Sofia Zarate, Northwest||120|
Osborne, Northwest||103||Janet Scott, Walter Johnson||89|
Points||Girls Teams||Poll Points|
|7.||Quince Orchard||161||Quince Orchard||164|
Just for fun, fans were asked to predict the winning times and winning team scores. The average responses were as follows: 15:27.02 for the winning male and
17:51.86 for the winning female (Course records are 15:24.99 and 18:04.8). The average prediction for winning boys team score was 70.5 and the average
prediction for winning girls team score was 58.0.
There are plenty of storylines to follow as we come closer to this year's Montgomery County Championships, as the 2016 fan poll shows. Let's review!
Overwhelming favorites on both sides: Actually, looking back on the past few years, there really hasn't been much question as to who would win the county
championships. Aside from Zarate/Woods in 2014, the favorites coming into the meet have won convincingly in the past few seasons:
2013: Chase Weaverling (margin of victory: 28 seconds) and Nora McUmber (46 seconds)
2014: Nora McUmber (29 seconds)
2015: Rohann Asfaw (16 seconds) and Abigail Green (8 seconds)
Running for repeats: This year, fans voted for Asfaw and Green to defend their county titles, which would make it the fourth time in the meet's history
that both the boy and girl champion came back and defended it the next year (Weaverling/McUmber, '12-'13; Jesien/Sinclair '03-'04; Eagleson/Many '87-'88).
Asfaw also has a chance to become the first male since Andrew Palmer to finish in the top three at three different county championships (and that's not
counting his win in the 9-10 race in 2013).
Flyin' Falcons: Fans are high on the Poolesville boys duo of Andrew Lent and Ryan Lockett, voting them in at third and fourth on the ballot. The
Poolesville boys have never put two boys in the top ten; the highest second-place finisher from Poolesville was Bradley Baird who finished 12th in 2000. Fans
also voted the Poolesville boys to finish sixth in the team scores, which would be the highest in school history - they have finished ninth on four
Tight team battle: The boys team vote was very close this year, with B-CC beating out Northwest by a mere 12 points. The two teams have yet to race each
other this season. The Northwest boys last won a county title in 2002, while the B-CC boys did it a little more recently (2013). Here's another interesting
trend about boys team champions:
2008-15: Walter Johnson, Churchill, B-CC, Whitman and Wootton
2001-07: Gaithersburg, Northwest, Sherwood and Quince Orchard
What about it, you say? Well, since 2008 it seems that the center of power - at least on the boys' side - in the county has resided in the
Bethesda/Potomac area. In the seven years prior, however, that center was farther north, near the Gaithersburg/Germantown area. Will the B-CC boys keep the
trend going in 2016, or will Northwest shift that center back up I-270? Barring a breakout race by the Wootton boys, however, it does appear that we will
have a sixth straight season without a repeat team champion.
Same old song and dance: Cue up the Aerosmith, we've got another WJ/B-CC girls battle on our hands. Early in the season it looked like this was
definitely the year that the B-CC girls were going to break through and take down the Wildcats, who have won two straight county titles and three straight
state titles (the B-CC girls won the county meet in 2013 before the WJ girls won at the state meet). Their star trio of Virginia Brown, Zoe Nuechterlein and
Michaela Peterson has yet to really run together this season, however, while the WJ girls have been gathering momentum over the past few weeks. Having two of
the top three girls (Abigail Green and Katriane Kirsch) in the pre-meet poll helps, and as of now it looks like Walter Johnson's race to lose.
Youth is served: It may sound like a cliché, but after last year's meet which saw seniors occupy 12 of the top 14 spots, the page has definitely
flipped. Rohann Asfaw and Andrew Lent are the only seniors to finish in the top ten of the fan poll, which features five juniors and three sophomores. There
is obviously no guarantee that the poll results will play out, but there hasn't been a county championship in which only two of the top ten finishers were
seniors since 2005. Furthermore, for various reasons, only four of the runners in the poll finished in the top 20 of the county meet last season:
Andrew Lent, Poolesville: injured
Ryan Lockett, Poolesville: at Gonzaga High School (DC)
John Riker, Wootton: finished 21st
Aaron Bratt, Whitman: did not run cross country
Obsaa Feda, Northwood: did not run cross country
Chase Osborne, Northwest: finished 37th
Seniors... who needs them?: Staying with the theme of youth - this time on the girls side - Abigail Green has a chance to continue the trend of
underclassmen winning the girls county title. Since 2003, only three seniors have won the county title (Nora McUmber, '14; Jessie Rubin, '09; Morgane Gay,
'07). Green will certainly have her share of senior competitors, including Churchill's Julia Reicin and her teammate Katriane Kirsch, but all signs point to
yet another underclassman girl winning the county championship.
Time change: For many years leading up to 2015, the Montgomery County Championships had always been run on a Saturday morning. A scheduling conflict
pushed the meet back to Monday afternoon, and (not coincidentally) it resulted in one of the fastest county meets in recent history. The time change has
plenty to do with it: first of all, it's much easier to run a race in the afternoon, which runners' bodies are more used to, than to wake up early in the
morning and race. Plus the conditions are better, as the humidity and dew are usually gone by the afternoon. This year, the meet will start at noon, and the
varsity races will not start until 2:45, and with the added effect of not having to sit through four hours of school beforehand, the conditions should be
ripe for another quick race this season.