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County Championship Recap
By: Kevin Milsted

Two runners were aiming for course records on Saturday. Abigail Green of Walter Johnson High School and Rohann Asfaw of Richard Montgomery High School were open and honest when it came to shooting for the records. Green was happy at the end of the day while Asfaw left less satisfied.

It was easy for Green to recall the existing course record because it was her own personal record from her sophomore year.

Said Green about the record, "It was an 18:04 so I was just trying to break that record again and do better than I did last year just to prove that I'm growing as a runner. I was really happy that I was able to get pretty far under that even with the wind factor."

The wind was her only opponent as she had about a 30 second lead in the first five minutes of the race. Weathermen called for 30 to 40 mph northwesterly wind gusts on the blustery and sunny day. Green said that she wanted to get out hard to feel out the elements and maintain a good pace throughout, although she felt like it was not her hardest start of the season. She won the race by 49 seconds in 17:46.6, trimming 18 seconds from the course record.

Behind Green, Walter Johnson once again put five girls in the top twenty under 20:00 as they did in 2015, with each returning girl improving on time and place from a year ago. The Wildcats won their third consecutive county title and ninth in meet history which ties Whitman High School as the winningest team ever at the county championship meet. While Whitman's dominance was mostly in the 80's and 90's, WJ has now won nine of the last nineteen girls county titles.

Head coach Tom Martin preached: "They were successful for a couple years and finding that motivation gets more difficult. Sometimes it's the fear of not attaining those goals that motivates them... I've seen this kind of pattern before where you've got a lot of previous success and you have to hold onto that motivation and they are doing a really good job of that. They really are."

Martin also said that his girls felt like the race was a seven out of ten due to tired legs so he was proud of their effort while not feeling 100%.

For Rohann Asfaw, it was not enough to win a second consecutive county title and become the first runner to ever break 16:00 at the county championship meet three times. He was not very concerned with the wind or his opponents, although he said that B-CC's Adam Nakasaka reminded him that it was still a race.

"I was just trying to keep my pace," said Asfaw. "...Keep the strides, keep going fast because I had that record in mind. I really wanted to get that course record so that's what pushed me today...I'm a little disappointed...I still felt good. I still felt fast."

He added that he will work on focus and concentration in future races if he finds himself all alone.

Asfaw completed the race in 15:33.7 by leading from the beginning and breaking away from Nakasaka in the third mile. It was not a record but it was as good of a run as anyone could expect without a challenger in the final mile. The course record was set at 15:24.99 in 2012 during an epic showdown between Poolesville junior Chase Weaverling and Clarksburg senior Will Bertrand. Weaverling improved as a runner the following year, but he could not touch that course record as a senior without anyone to push him.

Nakasaka at least tried to make it interesting by hanging on to Asfaw for about two miles.

Said Nakasaka, "I decided today this was where I wanted to make a name for myself. I went out and knew I just wanted to stay behind Rohann and draft off him so that's what I did." (Later at the awards ceremony when the MC butchered his name, he grabbed the mike and literally made sure everyone knew his name).

Nakasaka paid a price for the aggressive run as Asfaw broke away along the fenced downhill just past two miles and then was caught by Poolesville's Ryan Lockett in the final quarter mile, but he said he had no regrets.

"Next year...I still have Ryan Lockett so definitely I'm going to be competing with him. I want to get the title next year. That's one of my big goals. I've even been thinking about it this year how next year we're not going to have that guy out front like Rohann, that guy who is just impervious to so many different competitors....but right now I have to stay focused for regionals and states and then indoor and outdoor."

The Northwest High School boys team won its first county title since the team's current runners were in diapers. Northwest had a dominant team in 2001 and 2002 under a different coaching regime, but that was a long time ago. This year's team made it a goal from the onset to win the county title and they accomplished that goal on Saturday despite not having a runner in the top ten and losing one of their top six runners during the race.

Elton Quansah, who brought the team together with dashikis from Africa early in the preseason and spoke so passionately about holding the pack together, unfortunately could not finish the race. But the Northwest pack - the pack that Quanseh helped to mold - squeezed five guys between thirteenth and twenty-third position with a 19 second spread.

"Elton couldn't even finish the race," said Youngblood. "They're so excited for him. It's a great accomplishment. A team accomplishment. They pulled through."

County Firsts:

Yasmine Kass of Paint Branch finished second in the girls varsity race, the highest finish in meet history by a Paint Branch girl.
Jason Scott of Wheaton finished eighth in the boys varsity race, tieing the highest finish in meet history by a Wheaton boy.
The Wootton girls finished second, the highest finish in school history.
The Blair girls finished fourth, the highest finish in school history.
The Einstein boys finished third which ties the highest finish in school history.
The Poolesville boys finished seventh, the highest finish in school history.

Check out Mocorunning's county championship meet record book to find more facts and history of the meet. Look out for the record book to be updated with this year's meet results in the next week or two.


2016-10-23 11:01:15

So many missed times this year. Once they actually sort it all out the team scores will probably shift a little...

Coach E
2016-10-23 11:18:31

That is Jason Scott from Wheaton. Ryan is his older brother....

2016-10-23 14:03:37

Only two complaints 1) the announcer was an embarrassment and has to go. 2) I felt the course was marked in a narrow way making it tighter than usual for runners in the large varsity race Overall a great day, nw and wj clearly weren't at their best but they still stayed tough and held on for the win. Bold strategy by Green throwing caution to the wind quite literally but that risk payed off for sure. I really enjoyed watching the Einstein boys, Blair boys and Blair girls, they all displayed great pack running and ran like a team. This meet definitely put them on the radar.

2016-10-23 14:46:08

Because he couldn't pronounce the names? Good luck finding someone that can.

2016-10-23 14:47:08

Go Einstein!

Churchill alum
2016-10-23 15:02:18

Cough cough Churchill got 3rd not Einstein

Ryun Anderson
2016-10-23 15:16:47

^ That is correct. They were fourth in the incorrect results but bumped up to third in the corrected results.

2016-10-23 15:19:26

The timer said he would send out a revision of the results again tonight because there are still a few missed bibs unaccounted for. Hopefully it is the final final results. Then we can straighten out any inaccuracies.

2016-10-23 15:22:12

Rohan Asfaw and Adam Nakasaka are two of the best runners in the county so if you dont know their names there is a problem, second even if you didnt know who they were you can always sound out the word. Both of their names look exactly like they are pronounced. He also for some reason announced Gaithersburg as the boys winning team which was a bit appalling.

2016-10-23 15:58:57

Announcing Gaithersburg as the champions made a mockery of the event as a competitive sport. We should at a minimum chop off his head. In the English language, vowels can have a hard or soft pronunciation, so I don't know how you can say it like it's spelled. Is it Rohann like hand or Rohawn like Honda? Is Nakasaka like Naw or Nah? Of the 20 names he pronounced, how many were international/ethnic names? These kids don't really expect their names to be announced correctly, do they?

2016-10-23 16:03:26

The announcer could have asked somebody. As for the Gaithersburg thing he was trying to make a joke and clearly failed epically

2016-10-23 17:04:56

The announcer asked the audience to cheer when the starters asked for quiet-at-the-start

2016-10-23 17:10:46

The announcer really got everyone dancing when it mattered most.

2016-10-23 17:13:31

Guys please stop using my username it makes it look like Im talking to myself

2016-10-23 17:18:41

I miss the mocorunning forum

2016-10-23 21:10:25


2016-10-24 10:06:51

congrats to the NW boys. a 20 second 1-5 spread is impressive. congrats also to Ms. Green of WJ. Would have finished 70th or so just on time alone in the boys varsity race. Imagine if she had people to push her, how much faster could she have run?

2016-10-24 10:12:44

also, this is the first time I can remember a competitor using the word 'impervious' in a post race interview after going all out in a windy 16 minute 5k.....

2016-10-24 15:03:10

The announcer said he wasn't dating my sister, when the announcer was totally dating my sister!

2016-10-24 19:09:38

The announcer name drops. ALL. THE. TIME.

2016-10-24 20:56:55

The announcer doesn't use turn signals.

The Announcer
2016-10-24 21:31:29

Quit hating. Those name were hard. If Trakic, Trzeciak, and Nuechterlein made the top ten I would have been fine. Gburg!

2016-10-27 19:11:05

That was the best announcer I have ever seen 😍😍😍

Expand the content
2016-10-28 11:23:06

Good summary - but mocorunning focuses a little too much on just the top runners. How many runners set PRs or SRs at this meet? How many freshmen ran varsity? How many seniors ran their last race? There is more to meets than just the top finishers.

2016-10-28 20:33:42

Should they randomly give a shoutout to the 21st finisher or the 9th place runner in JV11-12??? This is a recap or a mere summary that Ryun and KP do a great job writing. If something big or noteworthy happens they mention it but the story of cross country meets usually revolves around the leaders. In basketball the beat writers dont write reports on the 15 man on the bench's activities during the game, they write about the best people, that's how this works. Outside of the top teams and individuals, (NW, WJ, Green and Asfaw), there wasnt too much of a storyline at the meet.

2016-10-29 23:32:24

Hey, I actually finished in 9th place in JV 11-12 race last year. That spot is a place of magic

Gary Johnson
2016-11-01 22:30:04

I just want someone to tell me what Aleppo is...

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