Damascus at Gaithersburg
By: Fred Jones
Tuesday, September 23, 2008

After the William and Mary Invitational, Damascus and Gaithersburg no longer looked at each other as friends, but as rivals. Damascus traveled to the county course to face off against Gaithersburg. Damascus and Gaithersburg only had a two days rest, but they both would have to compete to see who would come out on top.

At the starting line, the girls made a few jokes with each other and were even smiling after the start after the race. Junior Abby Spitler took the lead with the Damascus pack behind her. Coming through the tennis courts and past the starting line, Spitler was in first with Senior Taylor Colbert, Senior Janna Domico, Junior Emily McIlvried, Sophomore Alex Carroll, and Senior Megan Patton in a pack close behind. Flying up the hill and into the woods, Spitler took off and never looked back, leading for the rest of the race and finishing at a blazing 19:10. A huge Damascus pack came through the one mile mark with Gaithersburg's #2 struggling to keep up. After Spitler, Colbert emerged followed by Domico, McIlvried, Patton and Carroll. The Damascus girls won 20 to 43.

Before the race, the Damascus team got together and talked with their coach, recalling the horrors of the Wootton dual meet and what they planned on doing. Breaking the top 3 Gaithersburg runners was very important, and they went into the race with a plan. As they lined up, both teams wished each other luck. After the verbal command, Senior Antonio Palmer and Senior Vikas Bhatia led with Junior Thomas Arias next to them at a fast pace up the hill. Behind them was Sophomore Shane Stepek leading Junior Ben Constantinides, Junior Cecil Jonas, Sophomore Alex Arias, Junior Jon Constantinides, and Sophomore Charlie Ramirez. As the lead pack came around the start and into the woods at the end of mile one, Palmer and Bhatia were pulling away from Arias slightly, while Stepek and Constantinides worked together. Around the loop in the second mile, Constantinides began pulling away from Gaithersburg #3 Stepek and Jonas and Alex Arias began making up ground on him. Coming into the last 800, Palmer led with Bhatia not too far behind. Behind him was Thomas Arias followed by Jonas and Ben Constantinides who out kicked Alex Arias. Stepek came through in 7th place with Ramirez and Jon Constantinides behind him. Damascus boys won 21 to 40.

It should be noted that Gaithersburg's Shane Stepek ran sick to try to help his team sweep the top three spots, but simply did not have the strength. Also noted is that after the boys race was finished, it was announced that Antonio Palmer had jewelry on during the boys race and was disqualified, making Vikas Bhatia #1 at 16:49.


Thursday, September 25, 2008
09:03:51 AM
Everyone is getting sick!

Thursday, September 25, 2008
10:24:36 PM
Palmer shouldn't have been dq'ed

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