Girls All-Freshman XC Team
By: Kevin Milsted
Thursday, November 20, 2008

Freshman of the Year:
Anna Ryba - Whitman

Anna Ryba made her high school debut in a home dual meet with a win over several of Montgomery County's top runners. She dropped to 19:23 at the Oatlands Invitational, defeating all but three DC area competitors. She kept things rolling at the Paul Short Run where she ran her season best time of 19:12. She finished 11th at the county championship, 8th at the 4A West region championship, and 5th at the 4A state championship.

2. Alexandra Phillips - Whitman

While her teammate Anna Ryba debuted by beating some of the best runners in Montgomery County, Alexandra Phillips debuted with a modest 9th place dual meet run in 22:09. She ran a faster time regardless of the course in every race through the county championship where she finished 12th overall in 19:41. She followed that up with a 12th place finish at the 4A West Region and 14th place finish at the state championship, helping Whitman to 4th place in the 4A state competition.

3. Emily Balcombe - Northwest

Emily Balcombe alternated with India Knight as Northwest's top freshman throughout the season. She ran 21:04 in her first major varsity race at the Paul Short Run and later 21:00 placing 10th in the freshman race at Glory Days. She ran a season best time of 20:42, placing 36th at the county championship and 5th on the winning team. She also contributed to her team winning the 4A West Region title and runner up honors at the state championship.

4. Julia Shapiro - Quince Orchard

According to a Gazette article published on October 28, Julia Shapiro spent her summer recovering from a resurfaced brain tumor that she had surgery on two years ago. She worked her times down as the season progressed, setting a PR in every race in September, jumping from 24:46 down to a time of 21:28 at the Paul Short Run. She later set a personal best time of 20:55.9 at the county championship. Shapiro answered QO's early season depth questions by filling the number five spot on the team for the second half of the season.

5. Christine Chang - Wootton

Christine Chang began the season well, finishing as the top freshman in the varsity race at the Magruder Invitational with a time just a few seconds slower than the winner of the freshman race. She improved throughout the season to a 44th place finish at the Montgomery County Championship in a season best time of 21:03.8 and helped her team qualify for the state championship.

6. Ava Farrell - B-CC

Ava Farrell began the season slower than some freshman, but like many of her B-CC teammates, began to hit full stride at the Paul Short Run where she helped her team win the "White" race by finishing as one of four girls on her team between 20:52 and 20:56. She helped to boost her team to 7th in the county, 2nd in the region and 6th in the state by finishing in the top four on her team in all remaining meets.

7. Karly Najaka - Damascus

Karly Najaka won two early season junior varsity races and floated along as Damascus's #6/7 runner until she got serious varsity experience at the Manhattan Invitational where she was 93rd out of 252 in a huge race. The county championship was a cake walk after that when she ran the third fastest freshman time of the day in 20:33.8 for 30th place.

8. India Knight - Northwest

India Knight began the season as the fastest female freshman at the Magruder Invitational. She ran on the varsity team at most races including the Paul Short Run where she ran her season best time of 21:04, and the county championship where she finished 46th in 21:08.9.

9. Hannah Hastings - St. Andrews

Hannah Hastings jumped feet first into the cross country season with a 21:04, 25th place finish at the William and Mary Invitational. It would be her fastest time of the season, but not by much. She later ran 21:10 for 19th place overall and 3rd on her team to help St. Andrews to 4th place at the ISL championship.

10. Myla Sapp - Blair

Myla Sapp began the season much slower than any other all-freshman first teamers. She did not break 24 minutes in September, but rapidly dropped time in October where she set her personal best time of 21:24.7 at the county championship. She was 55th in the county and 42nd in the region.

Honorable Mention

Claire Cohen - B-CC
Nancy Dawes - Clarksburg
Marielle Eldridge - Walter Johnson
Megan Gerdes - Poolesville
Caroline Guiot - Whitman
Susan Harper - Wootton
Kelly Kendall - Sherwood
Tracy Morales - Einstein
Genesis Porquin - Richard Montgomery
Alexis Widmayer - Northwest

Track & Field 2008 All-Freshman Boys Girls
Cross Country 2007 All-Freshman Boys Girls
Outdoor Track 2007 All-Freshman Team
Spotlight on Class of 2010 Cross Country Freshmen Article
2006 Freshman Forum Conversation


Uncle Max
Saturday, November 22, 2008
09:55:58 AM
Congratulations to my adorable little niece Mariel. You go girl!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008
04:57:36 PM
Congratulations to all the Freshman runners - Job well done!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008
10:45:51 PM
you freshman runners make my life anna, alexandra and caroline- way to own!

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