While she suffered an early season loss to WJ's Kiernan Keller, McCumber's past accolades speak for themselves: Two-time MoCo XC champion, 2013 Nike Southeast XC champion, and 4A 1600m & 3200m state champion last spring. McUmber is the queen of MoCo distance running until proven otherwise. She posted impressive times of 18:07 at the Adidas XC Invitational and 17:58 for a win at the inaugural DCXC Invitational. She'll be ready to take on any challengers to the throne.
A look at Keller's 2013 XC season indicates that she's a runner who comes on strong late in the year. A big win at the Bull Run Invitational (19:07) indicates that she's ahead of where she was this time last fall. With a victory over McUmber in a dual meet earlier this year and track PR's of 4:57 for the 1600m and 10:47 for 3200m, Keller is clearly a threat to McUmber's dominance.
If there is anybody who is going to challenge the usual 1-2 pecking order of McUmber and Keller, it has to be the freshman Green. Her improvement over the past several weeks has clearly caught the county's attention, with very solid performances of 19:15 at Oatlands and 19:20 at Bull Run. However, a recent 4th place finish (14:32) in the Eastern States 2.5 Mile race at the Manhattan College High School Invitational gives this reporter reason to believe that she's about to break out in a big way as the new queen of the county.
Note: 14:32 is equivalent to 18:02 for 5k if using a direct time/distance conversion. It is within 12 seconds of making the all-time top 25 list for the Mahattan Invitational and is 7 seconds faster than the Manhattan Invitational performance recorded by Morgane Gay, one of MoCo's all-time greats.
Since winning counties as a freshman in 2011, Srour has been one of the most decorated runners in MoCo over the past four years. Definitely hungry to go out with a bang, she has been on a tear since the middle of September with performances of 18:21 at the Adidas XC Invitational and 18:54 at Glory Days. Her 10th place finish at Adidas was a lifetime PR, so Srour appears well-poised to make a return to the podium.
Even though she's been the perennial second-fiddle to Keller and McUmber, Murphy's dependability makes her a lynchpin to the Wildcats' success. Make no mistake, though, Murphy is individually a force to be reckoned with: she placed 4th at Bull Run in 19:26 and had a breakout performance this past weekend at the Manhattan College High School Invitational with a time of 15:11 for 17th. She is coming on strong at just the right time.
Last year's runner-up at the County meet has quietly had a very successful season. With victories in three races, including 18:50 at Frank Keyser, 19:32 in the varsity large race at Bull Run, and a season best 18:54 at the Coyote Invitational, she might be flying a little less under the radar these days. It will be interesting to see what happens when Noall is thrown back into the midst of a very competitive field.
Similar to Noall, Beautz has strung together an impressive number of dominating performances at smaller meets this season, highlighted by a 2nd place finish at the Wildcat Invitational in 19:37. Her 19:36 at the DCXC Invitational served as a good rehearsal for the competition she will see at the county meet, so expect this veteran to mix things up with the best of them.
In the midst of a breakout season, Davy is ready to make her name on the county stage. An early-season 2nd place performance of 19:10 at the Seahawk XC Invitational proved that she is a whole different runner than she was last year, and her recent victory at the Consortia Cross-Country Championships shows that she's now hungry to win. Success is addictive, so don't expect this rising star to let the big names beat her without a fight.
After a rocky start to the season, El-Masry dipped back under 20 minutes with a 5th place performance of 19:54 at the Coyote Run Invitational. Her past results don't lie: she was last year's bronze medalist at both the county and state championships. She knows how to run hard when it counts and could very well sneak her way back into the top ranks of the county.
Like McUmber, Fry sat out the Glory Days Invitational. However, with a host of sub-20 performances to her name this season, she's definitely ready for the big show. Highlights include a season PR of 19:48 at the Adidas XC Challenge and a 19:53 6th place finish at the BCC-WJ-RM tri meet. Expect big things from this well-rested senior.
41 fans voted for female teams in Mocorunning's Cross Country Poll. Below are the composite results of that poll.
1. Walter Johnson Wildcats - 371 Poll Points The Wildcats picked right up where they left off last year, and the defending 4A State Champions seemed poised for a strong postseason run. A recent 4th place team finish in the Eastern States race at the Manhattan College High School Invitational highlights a season that has also included a win at the Bull Run Invitational and a runner-up finish at the Oatlands Invitational.
2. Bethesda-Chevy Chase Barons - 366 Poll Points While the Barons may be the reigning county champions, injuries have definitely been felt at the larger meets, including a recent 6th place finish at the Glory Days Grill Invitational. However, Caroline Beakes has returned and a deep roster of underclassmen could break out at any time. If the poll results are any indication, the team competition at the top will be tight.
3. Winston Churchill Bulldogs - 264 Poll Points The Churchill girls have displayed a resurgence of depth not seen since the 2010 XC season. Coming off of a division title, a 4th place finish at Glory Days, and a 6th place finish at the Adidas XC Invitational a few weeks prior, the Bulldogs could very easily become this year's cinderella story.
4. Walt Whitman Vikings - 219 Poll Points The Vikings have been quiet since the DCXC Invitational, but as the 2nd highest-placing MoCo team at Oatlands (11th), they're a young force to be reckoned with. One of the tighter packs in the county, they could surprise people on Saturday if they work together.
5. Albert Einstein Titans - 160 Poll Points After running away with both the MCPS Consortia Cross Country Championship and Bull Run Varsity Large Race team titles, the Einstein girls will face much stiffer competition in their next test. The 1-2 punch of Ciciely Davy and Pauline McMurry should keep the Titans safely in the top 5.
6. Richard Montgomery Rockets - 138 Poll Points With a season characterized by smaller local races, it's tough to say how the Rockets will fare in a deep county championship. But don't count them out - they were Coyote Run team champions, they beat Whitman head-to-head in a September dual meet, and they had a strong 2nd place showing early in the season at the Frank Keyser Invitational.
7. Thomas S. Wootton Patriots - 123 Poll Points The Patriots have performed well in intra-county competition, and top runner Grace Dellapa was able to mix it up with the deep packs from Walter Johnson and B-CC in a dual meet. They have a tight-knit pack that could displace the top 5 of many of their competitors.
8. Northwest Jaguars - 107 Poll Points Led by Gabby Go and Sofia Zarate, the Jaguars won the Tidewater Fall Classic at the beginning of the month. If their 3-4-5 runners can close their characteristic gap between 1 and 2, Northwest will be knocking on the door of a top 5 team placing.
9. Clarksburg Coyotes - 93 Poll Points A strong top 4 will keep the Coyotes in the hunt, but as evidenced with a 2nd place finish at the recent Urbana Invitational, the gap between the top 4 and the rest of the varsity squad can make all of the difference. A combination of a low-placing finishing from Lucie Noall and a breakout performance from a 4-7 runner on the varsity squad will allow the Coyotes to beat their projection.
10 (tie). Quince Orchard Cougars; Poolesville Falcons - 87 Poll Points During this season's dual- and tri-meets, Quince Orchard had the privilege of squaring off with their nearest competition, including Einstein, Northwest, and Clarksburg. Poolesville, on the other hand, faced off against the top of the county: Churchill, B-CC, and Walter Johnson. Might Quince Orchard have the advantage in this matchup, knowing exactly who they need to beat on teams in spots 5-10?
Other teams (50+ poll points): Sherwood Warriors
Tie breakers: Fans were asked to predict the winning individual time and team score. The average responses were 18:09.6 and 53.9 points.
Monday, October 13, 2014 07:41:07 PM
Sean O'Leary is a real whiz kid! Not only can he run but he can write too! That kid should wear shades, his future is so bright!
fans of the big red
Monday, October 13, 2014 09:07:47 PM
We love you sean!!!! Keep up w/ blogging and running and blogging about running