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Oct. 24, 2010

Cross country excels at County Championships

by Liv Jacobson, Online Entertainment Editor
GAITHERSBURG HIGH SCHOOL, Oct. 23 -

The girls' cross country team took 10th place and the boys' team took 15th out of 25 teams at the Montgomery County Cross Country Championships held at Gaithersburg High School. Freshman Morgana D'Ottavi placed sixth overall with a time of 19:28, a personal record.

Senior Theresa Regan finishes strongly for Blair girls' cross country team, which took 10th place overall at the County Championship Meet. Liv Jacobson
Senior Theresa Regan finishes strongly for Blair girls' cross country team, which took 10th place overall at the County Championship Meet.
Head coach James Demma was pleased with the results of the meet, and was especially happy with many runners' individual times. "Most people got their fastest times of the season today," he said.

Walt Whitman junior Anna Ryba placed first in the varsity girls' race with a time of 18:28, and the Whitman girls' team took first place overall.

D'Ottavi took first place for Blair, and exceeded expectations by breaking 20 minutes for a 5K. "I'm so happy and surprised with my race. This is the first time I've ever broken 20 minutes," D'Ottavi said. Demma was also impressed by D'Ottavi's race. "Morgana was unbelievably fast," he said.

Freshman Calley Mayer-Marks was the next to finish for Blair, finishing 28th overall with a time of 20:41. Demma was impressed with how Mayer-Marks' was able to bounce back from an injury. "Calley had a breakthrough performance, even after being injured most of the season. She's a real natural talent," he said.

Senior Theresa Regan followed Mayer-Marks, placing 64th with a time of 21:40. The following varsity girls, sophomore Jinhie Skarda, junior Hannah Buchek, senior Natsnat Mehreteab and freshman Sara Shonkuiler placed 74th, 78th, 91st and 99th respectively. Demma was pleased with the results, but not surprised. "The girls matched my expectations," he said.

Northwest senior Chris Miller won the varsity boys' race with a time of 15:38. The Walter Johnson boys' team placed first overall.

The leading Blazer pack had an intense finish, with junior Michael Anderson pulling ahead of seniors Dominic Florin and Jeremy Ardanuy at the very last second. Anderson led Blair with a time of 17:55.6, taking 80th place. Florin finished the race in 81st place, only 3 milliseconds behind Anderson. Ardanuy took 82nd place with a time of 17:56. Anderson was extremely pleased with his time. "I think I did fantastic, I blew away my old personal record by about a minute and thirty seconds," he said.

Senior Natsnat Mehreteab pushes hard to pass runners ahead of her near the finish line. Liv Jacobson
Senior Natsnat Mehreteab pushes hard to pass runners ahead of her near the finish line.
Sophomore Aaron Weckstein, junior Greg Kehne and seniors Gabe Pollack and Connor Dowd placed 90th, 99th, 107th and 121st respectively. Anderson believed that the boys performed well as a team. "We had a very good mental race and were good at keeping up speed," he said.

According to Demma the boys exceeded his expectations by taking 15th place in the meet. Last year, the boys placed 23rd. "I didn't expect much from the boys, and they definitely exceeded my expectations," he said.

Since the team did not place 12th or above overall, they will stay in Division III for next season. "One of my goals for this season was to move up to Division II and we didn't make it," Demma said.

The boys' and girls' varsity teams now look forward to the Regional Championship meet on Nov. 4. The girls' team's goal is to place in the top seven at Regionals so that they can advance to the State Championship; Demma expects the boys' team to place around ninth overall. Between now and Regionals, the team will work on maintaining their speed as there is little time for significant training and improvement.

The varsity girls' and boys' cross country teams will compete at the 3A/4A West Regional Championships held at Watkins Mill High School on Nov. 4.



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  • Justin K-M on October 29, 2010 at 10:10 AM
    the d'ottavi's are studs
    taylor is super cute too
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