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Nov. 6, 2010

Blazer cross country falls short at Regional Championships

by Liv Jacobson, Online Entertainment Editor
WATKINS MILL HIGH SCHOOL, Nov. 4 -

This story was based on post-game interviews only and not on a first-hand account.

The Blair cross country team competed at the 4A West Regional Cross Country Championship at Watkins Mill High School on Nov. 4, despite rainy conditions. The girls' varsity team placed ninth and the boys' team took tenth place at the meet. Freshman Morgana D'Ottavi took eighth place overall in the girls' race and was the only Blazer to qualify for the state competition.

D'Ottavi placed first for the Lady Blazers and eighth in her race with a time of 21:21. Demma was very pleased with D'Ottavi. "Morgana had and excellent performance and had an excellent race," he said.

Senior Dominic Florin places first for the Blair boys who placed tenth overall. Lorena Kowalewski
Senior Dominic Florin places first for the Blair boys who placed tenth overall.
Though D'Ottavi advanced, the race was a disappointment for the girls' team, which had a season-long goal to qualify for States. Only the first seven teams qualify for state competition on a group level. Nonetheless, head coach James Demma was proud of the team's improvement. "The season was a success in that both the boys' and girls' teams are better than before," he said.

Walt Whitman junior Anna Ryba placed first overall in the girls' race with a time of 19:38, and Whitman placed first overall for girls' teams. Both Ryba and the Whitman girls' team had placed first in the Montgomery County Championships on Oct. 23.

Walter Johnson senior Alex Willet took first place in the boys' race with a time of 17:12. The Walter Johnson boys' team also placed first overall, another repeat from the county championships.

Senior Gabe Pollak runs ahead of his competition. The poor weather played a detrimental role in the team's performance. Lorena Kowalewski
Senior Gabe Pollak runs ahead of his competition. The poor weather played a detrimental role in the team's performance.
Senior Dominic Florin led the Blair boys at 49th place with a time of 19:38. Senior Jeremy Ardanuy followed, placing 56th with a time of 20:03. Senior Gabe Pollak placed 66th overall with a time of 20:22. The rest of the Blair varsity boys followed, with junior Greg Kehne, freshman Matthew Morris and senior Connor Dowd placing 67th, 72nd and 83rd respectively.

Demma was more pleased with the boys' performance than with the girls'. "The boys' race was much better than last year," he said. Florin was also happy with the boys' performance. "It was our last race and it was something to be proud of," he said.

Sophomore Jinhie Skarda was the next Blazer to place after D'Ottavi, taking 35th place with a time of 23:35. Freshman Calley Mayer-Marks soon followed, placing 54th with a time of 23:38. Senior Theresa Reagan, junior Hannah Buchek, freshman Sara Shonkuiler and junior Sara Gonzalez followed, placing 55th, 59th, 69th and 76th respectively.

Demma was disappointed with the girls' performance, as the team did not perform as well as they had in past meets. Since they did not place within the top seven, the girls' team did not qualify for the state championships. Buchek was also disappointed. "I know a lot of people didn't get their best times," she said.

The miserable weather was a major setback for all of the runners. It had rained all day and the temperature was in the chilly mid-40s. The muddy conditions caused many runners to fall during the race, mostly at the start and on the hills along the course. "The weather made everyone slower, including the other teams," said Demma.

The course itself was more difficult than the course for the county meet, with more frequent and intense hills, and many Blazers did not beat their times from Counties. "The course in general defeated us," said Florin.

Despite a disappointing ranking at Regionals, both the boys' and girls' teams had a successful season overall. The girls went undefeated and won their division. The boys significantly improved from last season, specifically their overall places at both the county and regional championships. "We had a good season and we won a lot of races, had lots of good times, and ended with a really good race," Buchek said.



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  • Joe smith on November 8, 2010 at 9:49 AM
    "No Blazers qualified for the state championships"- thats a lie, Morgana D'Ottavi will be going to states.
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