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Nov. 8, 2006

Cross Country crumbles in final meet

by Johanna Gretschel, Online Managing Editor
NOV. 2, WATKIN'S MILL H.S.-

Blair finished in typical form this afternoon at the 4A regional cross-country meet, with the girls placing 8th out of 11 teams, and the boys placing 12th out of 12 teams.

Despite talk of qualifying for states as a team for the first time since 2001, the girls' team failed to step up to the challenge. Various injuries and illnesses have plagued three of the top five girls all season, preventing the team from reaching their full potential. The Lady Blazers scored 171 points, 18 points behind Walter Johnson, the sixth-place team and last to advance to state competition.

In 2004, the girls tied for sixth place with Walter Johnson, only to have the Wildcat's sixth runner finish ahead of the Blazer's sixth runner. The sixth runner's placement is a tiebreaker. In 2005, the lady Blazers had an off day, running slower times than usual and finishing a disappointing 9th place behind teams they had defeated during other meets.

This is the third year the Lady Blazers have come close to advancing to the State tournament but failed, a fact not lost on Coach Carl Lewin. However, this year Lewin believes that everyone, boys and girls, ran their hardest and left nothing on the course. "It's slightly frustrating, but everyone ran as good as they can," he said. "I'm proud of everyone regardless of how the team did. I didn't really hear anyone say 'I could've done better.'"

Senior twins Halsey and Ashlyn Sinclair ran in top form and qualified for states individually. To qualify for states as an individual, a runner must place in the top 25 percent, in this meet's case the top 19 finishers. Halsey placed first with a time of 19:05, while Ashlyn placed 4th in 19:31. Both girls improved on their 3rd and 7th place finishes respectively at the Montgomery County Championship on Oct. 21.

Senior co-captain Emanuel Waktola, fell just short of making states. The state cut-off for boys was the top 21 finishers and for most of the hilly 5,000-meter course, Waktola was close to 21st place. At the two mile mark, Waktola was in prime position to make a run in 24th place. Waktola eventually faded and ultimately placed a disappointing 35th in a time of 18:04.

Despite his frustrating finish, Waktola was satisfied with his race and believes he gave it his all. "By the end, I was on the verge of collapsing from exhaustion," he said.

The 4A Maryland State Championship will held Nov. 11 at Hereford High School.



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  • Lotte from Ger (View Email) on November 8, 2006 at 11:30 AM
    Hey guys!!! it sounds like you're having fun running this year:))) No, I seriously miss the workous with all of you and hope that you continue to run fast like the wind ;P. good luck with that, especially to the crazy twins:)
  • 09 on November 8, 2006 at 8:50 PM
    this article is unfairly harsh. it's one thing to give the news, but the headline acts like we're talking about the dallas cowboys, not our own school's team.

    on another XC has some pretty aweosme sweat shirts.
  • i run on November 9, 2006 at 8:08 PM
    well at least now the front page is giving good luck to "Ashlyn" instead of "Ashley". It took them long enough. Just another case of why we deserve more respect than we get. One of our runners places 4th in the region and they can't even get her name right. Come on folks. You know you wish you could be as cool as us.
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