Montgomery Blair High School's Online Student Newspaper
Monday, July 23, 2018 2:04 am
Nov. 16, 2006

Sinclair sisters place 8th, 33rd at Maryland state XC meet

by Johanna Gretschel, Online Managing Editor

Senior sisters Halsey and Ashlyn Sinclair represented Blair at the Maryland 4A State Championship meet, placing 8th and 33rd respectively with times of 20:17 and 21:23 on the three-mile course.

Senior Ashlyn Sinclair concentrates on her race during the Maryland State XC Championship. Johanna Gretschel
Senior Ashlyn Sinclair concentrates on her race during the Maryland State XC Championship.
The twins' results did not measure up to the expectations they had set for their last high school state cross country championship. "This is my worst state performance ever," said Ashlyn. Ashlyn's best finish at the state meet was in 2003, her freshman year, when she placed 5th. Though Halsey's 8th-place finish was a vast improvement from her 24th-place finish last year, a repeat performance of the 2004 state meet, which Halsey won as a sophomore, has eluded her. Both Halsey and Ashlyn have qualified individually for the state meet all four years of high school by placing in the top 25 percent of runners at the regional meet.

Both runners ran well through the first mile until "The Dip," a steep downhill followed directly by a towering uphill. Runners encounter "The Dip" twice in the race, the first time a little over a mile into the race, and the second time with about 800 meters left in the race.

Halsey and eventual 4A champion Marika Walker of Eleanor Roosevelt were neck and neck before entering "The Dip" for the first time, fighting back-and-forth for the lead with a pack of four girls running close behind. Ashlyn consistently held onto a position in the top 20 for the first mile and a half.

Following the steep incline of "The Dip" a mile later, Halsey was in 7th place and Ashlyn hovered around 30th place. The mile between the two trips through "The Dip" ended up being the real test of strength, the Sinclairs soon discovered.

Both Ashlyn and Halsey agreed that they extolled a lot of energy on "The Dip," leaving them fatigued and causing them to fall back from the packs they had been running with. "I felt horrible during the dip," Halsey said. "I think I got progressively worse," Ashlyn said.

Senior Halsey Sinclair (first on right) paces with the front pack at the Maryland State XC Championship. Johanna Gretschel
Senior Halsey Sinclair (first on right) paces with the front pack at the Maryland State XC Championship.
The Sinclair sisters have one more chance to prove themselves before the cross-country season is over at the Foot Locker Cross Country Championships (FLCCC) Northeast Regional at Van Cortlandt Park in New York on Nov. 25. The meet is open to all high school runners regardless of ability and features a race for each grade level, as well as a seeded race. The top ten finishers in the seeded race qualify for the 28th Annual FLCCC National Finals in San Diego, California, on Dec. 8.

The Sinclair sisters ran at the Northeast regional meet their freshman and sophomore years, in 2003 and 2004. In 2003, they both ran the seeded race, Halsey finishing 49th in 19:44 and Ashlyn finishing 79th in 20:13. In 2004, Halsey placed 52nd in the seeded race with a time of 19:35, while Ashlyn placed 4th in the sophomore race with a time of 19:57.

This year the sisters will compete in the seeded race with the goal of staying close to Alison Smith of Atholton High School. Smith shares a coach with the Sinclair sisters on a club track team, and last year was the top Maryland finisher in the FLCCC Northeast Regional, placing 16th in the seeded race with a time of 18:28. In 2006, Smith was the Maryland 3A State Champion for the third consecutive year, running in a time of 19:29 at Hereford.

Ashlyn and Halsey Sinclair will be competing in the Foot Locker Cross-Country Championships Northeast Regional meet at Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx, New York, on Nov. 25.

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