Blazers fall, individuals triumph at regional finals

Nov. 5, 2007, midnight | By Sean Howard | 14 years, 6 months ago

Two top runners advance to states despite loss


In a race without many surprises, the girls' cross country team placed 11th while the boys placed 10th out of 12 teams at the regional race held at Watkins Mill High School on Nov. 1.

Despite the disappointing finish, both the girls' and boys' teams will be sending a runner to the state championship on Saturday, Nov. 10 at Hereford High School in Parkton, MD. Senior Johanna Gretschel and junior Rutvij Pandya will be representing Blair at the race after finishing 17th in 20:37 and 19th in 17:40 respectively in the 5000-meter course at regionals.

Although Blair practiced on the course the weekend before the race, it was not enough to fully prepare the team for the actual race. "It was horrible," junior Abigail Cember said. "You have to go out fast in the beginning to avoid twists in the course, there are lots of hills and you need more energy to go up and down hills that many times."

The Blazers' unfamiliarity with the course affected the runners' times but also contributed to injuries. Three-quarters of a mile into the race, freshman Jeremy Ardanuy twisted his ankle but continued to run for another mile before dropping out of the race.

Other members of the team had a more positive view of the course. "It is the very epitome of cross country, not too much pavement lots of hills, some woods, it was good," co-captain Frank Wen said.

With the exception of Pandya, most of the boys seemed to follow a pattern after each mile – finishing the first mile around five minutes, the second around six and the last 1.2 miles in around seven minutes.

The Blazers ended their season on a optimistic note. "I feel pretty good about this season, we had lots of improvement and new faces. We're gonna lose some good seniors but we'll have to learn to grow without them." Wen said.

The team's new faces contributed significantly to its performance this season. "Except for Johanna, this is everybody's first time running cross country on the girls' team," Cember said.

Sean Howard. There is a spy among us and his name is Sean Howard. Originally from Dallas, Texas, Sean moved to Germantown prior to his current residence in Gaithersburg. Although he has now lived in Maryland for most of his life, he has retained his loyalty to … More »

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