NOV. 4, ROCKVILLE CIVIC CENTER—
Both the girls' and boys' cross-country teams faced strong competition today at the Regional Championships at the Rockville Civic Center. The girls' team tied for seventh out of 13 teams, while the boys' team finished 11th in a pool of 14. The results of this meet did not affect the 7-2 and 2-7 season records the girls' and boys' teams achieved, respectively.
The girls were tied with Walter Johnson for seventh place at the end of the race, but meet regulations dictate that the time of the sixth runner decides the winner in the event of a tie. Walter Johnson had the faster runner, allowing the Wildcats to move on to the State Championship Meet, while Blair just missed advancing.
"It was very demoralizing to lose by such a slim margin, but this team ran very well," Coach Carl Lewin said after the meet. "There were terrible conditions, but our team ran through it."
According to Lewin, the Blazers' disappointing performance was partially due to poor course conditions caused by inclement weather. Continuous rain caused the track to become extremely muddy, making it very difficult for runners to keep their footing. Sophomore Ashlyn Sinclair fell during the race, causing her time to be nearly a minute slower than usual.
Despite these poor conditions, the girls ran extremely well, with sophomore Halsey Sinclair finishing first overall with a time of 19:15. Despite being slowed by her fall, Ashlyn Sinclair managed to finish fourth overall in the girls' pool with a time of 20:06. The team was also supported by good times from junior Katy Lafen and freshman Johanna Gretschel, who finished 58th with a time of 24:24 and 51st with a time of 23:50, respectively.
The boys' team continued to perform less successfully than the girls' team, finishing 11th out of 14 schools with its predominantly underclassmen squad. The team is comprised of almost all freshmen and sophomores, and, according to Lewin, should be very competitive for the next two years. Sophomore Josh Uzzell led the team with a time of 19:05, which allowed him to place 43rd overall in the boys' heat. Senior captain Alan Bateman finished 61st overall with a time of 19:51, and freshman Adrian Servetnick also continued to run well with a time of 20:35, completing the race in 77th place.
Although neither the boys' nor girls' teams advanced to the State Championships, Lewin saw this meet as an accomplishment and hopes that the Blazers can go even further next season. "Our girls' team was maybe 11th last year, and yet this year they were [tied for] seventh," Lewin explained after the meet. "I think that next year, we can move to fourth and really run well. Our boys' team should also continue to improve."
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