The coaches of the Down County Consortium were polled in an informal email poll this week. The five head coaches and an assistant coaches unanimously favored the Einstein boys and the Montgomery Blair girls to repeat as DCC Champions.
Morgana D'Ottavi was one of just a few middle school runners to race in the DCC Middle School Championship last year. She won the 2.5k race just ahead of Calley Mayer-Marks.
Now as freshmen, D'Ottavi and Mayer-Marks are two bright spots on a much-improved Blair girls team. D'Ottavi is expected to win the individual title after several races under 21 minutes this season, and Mayer-Marks could finish somewhere in the top ten despite being set back by injuries for most of the season.
The girls' course record was set by Clarksburg's Abbey Daley at 21:28 earlier this season.
Last year's top two runners at the DCC Championship, Morgan Kershner of Northwood and Jenny Sholar of Blair, should be in contention although it is Hannah Buchek of Blair that appears to be one of the most improved runners in the DCC this year.
1. Morgana D'Ottavi, Blair
2. Hannah Buchek, Blair
3. Morgan Kershner, Northwood
4. Chelsea Vanderweele, Northwood
5. Calley Mayer-Marks, Blair
Last year, Einstein's Andrew Ceruzzi and Nick Simpson cruised in for the easy 1-2 finish. This year should be about the same with teammate Ben Withbroe right up there with them. Coach Eric DaSilva of Einstein is more interested in seeing who on his team wants to step up and be varsity runners heading into the championship season. 13 boys are fighting for a top seven spot.
Coach Mike Sauter of Northwood predicts that the boys course record of 18:11 set by Russ Daley of Clarksburg will definitely fall. DaSilva will wait to see how the course looks after heavy rains two days prior to the race.
1. Andrew Ceruzzi, Einstein
2. Nick Simpson, Einstin
3. Ben Withbroe, Einstein
4. Alex Hevey, Einstein
5. Scott Sullivan, Northwood