One point separated the Whitman girls from the Northwest girls at the 4A West Regional Championship. The Whitman girls put three runners in the top ten, but so did Northwest, and in fact, there was a swarm of four Northwest runners surrounding Whitman's #4 runner Caroline Elmendorf down the final stretch. Elmendorf was able to hold off just one of those Northwest runners and that was the difference. While Northwest was the first team with five runners finished, Whitman's Laura Elmendorf finished a short time later and sealed the victory for Whitman.
While the Northwest girls seemed to run much tougher than they did at the county championship, so did the WJ duo of Anna Bosse and Camille Bouvet. Although Bosse could not hold on to Whitman's Anna Ryba, she sure kept her in her sights the entire race. She was after it and closed the gap considerably as we head to the state championship at Hereford where Bosse has shown she can run so well. Bouvet was equally focused on bouncing back from a poor showing at the county championship and finished third.
The course was a complete mud pit. The Watkins Mill course is difficult enough to conquer in dry conditions, but the rain soaked the course all day long and did not let up until the final two races - the boys races. Some of the slopes were un-runable to the point that the steep downhill at the one mile mark was modified prior to the boys 4A race so they ran slightly longer than a full 5k. Odds are that just about every runner slipped and fell at some point in the race - some runners fell multiple times and some runners fell very close to the finish. Keep that in mind when looking at the results.
Whitman, Northwest, B-CC, Walter Johnson, Sherwood, Wootton, and Richard Montgomery were the qualifying 4A girls teams from Montgomery County.
Coach Caretti from Clarksburg said that Abbey Daley planned to start the 3A race slowly and let someone else dictate the pace. That lasted for all of about 400 meters before she took off. The pace was probably not uncomfortable for her as she finished over a minute slower than the winner of the 4A West race, and over a minute ahead of the second place finisher in the 3A West race.
With the help of a huge breakout race by freshman Regina Schreiber (fourth place), the Quince Orchard girls won their first regional cross country title since 2006. Coach Pelkey explained that if they had not won, it would have been the first QO girls team since he coached there to not win a title in four years.
Montgomery County qualifying teams were Quince Orchard, Damascus, and Clarksburg.
Alex Willett and Nick Regan explained that Northwest's Chris Miller pushed the pace early on, but they made sure not to let him get away. By the one mile mark, the WJ duo was leading a very close race. After the second mile, and perhaps after a few foot slips, Willett and Regan had pulled away from Miller and were in control of the race. The WJ duo eventually went 1-2 and led their team to its third consecutive 4A West title. Slips and falls by the reckless 4A boys no doubt played a role in the final outcome of the race as the order shuffled quite a bit in the final mile and most boys walked away with mud covering their back sides.
Walter Johnson, Churchill, Sherwood, Wootton, Magruder, Northwest, and Richard Montgomery were the qualifying 4A boys teams from Montgomery County.
Pelkey's strategy for the QO boys was to go out hard. The strategy seemed to catch Linganore off guard and at one point it appeared as if Conor Spaulding could cruise to victory with a comfortable lead. But Linganore's Braden Bruning and Patrick DuBoyce were too good to let it go without a fight. The Linganore duo closed the gap remarkably well considering the difficulty of the final mile of the course. It made for the most exciting finish of the day as Bruning hunted down Spaulding. If given 50 more feet, the outcome could have been different, but Spaulding held on for his first championship title.
The QO boys beat Linganore for the team title. Also qualifying from Montgomery County were the boys from Einstein, Damascus, and Northwood.