Coach Tom Arnold uses invitational meets for more than just practice for the championship season. He wants Good Counsel to win every meet it competes in. He knew off the top of his head the last time Good Counsel won any kind of cross country meet. It was the 2007 WCAC Championship Meet, a meet which took place before any of the current team members entered high school.
It was a long and frustrating dry spell for Arnold, whose Falcon teams have finished second in numerous meets over the last three years including three straight WCAC Championships, but the dry spell ended with Good Counsel's victory at the 2011 Peter Geraghty Invitational at Mount St. Mary's University.
Led by Jack Riely's fourth place finish in 15:58.4, Good Counsel packed 5 runners in the top 30 out of a field of 275 runners. With 92 points, Good Counsel defeated second place Quince Orchard by 37 points.
Arnold believes there is a huge difference in the mindset of teens who compete for winning teams versus second place teams. Once athletes get a feel for winning they will understand how to win and will never want to let it go.
Riely reflected that sentiment as his team passed around the meet championship trophy. He said the race felt good and they definitely want to keep winning.
The victory came without Allen Meringolo who was a consistent member of last year's top three. Good Counsel should get stronger when Meringolo returns from injury.
Quince Orchard's Evan Laratta and Whitman's Nick Adams each finished in the top ten with personal best times of 16:14 and 16:20 respectively. The course was modified this year and according to Adams it was pretty flat and fast with only one real hill.
Adams made the biggest jump of any boy on Mocorunning's individual ranking system after this race. He earned the maximum allowable points from a race of this size and leaped over 13 runners.
Whitman won the girls team title in dominant fashion. Three Whitman girls finished in the top ten while three more finished in the top thirty to score 54 points. Urbana and Oakton each had 152 points for second and third place respectively.
Anna Ryba allowed the leaders to hit the first mile in 5:42 while she conservatively hung back with Caroline Guiot and Alexandra Phillips. The three worked together for much of the race and took fourth, sixth, and seventh places respectively. Only Clarksburg's Abbey Daley broke up the pack of three.
Coach Steve Hays says the top three are trying to work together. The next tier made up of Caroline Elmendorf, Elizabeth Frank, and freshman Nicole Ihrie are working to close the gap. Laura Elmendorf had a particularly bad race after getting spiked, but Hays entered the maximum allowable number of runners - fifteen - so Whitman had plenty of girls who were able to step up and compete in the varsity race.
Making the biggest movements on Mocorunning's individual rankings were QO's Regina Schreiber and Clarksburg's Jacqui Young. Each girls scored the maximum allowable number of points for one meet.
Quince Orchard's Isabelle Latour was the surprise of the meet with an 8th place finish not far behind Phillips. Latour ran track for QO but is running cross country for the first time. The Quince Orchard girls finished fifth in the team standings.
Winters Mill's Hannah Oneda won the girls race by over twenty seconds with a winning time of 18:03. Loyola's Kevin Corbusier won the boys race in 15:52.7 by outkicking Gilman's Will Meadows and Thomas Johnson's Hassan Omar.