Montgomery County Championship Course Map at Bohrer Park
There was not much on the line, and the team races were not really close, but the tri-meet between Gaithersburg, Clarksburg, and Rockville was special for a different reason. Runners from these three teams served as the first guinea pigs to race on the future Montgomery County Championship course.
The consensus seemed to be a lot of shrugging shoulders.
"It's ok. It works."
It takes more than a plot of land to fall in love with a cross country course. Just ask two-time county champion Andrew Jesien.
The course is a repetitive 5k with two and a half loops around Bohrer Park adjacent to Gaithersburg High School. A spectator can stand in one place and see runners pass by six times. The course is mostly grass with the option to run on a paved trail for parts of the race.
The course eliminates at least the three biggest up-hills from the previous county championship course, but it didn't turn out to be the pancake-flat racetrack that many were expecting. The grass was damp and some runners reported that the gradual inclines were surprisingly draining.
Clarksburg's Abbey Daley led the girls race from start to finish and established the course record to be 20:12. Rockville's Jonaton Baginski led for the first half of the boys race, but Gaithersburg's Danniel Belay took over when Baginski seemed to cramp up. The new boys record is right around 17:20. Belay had run between 17:23 and 17:27 in three other 5k's this season.
When asked if he thought he would defend the course record at the county championship, Belay predicted that Will Conway will take the record from him, but that there will be a lot of PR's. Belay was feeling particularly strong and thought the course was fast despite soft grass.
The Gaithersburg boys and Clarksburg girls defeated their opponents handily.
A new high school building is being built over the old Gaithersburg High School parking lot. The upper field where teams always set up their tents at the county XC meet has been paved over to create about 300 total parking spots on the campus (probably half as many as there used to be). Coach Herb Tolbert said that the Bohrer Park Activity Center parking lot will also be available but admits parking will be extremely limited. Please take buses and carpools!
Want to turn into the main parking lot? Think again.
Standing where teams used to set up camp overlooking former start/finish area.
Overlooking former upper field, now paved into parking lot.