Fun Stuff


Preseason Poll Results - Boys
By: Ryun Anderson

80 fans voted for male individuals in Mocorunning's Preseason Cross Country Poll. Below are the composite results of that poll.

1. Diego Zarate, Northwest 2015
646 Poll Points
2013 County Finish: 6
2013 4A West Region Finish: 2
2013 4A State Finish: 5

The Northwest senior returns with the second fastest 5k time in the county. He edges out Whitman's Evan Woods in the poll on the strength of a fantastic track season in which he captured the 4A 1600 title in both the indoor and outdoor seasons.

2. Evan Woods, Walt Whitman 2015
598 Poll Points
2013 County Finish: 5
2013 4A West Region Finish: 1
2013 4A State Finish: 4

Woods returns with a 5K PR of 15:51.83, making him the fastest Montgomery County returner and the third fastest in the state of Maryland. Place-wise he is also the top returner in Montgomery County and the 4A classification.

3. Itai Bezherano, Walter Johnson 2015
409 Poll Points
2013 County Finish: 55
2013 4A West Region Finish: 13
2013 4A State Finish: 18

Bezherano only broke the 16:30 barrier once during the 2013 season, but his track season - which included a surprising second-place finish ahead of Diego Zarate at the indoor state 3,200 - merits a third place finish in the preseason poll.

4. Amir Khaghani, Walt Whitman 2015
315 Poll Points
2013 County Finish: 33
2013 4A West Region Finish: 23
2013 4A State Finish: 31

Few runners have risen in the leaderboards as quickly as Whitman's Amir Khaghani. He shaved over two minutes off his 3,200 time from 2013 to 2014 culminating in a sixth-place finish at the outdoor state 3,200 with a mark of 9:27.34.

5. Liam Walsh, Quince Orchard 2016
291 Poll Points
2013 County Finish: 19
2013 4A West Region Finish: 10
2013 4A State Finish: 22

The first and only junior on this list, Walsh did not record blazing fast times during the track season as some of the others on this list did. But consider this: Walsh is one of only five returners (Zarate, Woods, Roederer, and Colin Sybing) to have finished in the top 25 at the county, 4A regional (west or north), and 4A state championships in 2013.

6. Alex Roederer, Walt Whitman 2015
275 Poll Points
2013 County Finish: 9
2013 4A West Region Finish: 7
2013 4A State Finish: 16

Roederer had one of the more impressive championship-race stretches in 2013, finishing in the top 10 at both the county and 4A west regional meets. He is also the third Whitman runner in the top six of this poll.

7. David Fitzgerald, Winston Churchill 2015
262 Poll Points
2013 County Finish: 24
2013 4A West Region Finish: 17
2013 4A State Finish: 28

Fitzgerald slipped a bit in the tail end of the 2013 cross country season, but word from his coaches is that he is in great shape for the upcoming year. His 16:13.10 PR is still the fourth-fastest returning time in Montgomery County.

8. Rohann Asfaw, Richard Montgomery 2017
218 Poll Points
2013 County 9th/10th Grade Finish: 1
2013 4A West Region Finish: DNR
2013 4A State Finish: DNR

Asfaw had a sensational rookie track season, posting a PR of 9:37.91 in the 3,200. What will he do for an encore? Team-wise, he could go from cheering his teammates on at the state meet in 2013 to leading them at the 2014 race.

9. Sam Baker, B-CC 2015
215 Poll Points
2013 County Finish: 15
2013 4A West Region Finish: 11
2013 4A State Finish: 26

Baker is one of just two returners from the 2013 county-champion B-CC squad. His PR of 16:25.80 in 2013 was over a whole minute faster than his previous time. There is no reason not to think he couldn't challenge the 16:00 mark by the end of the season.

10. Lorenzo Neil, Paint Branch 2015
187 Poll Points
2013 County Finish: 16
2013 4A North Region Finish: 3
2013 4A State Finish: 54

What does the third-fastest returning time in the county (16:09.80) get you in this crowded field? A tenth-place preseason vote. Neil finished outside of the top 16 last year in just one race: states, where he finished 54th.

Others receiving votes: William Kirk, Rockville; Patrick Munro, Wootton; Colin SyBing, Wootton; Binyam Tadesse, Kennedy; Michael Abebe, Northwood; Oliver Lloyd, Paint Branch; Brendan Rhoderick, Northwest; Emmanuel Porquin, Richard Montgomery; Stephen Lang, Poolesville; Nathan Nadal, Wootton

68 fans voted for male teams in Mocorunning's Preseason Cross Country Poll. Below are the composite results of that poll.

1. Walt Whitman Vikings - 558 Poll Points
The Vikings return five of the top seven runners from the 2013 4A west regional championship team. The trio of Woods, Roederer, and Khaghani should compete with others from Dulaney, Loyola, and Severna Park to be the best trio in the state of Maryland.

2. Walter Johnson Wildcats - 443 Poll Points
WJ's reign of terror on Montgomery County was put on hold during the 2013 season. However, the Wildcats bring back seven of their top ten runners from 2013 - including five at 17:30 or below - as they try to climb back up into the top spot in the county.

3. Thomas S. Wootton Patriots - 381 Poll Points
Wootton came on very strong at the end of 2013, culminating in a third-place finish at the 4A state race. The Patriots lose frontrunner Urgy Eado to graduation, but six of their next seven are back for 2014.

4. Bethesda-Chevy Chase - 352 Poll Points
The defending county champions have their work cut out for them. Only three of their top ten runners return from last year's team, meaning that the Barons will need contributions from rising underclassmen to stay at the top of the county.

5. Richard Montgomery Rockets - 334 Poll Points
The Rockets return three runners with sub-17:10 PRs, plus another with a 9:37 3,200 PR. Combined with a new wave of runners that destroyed the other Montgomery County teams in the 2013 JV races, and Richard Montgomery looks like a team that nobody wants to race come October (not like other teams have much of a choice).

6. Northwest Jaguars - 321 Poll Points
Not too many teams have the opportunity to roll out the same top five in the county race in consecutive years, but that is exactly what Northwest can do in 2014. Being with the same guys can do a lot for team chemistry which can offset the Jaguars relative lack of depth.

7. Winston Churchill Bulldogs - 268 Poll Points
Fans feel highly about the Bulldogs, whose two-year absence from the top ten at the county meet has been a huge shock considering the program's prominence in the years prior. Six runners return with sub-18:00 PR's, meaning that the mini-drought could very well be coming to an end.

8. Quince Orchard Cougars - 262 Poll Points
Three runners come back having clocked sub-17:30 races. After that, the next four spots seem to be wide open for a Cougar team that hasn't finished as low as eighth since 2008 (they finished eleventh).

9. Paint Branch Panthers - 250 Poll Points
The Panthers offset their lack of depth in 2013 with an outstanding top five. However, three of their top seven have graduated, meaning that their younger runners will need to step up and support a strong top three.

10. Clarksburg Coyotes - 148 Poll Points
The Coyotes graduated their top two runners from 2013. After that, 22 of their other 23 runners appear to be back, including five having run sub-18:00. Fans around the county have certainly taken note, as Clarksburg enters the season with possibly the highest expectations in the school's brief nine-year history.

Others receiving votes (50+ poll points): Poolesville Falcons, Sherwood Warriors, Northwood Gladiators

Tie breakers: Fans were asked to predict the winning individual time and team score. The average responses were 15:45.1 and 65.7 points.


2014-09-02 21:28:13

Whitman is looking very strong this year. They are definitley the team to beat in montgomery county. They had a very strong showing at their two mile time trial last saturday eith the big three all going sub 10

2014-09-02 21:36:08

Face of Steel Baker!!!

2014-09-02 21:56:05

Woods is gonna stomp Zarate this year... Zarate gets weaker as the distances get longer

2014-09-02 21:59:12

I love this time of the year!! Let the CC season begin!!!

2014-09-02 22:05:36

Will be interesting to see the best MoCo public school team (Whitman) vs. the best MoCo private school team (Good Counsel) this Sat at Great Meadow.

2014-09-02 22:05:54

Lets not forget whitman has the potential to have 3 guys under 16, 5 guys under 17 and 7 guys under 17:30

A much too involved parent
2014-09-02 22:09:55

Two teams not to sleep on: Northwood and Quince Orchard Northwood will have a very powerful top two and a solid third who are rapidly improving. This could be a big year for a team who rarely sees the top half of the county. Quince Orchard may have lost two strong seniors but they have a plethora of young boys who hovered around the mid 18s last year and made strides in track. No one thought Wootton would be strong after losing their top two after the 2012 season, but they ended up placing 3rd at states in 2013, the highest of any team in MOCO I also wouldnt sleep on Billy Kirk who did well at the end of 2013 and ran a 9:49 in outdoor

2014-09-02 22:15:11

Dont get me wrong, Woods and Zarate are quick but their true talent comes in the track events. I think it's very possible that Khaghani or Bezherano could upset these guys, especailly when you look at the massive strides they both made in the 3200 in the spring. Also, Colin Sybing should be on this list.

2014-09-02 22:34:11

Fitzgerald deserves no part on this list, but as usual churchill bribes their way to the top. Kirk is a great runner who should make the list. Whitman will smash GC this saturday, putting 5 easily 1730 or better (on a terrible day) while good counsel may send 5 under 18 on a nice day on a flat course. Sybing is a guy to watch. The idea that whitman will put 7 under 1730 is straight up crazy. They are great through 5 but they dont have any other sub 5 milers, let alone guys under 18. Northwood will suprise some folks this season. I dont like how the poll did not have jack wavering in the top 10, he is is an absolute stud. The state meet this year will be quite the battle, SP vs a loaded dulaney squad vs WJ's deep roster vs star studded whitman This is going to be an exciting xc season best of luck to all

2014-09-02 22:52:36

Don't sleep on C-Burg just yet guys. They have a LOT of strong seniors and juniors that can really push the pace if they need to. Michael Thomas definitely needs to be on this list for contention in at least the top 10. He's running close to 16 flat on some pretty tough courses, and without anybody challenging him the whole race, he's gonna run free. Sure they have a few injuries, and a less-then solid girls side, but they've proven they can definitely run with the stronger teams.

2014-09-03 01:17:45

No doubt that Billy Kirk definitely deserved to make this list. The man ran 16:29 at McDaniel and clocked a 9:49 3200 for track. He is also in superb shape this summer, and also had a top 10 finished at counties last year. Itai Bezherano tends to be very unreliable and there is no guarantee that he will be in the top 3. Also, Richard Montgomery boys should have been placed much higher. They're going to be an extremely powerful team this year and it is quite possible that they will have all 7 varsity members under 17:00 by the end of the season. The depth they possess is pretty scary and they're capable of competing against any team in the county. Whitman should be the front-runner all season, but if they get even one injury, they might be in for some trouble as they do not have much depth past their top 5 runners.

2014-09-03 08:23:39

Agreed that Wavering (and G.C.) should have been on this list. I hope next year the private schools will be included in the poll. Wavering may be the #1 runner in the county next year and G.C. returns their entire varsity team. I also agree that R.M. is way under-rated.

2014-09-03 09:07:26

Kirk finished 4th at counties in terms of returning runners. Can't believe he wasn't voted in for this list.

2014-09-03 09:35:35

Whitman may need to avoid injuries but they're still not as weak past their front 5 as you might think check out their time trial results on

2014-09-03 09:50:20

Voters entered a county championship prediction competition with their submissions. Therefore, private school athletes and teams could not be included on this particular list. An all-inclusive approach was tried before and it did not work. All schools will have equal coverage on Mocorunning's individual runner rankings throughout the season.

2014-09-03 10:52:03

Lol did you guys know that Kevin Milstead was super slow? Like I found some of his times - they were all below average. Makes me laugh when he knocks on kids who are much better than he was.

2014-09-03 11:34:26

I did check out Whitman's most recent time trial. They have a 30 second gap between their 5th and 6th for a 2 mile trial. That won't cut it if one of their top 5 goes down. Also, Billy Kirk finished in the top 10 at counties last year as a junior. No reason to think why he wouldn't do it again.

Dave W
2014-09-03 11:34:37

The guy is the biggest fan of running in the area and doesn't hate anyone. Why did you feel the need to bring that kind of message? The great thing about this sport is it doesn't matter how fast you are as long as you are doing your best and having fun.

XC Fan
2014-09-03 12:41:04

Huh?? Who has Kevin ever knocked? And who cares what his time was in the 3200? He clearly loves the sport and does an awesome job with this website!!!

2014-09-03 13:49:17


2014-09-03 14:27:44

Lol at all these different reactions to the preseason FAN voting. We'll only know who's really about it when the season gets rolling

Tay Tay
2014-09-03 17:41:29

I never miss a beat. I'm lightning on my feet. And that's what they don't see. Mmm Mmmmmmm. That's what they don't see. Mmm Mmmmmm

Prince Quince
2014-09-03 18:08:42

Liam Walsh is gonna go 15:30 this year

2014-09-03 19:06:31

Zarate is an amazing runner! He will have a fantastic season because he will put forth the effort and he has the incredible talent of running.

Jesus Christ
2014-09-03 20:19:55

Sam Baker is my son.

2014-09-03 20:36:45

Watch out for Springbrook. We may not look like much, but we will have 3 guys under 17

2014-09-03 20:41:17

I love you K-Milz

2014-09-03 22:23:57

2014-09-04 06:30:18


2014-09-04 18:12:02

Sam Baker is gonna be cooking some people up this year

Hot girls
2014-09-06 13:30:22

Why isn't shashank on this list? He's a total stud and I hear he gets a large amount of booty sweat on the reg

Barack Obama
2014-09-06 15:22:42

First thing's first, I'm the realest, realest. Second thing comes after the first thing and that thing is that I am Obama, so obviously I was not kidding about being the realest. Third thing- Bezherano all the way. Watch out. We hang out on the weekends.

Vladmir Putin
2014-09-06 15:28:29

Hey guys! Call me crazy but I TOTALLY agree with Obama on this one. Look out for WJ, I haven't seen anyone this close to complete domination since I looked in the mirror this morning! Haha! Classic Putin. But seriously I'm going to take over the world.

Barack Obama
2014-09-06 15:31:47

Vlad, stop it. We're not Putin up with this anymore. ;)

Vladmir Putin
2014-09-06 15:33:55

^^^OH MAN CLASSIC OBAMA!!!!! Haha good one man. Can't wait to take over your country!!! XOXO

Sarah Palin
2014-09-06 15:39:51

Okay guy just a few things. First, to Vlad- Russia looks great from what I can see from my house! Love what you've done with the place. Second, how do we KNOW Bezherano is who he says he is? Why won't he show us his birth certificate? WHY WON'T HE TAKE A LIE DETECTOR TEST?

Barack Obama
2014-09-06 15:40:14

Barack Obama
2014-09-06 15:41:10

omg go away

Barack Obama
2014-09-06 15:45:08

^^Sorry about that first one. Not the first time we've had glitches over here! #GlitchesBeTrippin

Taylor Swift
2014-09-06 15:46:31

I knew Itai was trouble when he walked in

Vladimir Putin
2014-09-06 15:51:49

LOL I totally spelled my own name wrong the first couple times there!!!! Guess I was just Russian! LOL!

Iggy Azalea
2014-09-06 16:09:03

Obama you totally stole my line see you in court

2014-09-09 21:43:06


2014-09-17 17:19:10

I think that Evan Woods is looking the strongest this year and is going to take the state crown in November.

2014-09-18 00:16:37

There's this freshman on Poolesville named Ryan Lockett. Idk who he is, but he seems pretty fast. I think he can become really good oneday.

Bam Saker
2014-09-29 18:57:19


2015-04-30 23:05:31


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