Montgomery County once again dominated the D.C. area Maryland suburbs. The boys, particularly, put on a show at their county meet Oct. 21. Walter Johnson won its fifth-straight Maryland 4A title and Walt Whitman edged Bethesda-Chevy Chase for top D.C.-area boys’ team honors at the state meet in third.
Aaron Bratt, junior, Walt Whitman
Bratt was second at the DCXC junior race, seventh in the Montgomery County Championships and seventh in the state 4A race, before topping his season off with a 68th place finish at Nike Cross Southeast. Coach Steve Hays said he can always be counted on to be a team player and the rest of the Vikings look up to his hard-working attitude.
Morgan Casey, senior, Montgomery Blair
Casey was fourth at the Montgomery County Championships before winning the 4A North title, en route to a 12th place finish in the 4A state meet. Coach Mike Zick described her as having willed herself to excellence, and a case study in the power of a positive mindset.
Heather Delaplaine, senior, Damascus
Had the Hereford course been 5k, Delaplaine likely would have won the state 2A championship with the kick she unleashed. She wound up a close second.
Genevieve DiBari, senior, Stone Ridge
DiBari finished third in the DCXC senior race and was ISL runner up to Page Lester. Coach Peter Rook was impressed by her self awareness and willingness to listen to her body, he communication with the coaching staff and willingness to take easy days when needed. “She always found time to check in with the younger runners and make their contributions feel special,” he said.
Obsaa Feda, senior, Northwood
Feda was in the thick of the Montgomery County Championships pack in fourth, and a week later won the 4A North region before finishing 11th in the 4A state meet. He was runner up at the Spiked Shoe Invitational.
Nicholas Karayianis, sophomore, Winston Churchill
Karayianis improved throughout the season after a summer injury curtailed his base training. Starting from 52nd at the Oatlands Invitational and 26th in the DCXC sophomore race, he was 10th at the county championships and 15th in the Maryland 4A finals, before topping out at 78th at Nike Cross Southeast.
Chris Thoms, senior, Quince Orchard
Thoms was sixth at the Spiked Shoe Invitational, 12th at the county meet, fourth in the 4A West region and 17th at the 4A state meet before finishing 116 at Nike Cross Southeast.
Yasmine Kass, senior, Paint Branch
Though she faded to seventh at the Montgomery County Championships, Kass matched that placing at the 4A state meet, a week after she was the 4A North runner-up. She was fourth in the DCXC senior race.
Alicia Lauwers, sophomore, Walt Whitman
Lauwers was Whitman’s fifth runner at the team’s time trial, but number one by the first meet. Coach Steve Hays saw her potential when she won the Devil Takes the Hind Most elimination race during the prior track season. She finished fourth in the DCXC sophomore race, 12th at the Montgomery County Championships and 13th in the state 4A race.
Simeon Mussie, senior, Albert Einstein
Though shin splints nagged at him after breaking the course record at the Rebel Invitational in Hagerstown, Mussie managed to break 16 minutes for the first time in finishing eighth at the Montgomery County meet, the finished ninth at the 4A west region meet and the state meet.
John Riker, junior, T.S. Wootton
Riker had the race of his life at the Montgomery County Championships, finishing fifth. He was third in the DCXC junior race. He put himself in the competitive packs in races and saw that confidence pay off.
Nandini Satsangi, junior, Poolesville
Satsangi ran some hot races, winning the DCXC junior race and finishing fourth at the Glory Days Invitational. She did alright when it was cooler, too, with another fourth place at Third Battle and the win at the 2A West regional. She ran aggressively in every race.
Jessica Trzeciak, junior, T.S.Wootton
Trezciak’s confidence before and during races improved dramatically this year, according to Coach Kellie Redmond. She finished sixth in the DCXC junior race, fifth at the Montgomery County Championships and eighth at the 4A state meet.
Mark Unger, junior, Richard Montgomery
A cross country newcomer, Unger finished seventh at the extremely competitive Oatlands Invitational, 15th at the Great American Festival, and third at the Montgomery County Championships, though he missed the state meet with an injury. He won the Track and Trail Invitational early in the season.