After years of Page Lester and Taylor Knibb laying waste to the D.C. state meet, this fall saw some more competitive races, particularly on the women’s side, both in terms of the individual race and the team standings, with Wilson upsetting defending champion St. John’s, who missed junior Cady Hyde to injury. And while Gonzaga continued to win the boys’ team title, the competitive distance between juniors Gavin McElhennon, Luke Tewalt and Cullen Capuano narrowed. Kenilworth Park continued to serve as the site of the DCXC Invitational, which managed to go off, albeit muddy, when other invitationals were forced to cancel after heavy rain.
John Ausema (Gonzaga), Kevin Hughes (Georgetown Visitation) and Jim Ehrenhaft (St. Albans and National Cathedral) selected the D.C. team.
Allison Barker, sophomore, Sidwell Friends
Allison Barker scored fourth place finishes at the DCXC Invitational’s sophomore race and the ISL Championships before finishing seventh at the D.C. state meet.
Dylan Blumenthal, junior, Woodrow Wilson
City champion Dylan Blumenthal was also runner-up at the Lafayette Invitational and finished fourth at the D.C. state meet.
Cullen Capuano, junior, Gonzaga
Part of an effective pair with Gavin McElhennon, Cullen Capuano edged his teammate to finish second at the D.C. state meet, leading Gonzaga to its third title in three tries. He also ran particularly well at the Third Battle Invitational, finishing 17th in a competitive field.
Liam De Beaufort, senior, St. John’s
Runner-up to Luke Tewalt at the Landon Invitational, Liam De Beaufort finished seventh at the state meet. He also placed sixth at the DCXC Invitational senior race.
Zoe Edelman, junior, Washington Latin/ Ava Nicely, sophomore, Woodrow Wilson
Ava Nicely and Zoe Edelman gave the D.C. state meet its most exciting race for a title it has ever seen. Nicely’s kick in the last straight after Edelman appeared to pull away gave the six-year-old meet its first public school champion in the Wilson junior, who also gave the Tigers the best position from which to start their upset victory over defending champion St. John’s. Nicely had finished second in the D.C. city championships a week before but only 25th at the DCXC junior race. Edelman, meanwhile topped off with a 32nd place finish at the Nike Cross Southeast regional, after winning both the DCXC junior race and the Georgetown Prep Classic.
Sophia Hanway, sophomore, National Cathedral
Sophia Hanway excelled against D.C. and Maryland competition, winning the ISL Championship and finishing third at the D.C. state meet, but she saved her best for last, finished 65th at the Foot Locker Northeast meet.
Kennedy Hayward, freshman, St. John’s
With Cady Hyde out, Kennedy Hayward set the pace for St. John’s, finishing fourth at the WCAC Championships to lead her team to the title, and she finished sixth at the D.C. state meet.
Katie Hirsche, sophomore, Edmund Burke
PVAC champion Katie Hirsche also finished fifth at the D.C. state meet.
Vincent Kamani, sophomore, Woodrow Wilson
A few minutes into the DCXC Invitational, David Kamani calmed his nerves and got down to business: winning the sophomore race. He also finished sixth at the D.C. state meet and appeared on the Pace the Nation podcast.
Gavin McElhennon, junior, Gonzaga
After suffering through muddy and hilly courses throughout the first half of the season, Gavin McElhennon had a chance to let loose on a dry, fast course at the Third Battle Invitational and wound up in ninth place. He finished second at the WCAC Championships and third at the D.C. state meet.
Huzeyfa Telha, senior, Theodore Roosevelt
While RunWashington makes it a point not to dwell on cross country race times, except to compare finishes in a single race, Huzeyfa Telha’s 17:41 win at the DCIAA Invitational stood out, despite the muggy air, mud, long grass and tight trail portion of the Colmar Manor course, where he had already won the Lafayette Invitational two weeks before. He also finished fourth on the hilly Georgetown Prep Classic course and eighth at the D.C. state meet.
Arjun Thillairajah, senior, Sidwell Friends
Arjun Thillairajah won the MAC Championship to lead Sidwell to the team title and finished fifth at the D.C. state meet.
Claire Wigglesworth, junior, Woodrow Wilson
City champion Claire Wigglesworth also finished sixth at the DCXC junior race, but her fourth place finish at the D.C. state meet helped the Tigers win the team title against defending champion St. John’s. She also won the Lafayette Invitational.