Turkey trots abound Thursday

The D.C. area will offer plenty of opportunities to join the biggest road racing day of the year. In 2019, these races combined for 22,863 finishers:


Running Shorts

  • Georgetown’s Maggie Donohue and John Champe alumna Bethany Graham, running for Furman, earned All-America honors at the NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships and Stone Ridge alumna Genevieve DiBari, running for Pomona, earned Division III All-America honors. In addition, George C. Marshall alumna Heather Holt was on the Division I-winning N.C. State team. Local results include:
    • In Division I:
      • 30. Maggie Donohue, Georgetown
      • 40 Bethany Graham, Furman – John Champe
      • 44 Sami Corman, Georgetown
      • 54 Rachel McArthur, Colorado – Patriot
      • 92 Annebelle Eastman, George Mason
      • 95 Ashley Holt, N.C. State – George C. Marshall
      • 132 Baylee Jones, Georgetown
      • 158 Chloe Scrimgeour, Georgetown
      • 207 Kiera Bothwell, Georgetown – West Springfield
      • 219 Chloe Gonzalez, Georgetown
      • 225 Katie Dammer, Georgetown
      • 245 Rachel Shoemaker, Rice – James Madison
      • 91 Shea Weilbaker, Georgetown
      • 107 Matt Young, Georgetown
      • 135 Jack Salisbury, Georgetown
      • 140 Luke Tewalt, Wake Forest – Washington Latin
      • 164 Sean Laidlaw, Georgetown
      • 169 Parker Stokes, Georgetown
      • 210 Quinn Nicholson, Georgetown
      • 216 Camden Gilmore, Georgetown


    • In Division III:
      • 25 Genevieve DiBari, Pomona – Stone Ridge
      • 202 Logan Funk, Christopher Newport – Merdian
      • 212 Ilana Zeilinger, Bates – Georgetown Day School
      • 249 Sarah James, Lynchburg – Brentsville
      • 266 Elizabeth Cassell, Dickinson – Quince Orchard


      • 62 Cullen Capuano,Washington U – Gonzaga
      • 77 Josh Fry, Colorado College, Bethesda-Chevy Chase
      • 96 John O’Rourke, Catholic
      • 111 Sam Llaneza, Lynchburg – Brentsville
      • 188 Gavin McElhennon, Johns Hopkins, Gonzaga
      • 206 Tyler Amos, Johns Hopkins, Chantilly
      • 217 Aidan Nathan, Case Western, Briar Woods
      • 219 Tim Boyce, St. Lawrence – Northwood
      • 232 Aaron Bratt, Haverford –  25:45
      • 259 Oliver Spiva, Amherst – Washington Latin 26:02






Running Shorts

  • A slew of runners with local connections will race in the NCAA Division I and III Cross Country Championships this weekend.
    • Georgetown’s men and women, including West Springfield alumna Keira Bothwell, will race the Division I championships Nov. 20 in Tallahassee, along with George Mason’s Annabelle Eastman. The field will also include:
      • Patriot alumna Rachel McArthur, running for Colorado
      • John Champe alumna Bethany Graham, running for Furman
      • Washington Latin alumnus Luke Tewalt, running for Wake Forest
      • George Marshall alumna Heather Holt, running for N.C. State
      • James Madison alumna Rachel Shoemaker, running for Rice
    • Catholic will have two individual qualifiers in John O’Rourke and Paige Wilderotter at the Division III race in Louisville. The field will also include:
      • Brentsville alumni Sam Llaneza and Sarah James, both running for Lynchburg
      • Gonzaga alumni Gavin McElhennon (Johns Hopkins) and Cullen Capuano (Washington University)
      • Bethesda-Chevy Chase alumnus Josh Fry, running for Colorado College
      • Stone Ridge alumna Genevieve DiBari, running for Pomona
      • Northwood alumnus Tim Boyce, running for St. Lawrence
      • Meridian alumna Logan Funk, running for Christopher Newport
      • Chantilly alumnus Tyler Amos, running for Johns Hopkins
      • Washington Latin alumnus Oliver Spiva, running for Amherst
      • Quince Orchard alumna Elizabeth Cassell, running for Dickinson
      • Briar Woods alumnus Aidan Nathan, running for Case Western
      • Georgetown Day School alumna Ilana Zeilinger, running for Bates
  • As winners of the Stone Mill 50 Mile Saturday in Montgomery County, Nicolas Crozier and Kristen Kelman won RRCA Ultrarunning titles for 2021.
  • The lottery for the 2022 Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run will be open Jan. 3- Jan. 16.

Heavy rain in late October forced a postponement for the Montgomery County Championships, and put coaches in a bind. How should they approach a race for bragging rights, when the regional meets, which would hold their fate for the state meet, loomed three days later?

For Gildon Kirk, in his first year coaching cross country at Bethesda-Chevy Chase, he saw it as a learning opportunity for his star sophomore Varri Higgins.

“Last year during the track season, she didn’t have much competition until the post-season, and that showed when she had to race the faster girls in the state,” Kirk said. “We looked at every race as an opportunity to get some more experience and get a feel for how to compete.”

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Oakton didn’t exactly defy any laws of physics, but typically, losing five of your top seven from a state championship team means you should expect a rebuilding year. But like the hummingbird that probably shouldn’t be able to fly, nobody every told the Cougars that.

With a steady stream of six finishers between 18th and 37th, Oakton scored 83 points to Yorktown’s 88 to win the Virginia 6A championship at Great Meadow, seeing their results get better as the races got bigger. After losing the Concorde District by two points to South Lakes, they posted a 10-point win over the Seahawks at the Northern Region.

“After districts, we saw how close we were,” said senior Elham Huq, who finished 27th in 16:53 and one of two returning runners. “It was just seconds… it’s marginal. That’s when we realized our potential.”

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The two-point loss at the 2019 D.C. cross country championships gnawed at the St. John’s boys team. They had closed the gap on Gonzaga from the WCAC Championships a week prior, but they still had cause for optimism. Most of the runners were underclassmen, and they could start looking ahead to the next fall.

Then the next cross country season was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and all but one of those boys graduated or didn’t return two seasons later. It would be up to senior Nicolas Grabarz to exact his revenge.

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Two local college teams and a variety of other local runners won individual honors at college conference cross country meets last weekend.

Georgetown won its second straight Big East title in Indiana George Washington University’s women won their first Atlantic 10 Cross Country title Saturday in Ohio. Georgetown’s Maggie Donahue won the Big East individual championship, George Mason’s Annabelle Eastman won the Atlantic 10 individual championship and John Champe alumna Bethany Graham, running for Furman, won the Southern Conference individual championship.

Josh Fry, a Bethesda-Chevy Chase alumnus won the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference individual tile, running for Colorado College and Logan Funk, a George Mason/Meridian alumna now at Christopher Newport, was the Coast-to-Coast Conference champion. Gonzaga alumnus Cullen Capuano, a sophmore at Washington University in St. Louis won the University Athletic Association’s rookie of the year.

GW had all four scoring runners – Margaret Coogan (2), Peri Pavicic (6), Kathryn Nohilly (10), Olivia Syftestad (15) and Julia Dempsy (17) – finish in the top 20 to score 50 points to host Dayton’s 75. Eastman, second in the spring’s conference meet, ran 17:24, ahead of Coogan’s 17:31 and led the Mason women to a fifth place finish. George Mason’s Jack Ikenberry finished second in 24:43 to Richmond’s Peter Borger’s 24:35 to lead Mason to a third place finish. James Glockenmeier (fifth place) led the GW men to a seventh place finish.

Donahue won the Big East title 20:47-20:49 over Villanova’s Lydia Olivere, the first of four Georgetown scorers –  Sami Corman (6), West Springfield alumna Kiera Bothwell (10) and Baylee Jones (13) in the top 15, with Katie Dammer finishing 35th. Jack Salisbury (6) led the way for the Hoyas, who swept places 10-13, but lost 35-52 to host Butler.

Howard had two second place finshes at the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, led by Joslyn Crosby (3) and Gavin Williams (4). Howard also had top locals finishing 11th: Walt Whitman’s Breanna McDonald and Bowie’s Tafari Stephenson. Catholic’s men finished third John O’Rourke’s runner-up finish and their women finished sixth, led by Paige Wilderotter. Maryland’s women finished 14th at the Big 10 Championships, with Lake Braddock alumna Sarah Daniels leading the way for local finishers in 95th place.

American finished eighth on the men’s side and 10th on the women’s at the Patriot League Championships, led by Russell Sullivan (39th) and Emily Neuner (67th). Bowie State’s men finished second at the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association Championships, led by Shane Massey in fifth, and ninth in the women’s race, led by Central’s Heaven Jenkins in 40th place. UDC’s women finished fifth at the East Coast Conference Championships, paced by Kamille Dixon’s 12th place finish.

Both Marymount teams  finished fifth at the Atlantic East Conference Championships, led by Jules Lemmon in sixth and Hayfield alumnus Matthew Zirkle in 30th.

Outside of the D.C. area, Richard Montgomery alumnus Rohann Asfaw, running for Virginia, finished 13th at the Atlantic Coast Conference Championships and George Marshall alumna Heather Holt, running for N.C. State, finished 17th.

Patriot’s Rachel McArthur finished fifth at the Pacific 12 Championships, running for Colorado.

At the Ivy League Championships, Bethesda-Chevy Chase alumna Zoe Nuechterlein, running for Yale, was sixth and Yorktown alumnus Albert Velikonja was 28th for Dartmouth.

William and Mary runners led local finishers at the Colonial Athletic Association Championships, with runner-up Sam Pritchard from West Springfield and Loudoun Valley alumna Kyra Holland (14).

Northwood had two UMBD runners lead locals at the America East Championshos – Fantaw finishing 39th Madison Armonda in 40th.

Woodson’s Tyler French was 49th at the Patriot League Championship for Lehigh

East Carolina had two runners leading local finishers at the American Athletic Conference Championships – Patriot alumna Linsay Yentz (27th) and Herndon alumnus Colin McCauley (35th).

James Madison’s Rachel Shoemaker, running for Rice, was 27th at the Conference USA Championships.

Loudoun Valley alumnus Jeremiah Mussman was 38th for Liberty at the Atlantic Sun Championships. Forest Park alumnus Zach Diller was 68th at the Southern Conference Championship, running for VMI.

Saint Sebastian Academy alumna Anne Akagi finished 12th at the Big South Championships for Charleston Southern and Loudoun Valley alumnus Ben Goulet was 62nd for Longwood.

George Mason alumnus Ryan Henderson, running for Christopher Newport, was second at the Coast-to-Coast Championships. Bethesda-Chevy Chase alumnus Adam Nakasaka was seventh at the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Championships. Gonzaga alumuns Gavin McElhennon  was 10th at the Centennial Conference Championships, running for Johns Hopkins.

I’m sure I missed somone. I’m sorry.


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