The D.C. area is home to one of the most vibrant running communities in the world, with multiple races happening every week. But it’s easy for runners to miss the inner workings when they’re focused on getting to the finish line.
There was panic in the Jungle.
People felt it at home in Purcellville, at the Commonwealth Games, in a University of Virginia dorm and beamed it back to the Gleendover Golf Course in Portland, Ore.
From all indications, Loudoun Valley was all over the standings as they raced Nike Cross Nationals. Second. Third. But definitely not first. A long way from being the first boys team to defend a national title.
“After the second mile, we heard we were in third, and it wasn’t even close,” Coach Marc Hunter said. “We were probably 30 or 40 points back, and you’re not going to make that up in a mile.”
Something had to be wrong.
- A roughly 0.4-mile paved path opened in Arlington County over the weekend on the western side of Washington Boulevard, between Towers Park and Columbia Pike.
- The California International Marathon Dec. 2 doubled as the U.S. Marathon Championships. Former Georgetown grad student Sam Roecker finished third in 2:30:25, Alexandria’s Bethany Sachtleben, a former George Mason runner, was sixth in 2:31:20 and former Silver Spring resident Maegan Krifchin finished eighth in 2:32:47. All had previously qualified for the 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials. Former Silver Spring resident and University of Maryland runner Patrick Reaves qualified for the Olympic Trials, running 2:17:40, as did Columbia native Brian Harvey (2:17:48), American University alumnus Mark Leininger (2:17:50) and Arlington resident Kieran O’Connor (2:18:52).
Struggling with what to get the runner on your holiday list? Fear not — there are plenty of options that can be purchased at D.C.-area retailers that can suit anyone from the occasional 5K trotter to the most extreme endurance athletes.
As technology develops, trends change and new brands take off, several shops shared what rises to the top and should be under runners’ trees this holiday season.
D.C.-area runners dominated the Nike Cross Southeast meet, putting four runners in the top eight and 15 in the top 50. Loudoun Valley easily qualified for the national meet that “Purcellville” won last year, with Sam Affolder and Jacob Hunter finishing second and third in 15:14. Right behind Hunter, Eldad Mulugeta finished fourth in 15:15 and his Northwood teammate Obsaa Feda finished eighth in 15:20. The course at WakeMed Park in Raleigh, N.C. was extremely muddy after days of rain, with more rain throughout the races.
Other top-50 finishers included Bishop O’Connell senior Max Greczyn in 11th in 15:29, four more Loudoun Valley runners in senior Connor Wells in 16th (15:37), junior Kellen Hasle in 17th (15:38), junior Carlos Shultz in 22nd (15:42) and senior Jacob Windle in 24th (15:44) with Washington Latin junior Luke Tewalt finishing 23rd in 15:42. West Springfield junior Sam Pritchard was 40th in 15:57, Loudoun Valley juniors Mateo Barreto and Kevin Carlson finished 45th and 46th in 15:59 (Barreto ran unattached) and West Springfield junior Chris Weeks was 48th in 16:01.
Two Loudoun Valley girls came close to qualifying as individuals – sophomore Ricky Fetterolf in eighth (18:05) and junior Elise Abbe in ninth (18:19). Rock Ridge freshman Ava Gordon finished 15th in 18:31, West Springfield junior Amy Herrema was 30th in 18:56, Washington Latin sophomore Zoe Edleman was 32nd in 18:59.
Loudoun Valley’s boys scored 52 points to beat Florida’s Bolles with 117. They’ll race Saturday, Dec. 1. Northwood was the top local Maryland team in 13th with 327 (trailing 12th place West Springfield by six points), and Gonzaga was the top D.C. team in 24th, with 569 points. The Loudoun Valley girls were sixth, scoring 217 points.
At the Foot Locker South regional on a drier McAlpine Park course in Charlotte, N.C., George Marshall senior Natalie Bardach led local finishers in 18th place in 17:52, with Annandale sophomore Julia Ghiselli 27th in 18:14. Broad Run junior Ellie Desmond, 31st in 18:17, Woodbridge senior Laura Webb, 47th in 18:35, and John Champe junior Bethany Graham, 50th in 18:37 rounded out the top 50. Herndon junior Colin McCauley’s 81st place finish in 16:18 led Northern Virginia finishers, though DCXC Invitational senior race winner Daniel O’Brien, a junior at the Virginia Episcopal School, qualified for the national meet, finishing third in 15:07.
Maryland and D.C. runners competed at Van Courtlandt Park in New York City for the Foot Locker Northeast meet. Poolesville senior Nandini Satsangi led local Maryland finishers in 49th place in 19:40 and Sophia Hanway, a sophomore at D.C.’s National Cathedral School, finished 65th in 19:55. Bullis junior Nicholas Karayanis led local Maryland finishers in 40th place, running 16:29, and St. Albans sophomore Damien Hackett was D.C.’s top finisher in a tie for 53rd place, running 16:41.
Heritage alumna Weini Kelati’s runner-up finish led local runners’ performances at the NCAA Cross Country Championships, a new interactive map shows D.C. area trails, =PR=’s Arlington store moves and more suspicious results from Marine Corps.
- The Capital Trails Coalition has introduced an interactive map of completed and planned paved trails throughout the D.C. area.
- Darrell General won the $25,000 Hometown Hero award. Thank you to everyone who voted for him.
- Derek Murphy of Marathon Investigation continues to look into suspicious Marine Corps Marathon finishers, including one man with a history of missing timing mats and several instances of course cutting leading to tell-tale mile paces as fast as 1:33.
- Potomac River Running’s Arlington store has moved to Ballston Quarter at 4238 Wilson Boulevard.
- T.C. Williams alumnus Noah Lyles won the Jesse Owens Award from USATF. Lyles went undefeated in the 200 meters, winning the Diamond League title.
NCAA cross country finishers after the jump
Henley Gabeau, who championed women’s running as a founder of the first women’s running club in the Washington, D.C. area and the first executive director of the Road Runners Club of America, died Nov. 7 of colon cancer. She was 74.
Gabeau was a dominant presence in the D.C. and national road running communities for more than 25 years, from the founding of the women’s only club, RunHers, in 1976, to her retirement as RRCA executive director in 2001. During that time, she lobbied for equal access to the sport and was part of the movement that led to the inclusion of women’s distance events in the Olympics – the marathon (added in 1984), the 10,000 meters (1988), and the 5,000 meters (1996).
She stood out as a leader and role model at a time when women’s participation in the sport wasn’t so commonplace, said Jeff Darman, the race director of the local ACLI Capital Challenge race.
- Several runners with local connections will be competing at the NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships, held Saturday, Nov. 17 at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Please let us know if we missed someone.
- Caroline Alcorta – Villanova – West Springfield (Mid-Atlantic region champion)
- Emily Bracher – Maryland
- Tai Dinger – Stanford – St. Albans
- Abbey Green – Virginia – Walter Johnson
- Heather Holt – NC State – George Marshall
- Weini Kelati – New Mexico – Heritage (Mountain region champion)
- Allie Klimkiewicz – Princeton – Oakton
- Taylor Knibb – Cornell – Sidwell Friends School
- Page Lester – Princeton – National Cathedral School
- Rachel McArthur – Villanova – Patriot
- Jack Van Scoter – Georgetown
- Nicholas Wareham – Georgetown
- To the northeast, at least seven local runners will be competing at the NCAA Division III Cross Country Championships the same day at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. Please let us know if we missed someone.
- Tristan Colaizzi – Williams – Georgetown Day School
- Genevive DiBari – Pomona – Stone Ridge
- Zoe Friedman – Emory – Montgomery Blair
- Jeff Gibson – Mary Washington – Edison
- Abigail Levine – Carnegie Mellon – Bethesda-Chevy Chase
- Adam Nakasaka – Carleton – Bethesda-Chevy Chase
- Abigail Shoemaker – Chicago – Thomas Jefferson
- A woman who was initially listed as the sixth finisher at the Marine Corps Marathon crossed none of the intermediate timing mats and has been removed from the results.
- Voting closes Friday for the Hometown Hero Award, which carries a $25,000 prize. George Marshall cross country coach Darrell General is the only cross country or track coach in the finals. You can vote here.
Three Virginia teams won their first state championships Saturday at Great Meadow, while two regulars kept their annual appointments on the podium.
Tuscarora girls and defending national champion Loudoun Valley boys repeated as team champions in 5A and 4A, respectively, but Loudoun Valley and West Springfield’s girls an W.T. Woodson’s boys (6A) were both new to hoisting a trophy. LV’s Sam Affolder repeated and his teammate Ricky Fetterolf won her first individual title. Three Northern Virginia runners finished in second: Broad Run’s Ellie Desmond in 5A, and West Springfield’s Chase Kappeler and Woodson’s Jack Leech in 6A.
Seniors Obsaa Feda and Eldad Mulugeta led their Northwood High School cross country team to a second-place finish on Saturday at the Maryland state meet. It was also a D.C.-area school’s top finish in the 4A boys’ race since Walter Johnson’s runner-up finish in 2012.
The teammates ran together toward the finish line in the 4A boys’ race, but Feda crossed first, running the hilly three-mile course at Hereford High School in 15:44.05. Less than a second later, Mulugeta finished the race, earning a time of 15:44.29.
The third- and fourth-place runners finished 18 seconds after Feda and Mulugeta.
Northwood Coach Giovanni Reumante was amazed by what his team was able to accomplish.
“We set this goal at the end of last cross country season,” he said. “And so throughout indoor, outdoor and the entire summer, they worked toward this goal of being a competitor at the state meet.”