- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
It was a day to be shared amongst the fellow Great Mills Hornets boys and girls cross country seniors.
But after both Hornets teams swept a quad-meet featuring the Chopticon Braves, Northern Patriots and La Plata Warriors on Wednesday, it was excitement surrounding the entire team, no matter if it was a freshman, sophomore, junior or senior.
The Hornets boys defeated Northern, 24-33, and Chopticon and La Plata by identical 16-47 scores, and the Hornets girls defeated Northern, 24-33, Chopticon, 17-46, and La Plata, 18-43.
Great Mills senior David Strickland won the boys individual race in 16 minutes 25 seconds and Great Mills junior Kiara Bailey won the girls individual race in 21:33.
“I was nervous, honestly, and I had butterflies,” Strickland said of his senior day. “It was a big meet, so it feels good to walk off my home course in my senior year with a win. I am happy.”
Strickland stood with Bailey after her individual win in praising her job as only a second-year runner.
“Everyone on the girls team killed it today,” Strickland said, “but a few of them really just showed up and we [won] first place in both the boys and girls and that’s awesome. Everyone is so happy today.”
Bailey has played soccer, basketball and ran track through her first two years at Great Mills but has now settled on cross country.
“Yeah, this is my sport now,” she said. “All of the other sports are team sports, but we are using each other a lot more in this [sport] and pushing each other. It feels like you’re in a nice place when you’re running.”
On winning, she added: “It’s actually a really great feeling for me.”
The Hornets boys (5-0 overall/SMAC) placed four runners in the top 10. After Strickland’s top finish, Robert Romano placed third (17:31), while Brazil Barrow was one second behind him in fourth and Matthew Sebacher placed sixth.
The girls (4-1) followed suit with four in the top 10. After Bailey’s winning time, Annie Imhof took second in 21:41, while Tara Bray was fourth and Anna Staats took 10th.
The Patriots boys (5-1) and girls (4-2) each picked up two wins on Wednesday, each with victories over Chopticon and La Plata.
Led by an individual second-place finish by Scott Carpenter (17:01) on the boys side, Northern defeated Chopticon, 15-49, and La Plata, 15-48.
“We knew it was going to be a close race,” Carpenter said. “I think the home course game them a little bit of an edge and that might have been the deciding factor. ... Our confidence is pretty high right now despite the fact that we did lose to Great Mills. I think that if we would have won, it would have just been an even greater boost.”
Julianne Ogden placed third individually (21:54) in helping the Northern girls defeat La Plata, 19-38, and Chopticon, 21-34. Lindsay Parks (sixth), Jessica Raney (eighth) and Haley Hough (ninth) also placed in the top 10 for the Patriots girls.
“I don’t know if I started off fast or what,” Ogden said, “but my goal was to just keep the Great Mills girls in sight. It was a tough race for me. It wasn’t my best but it’s alright.”
Lauren Fancella finished fifth overall individually in helping the Chopticon girls (2-4) earn a 26-31 victory over La Plata (0-4).
“I was very happy,” Fancella said. “It felt long but it was really easy because there were no hills. ... I was trying to beat my personal record today.”
She did that with a time of 22:43, breaking her previous personal record of 24 minutes.
The Chopticon boys (2-4) were led by a 12th-place finish by Hunter Nelson.
The La Plata boys (1-3) earned a 23-37 victory over Chopticon with Derek Peltzer placing 10th overall as La Plata’s top finisher.
“It was really good because there has been so much effort out of the team and we have really been pushing each other,” Peltzer said. “We have greatly improved and there have been a lot of [personal records] in this race. I am proud of myself and proud of the team.”
La Plata freshman Katherine Tyo placed seventh overall.
She admitted that she is always nervous, but as the daughter of a cross country runner, Tyo said that she takes her mother’s advice when she runs.
“If you feel like you are going to [vomit], keep going,” Tyo said in jest.
Cross country box scores
Great Mills 16, La Plata 47; Great Mills 26, Northern 31; Great Mills 16, Chopticon 47; Northern 15, La Plata 48; Northern 15, Chopticon 49; La Plata 23, Chopticon 37
1. Strickland (GM) 16:25, 2. Carpenter (N) 17:01, 3. Romano (GM) 17:31, 4. Barrow (GM) 17:32, 5. Bennett (N) 17:33
Great Mills 18, La Plata 43; Great Mills 24, Northern 33; Great Mills 17, Chopticon 46; Northern 19, La Plata 38; Northern 21, Chopticon 34; Chopticon 26, La Plata 31
1. Bailey (GM) 21:33, 2. Imhof (GM) 21:41, 3. Ogden (N) 21:54, 4. Bray (GM) 22:03; 5. Fancella (C) 22:43