After Wednesday’s Southern Maryland Athletic Conference cross country tri-meet at Northern High School, Patriots head coach Josh Dawson could say just three words.
“It was hot,” Dawson said with sweat rolling down his face.
With temperatures upwards of 90 degrees, runners from Calvert, Thomas Stone and Northern were challenged having to compete in the hot and humid conditions.
The Patriots were able to sweep the visitors and have a runner finish in first place during both the boys and girls races.
On the boys side, Northern edged Calvert, 23-32, while both the Patriots (2-0 overall) and Cavaliers (1-1) topped Stone (0-2) as the Cougars did not have enough runners to score.
Northern claimed three of the top five spots in the boys race. Gabe Amisano claimed the victory with a time of 19 minutes 26.7 seconds, edging out Patriots teammate Cameron King who finished second with a time of 19:29.2. Northern’s Fynn Yankanich finished fourth (20:11.2).
Calvert’s Cameron Bush was the first Cavaliers runner on the boys side to finish and claimed third place (19:53.9), while teammate David Rodenhaver finished in fifth place for the Calvert (20:22.5).
“We had a hard workout on Monday and are going into a meet this weekend, so we were running what you would kind of call a tempo-run today just to get a good workout in,” Cavaliers head coach John Major said. “With all that being said, I think they ran well and everybody finished healthy.”
Tristian Palmer was the first Thomas Stone runner on the boys side to finish with a time of 21:28.9, which earned him an 11th place finish overall.
"For over half of our runners, this was their very first high school cross country race," Cougars head coach Butch Landis said. "We were especially pleased with Dina Jones and Ben Stoudt as both finished competitively in their first ever meets."
Northern’s girls put on a strong performance and claimed seven of the top ten spots.
The Patriots girls earned a win over Calvert 19-40, while both Northern (2-0) and the Cavaliers (1-1) topped Stone (0-2) as the Cougars did not have enough runners to score.
Northern junior Oakley Olson, a 3A state champion last fall with Huntingtown, won her first cross country race as a member of the Patriots with a time of 20:32.5.
“Today I felt like we had a pretty good race as a team,” Olson said. “I was really surprised at the ending because all of our girls finished all together, so that was pretty exciting. We all cheered each other on.”
Sydney Yankanich (21:24.5), Julia Devine (22:39.8), Abby Setzfand (22:42.1) and Anna Finn (23:04.9) finished third through sixth, respectively.
“I think having a home meet really showed us how strong we are if we all push and run our best races,” Olson said. “Even though it was really hot today, it is exciting to see what we will be able to do in colder weather and once we have more training as the season progresses.”
Kristen Prince of Calvert finished second (20:52.5) and Princess Taylor of Stone finished 20th overall (27:26.9) and were the first runners from each of the visiting teams to cross the finish line in the girls race.
“I was missing two of our top five girls here today, but we came here just to have a good run and we did so,” Major said. “We enjoyed it and got a good workout in.”
Major is optimistic about his boys and girls chances this year at the SMAC championship and potentially further.
“We are going to be ready when the SMAC championships come around. If we can get everybody healthy and fit, I think we will surprise a lot of people there,” Major said. “I think we should be able to do well at regionals and our girls I think have a really good shot at winning the 2A state title if we keep them healthy and they are running good. We are looking optimistically ahead at the rest of the season.”
Calvert’s boys have an invitational scheduled for Saturday at Oatlands Plantation in Virginia with its next SMAC meet slated to be at home on Sept. 25 with Huntingtown and Leonardtown.
Stone is scheduled to face off with Chopticon, Lackey, McDonough and Patuxent at Chopticon High on Sept. 25, while Northern is next slated to compete at the Bull Run Invitational at Hereford High School in Baltimore County on Sept. 21.