WJ Boys perfect pack tactics, McUmber and Weaverling reign supreme
by Greg Jubb
MoCoâs finest laced up at Gaithersburg High School on Saturday morning for the Montgomery County Cross Country Championships, one of the most competitive meets in the state.
Heavy showers from the day before left the course soft but not too muddy. With temperatures the high 50s and low 60s and with some cloud cover, many were quick to acknowledge that it was âperfect weather for cross country.â
The girls bolted out of the boxes at 10:15 and quick to establish the lead was freshman Sophie El-Masry of Richard Montgomery. With an approximate 15-second lead at the mile marker, El-Masry had distanced herself from the field.
By the time the lead pack had returned to cover the top loop of the course a second time, the 1-2 Bethesda-Chevy Chase punch had begun to make their presence known. B-CC sophomores Nora McUmber and Caroline Beakes began surging to the lead. McCumber took the lead position with about 1200 meters to go, putting El-Masry in second and Beakes close behind.
Clinching the top two spots were McCumber (18:25) and Beakes (18:32), leading B-CC to the Montgomery County team title. B-CC finished with 60 points, comfortably ahead of runners-up Quince Orchard, who finished with 82 points.
Onto the battle in the boysâ raceâŠ
Chase Weaverling Poolesville took the lead early, looking for a fast time. âI wanted to take it out in 4:50 and go from there,â said the junior.
Breathing down his neck the entire time was Will Bertrand of Clarksburg, who, despite his success this season, is a newcomer to cross country.
With 800m to go, Weaverling had a five-second gap on Bertrand, but Bertrand had saved his energy for a powerful sprint down final straightaway. With 60m to spare, the Clarksburg senior had pulled even with Weaverling. Both grimacing, they battled stride-for-stride for several meters, before Weaverlinghad pulled just ahead.
Weaverling 15:24.99. Bertrand 15:25.33.
Then came the Walter Johnson parade. Executing a 23-second spread, the Wildcats took the team title with ease, scoring 68 points. Wootton finished second with 116 points.