Severna Park wins 6th straight boys title
Despite the fact that the calendar year has changed, it seemed a lot like 2015 at the Anne Arundel County cross country championships Wednesday.
The fact that the races were run at Chesapeake was not the only thing that resembled last year, as the Severna Park boys, Broadneck girls and Annapolis’ Maria Coffin all defended their titles from last season. South River’s Nick Boogades was the only newcomer to crash the title party.
Boogades took off from the outset and led comfortably most of the race, finishing in just under 16 minutes — which was 14 seconds ahead of Joseph LaFleche of the Falcons. Boogades credited his aggressive approach with his success.
“Some of the races I didn’t come in with a chip on my shoulder, so I knew I needed to come in races more aggressive and more confident and I definitely did that as the season progressed on,” Boogades said. “Coming in, all I really was worried about was our team. We were really going after Severna Park, and honestly, I wasn’t as focused on my race as I was our team’s race as a whole and what we needed to do. I was trying to get everybody with me.”
Unfortunately for Boogades and his Seahawks teammates, the Falcons have built a state and national dynasty, so it was business as usual as LaFleche, Garrison Clark (third), Jonah Lane (fifth), Nathan Vandemeulebroecke (seventh) and Samuel Martin (eighth) all finished in the top 10, helping Severna Park to its sixth consecutive county title, 25-58, ahead of Broadneck.
It is also the Falcons’ ninth county title in the past 10 years, made even more impressive by the youth of this year’s team: The only senior in the top seven is LaFleche.
“We have a young team,” Severna Park coach Josh Alcombright said. “We are just taking these next two weeks to be more consistent and get together more as a team. We have yet to have everybody click on all cylinders at one race; it’s always somebody in that top four is having an off day. We are taking it one step at a time. ... We just want these guys to realize their potential, so we always have to be pushing them.”
The Broadneck girls have prided themselves on working as a team, including their county and region championships last year as well as a fourth-place finish at the state meet. With the whole team returning this year, the Bruins had high hopes of repeating as champions but knew that with the improvement of Severna Park, South River and Annapolis, they would have to stick together.
They completed that mission and then some as Natalia Jacobo led the way with a third-place finish while Julianna Fernandez (fifth), Maya Sage (seventh), Madeleine Hurley (eighth) and Cierra Schnell (10th) all finished in the top 10 to help the Bruins defeat Severna Park, 33-50.
“Our team is really good at staying together, so if our pack gets in front of Severna Park or South River’s pack, we will end up winning the entire race,” Jacobo said. “Today that was our only goal, to get up there, stay close and don’t let any South River or Severna Park girls get in between us because we know if we finish one by one we will win it all.”
Jacobo missed nearly a month of the season with injuries, but her and her teammates’ resilience reflected their mental toughness that coach Brianna Bostic knew they would show.
“I told the team, ‘We have the opportunity, you had success here last year, let’s just repeat it. Go out there and give it everything that you have and see how it turns out,’ ” Bostic said. “That’s what they did. They South River’s Nick Boogades was the only individual or team competitor to win a championship for the first time. stepped up, ran great and I couldn’t be more proud of what they did today.”
Coffin entered her final county championship aiming to set her pace and prepare for states and nationals, where she looks to defend her state title and improve upon her 27th place at the Foot Locker National Championships in San Diego.
She also committed to Providence earlier this month, so with the weight of a college decision off her shoulders, she was able to focus on running, which she did en route to a 17:25 finish, a full 100 seconds ahead of her sister, Anna, who finished second.