Re­spect for the hills

Lackey cross coun­try splits at Chop­ti­con; Do­bry fin­ishes fourth in boys

Maryland Independent - - Sports - By TAMMY SHOWAL­TER tshowal­ter@somd­ Twit­ter: @tam­lyn­nusa

The first South­ern Mary­land Ath­letic Con­fer­ence cross coun­try meet of the sea­son for Chop­ti­con, Lackey and Patux­ent got un­der­way with­out a hitch Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon at Chop­ti­con High School. And even Patux­ent’s Hay­ley Jack­son, the girls 2015 Class 2A state cham­pion, gave much re­spect to the tough course.

Jack­son led the girls race early on and fin­ished with the vic­tory, cross­ing the fin­ish line in 20 min­utes 21 sec­onds.

Jack­son said she and her team felt ea­ger to get the first meet of the sea­son go­ing and in the books.

“I came in here think­ing it was flat and maybe a few hills,” Jack­son said, “but once we started tak­ing the course walk I re­al­ized that wasn’t the case at all. We were told there were just a few hills, be­cause we haven’t been here in like 10 years. My mom and coach Paul were think­ing that there was just one hill, but we weren’t sure.

“I was like, ‘We got this. We’re go­ing to have a great start to the sea­son be­cause all of us are run­ning great times in prac­tice and we’re get­ting stronger than last year. We’re not cocky or any­thing; we’re just ready to start our sea­son and our times to­day aren’t where we want them to me [smil­ing]. Later on, we’ll ac­cept it that this was a tough course and that it’s the first meet of the sea­son and we’ll have Satur­day’s meet (the Richard Barn­hart Memo­rial Cross Coun­try In­vi­ta­tional at Du­laney High School in Ti­mo­nium), which will be a lot cooler than this. This heat to­day is a fac­tor.”

De­spite Jack­son’s in­di­vid­ual win, Chop­ti­con’s girls (2-0 over­all) fin­ished sec­ond through fifth to record a 21-35 win over Patux­ent (1-1), while the Braves and Pan­thers posted wins over the Charg­ers (0-2) who did not have enough run­ners to se­cure a team score.

Lau­ren Fan­cella fin­ished sec­ond over­all, first for the Braves, with a time of 22:37. Although on her home course, Fan­cella said the course still hits a run­ner hard.

“The hills are dif­fi­cult,” she said. “I kind of wish I would have went a lit­tle faster, but it’s hot and it’s our first meet. I’m at a low 21 [min­utes], so I re­ally want to break 21 this year and had to­ward 19 min­utes and get the team to states.”

Braves team­mates Sa­van­nah Pul­lium (23:43), cap­tain Mag­gie More­land (23:45) and Maken­zie Van­de­van­der (24:02) fin­ished third, fourth and fifth, re­spec­tively.

The Chop­ti­con boys (20) grabbed the top two spots and fifth en route to wins over Lackey (2041) and Patux­ent (18-45). The Charg­ers (1-1) edged the Pan­thers (0-2) for the split, 27-29.

Chop­ti­con’s Tyler Mo­drze­jew­ski took first over­all with a time of 17:58 and team­mate Dar­ius White cap­tured sec­ond in 18:15.

Bren­don Jones was Patux­ent’s first boy to fin­ish, plac­ing third with a time of 18:52. Jones said the race didn’t quite end up like he had hoped.

“The first mile I was right on pace (5:30) and then I started dy­ing out and I started feeling a lit­tle tingly and I knew that wasn’t good so I backed off, and I de­cided I’d run with Chop­ti­con’s sec­ond run­ner Dar­ius, but I let him get too far away and I couldn’t catch back up to him. I have a race on Satur­day any­way, so Dar­ius and I raced to­gether for a while and then the third mile I was pretty much by my­self.”

Jones also gave re­spect to the course.

“The course is very dif­fi­cult; very hard course,” Jones said. “Com­pared to other cour­ses in SMAC, this is par for the course. It’s about the fourth hardest course in the con­fer­ence.”

Lackey’s first male to fin­ish was se­nior Ja­cob Do­bry, a first-year run­ner. A three-sport ath­lete, Do­bry plays soc­cer and also wres­tles for the Charg­ers so he thought he would try cross coun­try for en­durance and stay­ing in shape.

Do­bry fin­ished fourth over­all in 20:05 with Chop­ti­con’s Ni­co­las Gagnon in fifth in 20:14.

“It’s a good sport to do for en­durance.” Do­bry said. “The course was great; it was very tough es­pe­cially in the woods. It was very hilly and go­ing across the bridges, mak­ing the ad­just­ment to the steps was tough.

When asked if he was happy with his time, Do­bry said, “I am blessed; es­pe­cially for my first meet.”

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