Plenty of smiles despite the raindrops
Westlake’s Hall, NP’s Nueslein place second at Chaptico Cross Country Invitational
While we were spared the wrath of Hurricane Matthew in Southern Maryland, there was still quite a bit of rain this past Saturday when the Fall Fishin’ Buddies Derby took place at Gilbert Run Park in Dentsville.
The rain was steady all day and there wasn’t a dry head anywhere to be seen. The anglers were outfitted in ponchos and raingear and thoroughly soaked. But despite the gloomy weather, I didn’t see a frown on anyone’s face.
Every few minutes there would be hootin’ and hollerin’ echoing across the lake as someone caught a fish, and plenty of smiles and cheers to make even the most dismal day a truly positive atmosphere.
Teams comprised of one adult and one child competed from both boats and shore. I walked around to find out what people were catching and how the fish were biting. The rain wasn’t keeping the fish home. The kids were catching plenty of bluegill with a few bass mixed in, too.
Jonathan Werner, 10, was fishing with his dad, Michael. His dad used to bring his older brother to the derby and now Jonathan and his dad have been teaming up for the past four years. Jonathan won a trophy in the spring derby for most bluegill. Although he only caught one bluegill this time, he was still having a great morning fishing with his dad.
Jackson Donnick, 7, was also fishing with his dad, Dan. This was Jackson’s second
It wasn’t quite John Denver’s voice singing the lyrics to “Take me home, country road” Saturday morning at the Chaptico Cross Country Invitational at Chaptico Park in Mechanicsville.
In rainy conditions, some creativity was needed to keep the spirits up as some runners found the conditions in the woods to be treacherous.
The caution flag definitely was in full force for a few boys, who ran the course after the varsity girls and took a few falls throughout the race.
Despite all of that, the boys trophy was decided by one point with South River of Anne Arundel County taking home the top honors with 42 points. Leonardtown was next with 43. Great Mills (132 points) and Chopticon (170) were fourth and fifth, respectively, after Arundel of Anne Arundel taking third (116).
On the girls side, it was South River winning the meet with 37 points. The Raiders took second with 47 points and Great Mills was third with 78. Old Mill of Anne Arundel was fourth (133) and North Point rounded out the top five (141).
Leonardtown head coach Brooke Fallon said she was very proud of both teams, considering the conditions and the tough week of work that the team had put in after taking on Northern, Lackey and McDonough in a Southern Maryland Athletic Conference meet three days prior.
“The boys were a little frustrated that they were only one point behind,” Fallon said. “They would rather have been one point ahead, but they’re very proud of themselves and I’m very proud of them due to that second place, being it was so close. I think he [Parker McDowell] did run really well and the girls also ran really well and worked together really well. I’m proud of their efforts big time.
“Other than the conditions, all of them were pretty psyched and that’s why I say for a group of girls to run that fast and that strong, we were really proud of them. They were rested coming in so we weren’t giving them much slack. We really pushed them to push it in this race. Wednesday was a tough meet too so they were really wanting to fight for good times.”
South Rivers’ Nick Boogades won on the boys side, finishing in 17 minutes 6.46 seconds. Westlake’s Jay Hall took second in 17:11.42 and South River’s Adam Allen was third in 17:27.02. McDowell was fourth in 17:29.07 and Patuxent’s Brendan Jones rounded out the top five in 17:41.27.
Great Mills’ Annie Imhof captured the overall win for the girls with a time of 19:53.68. North Point’s Rachel Nueslein took second in 20:16.20 and Leonardtown’s Liana Foianini took third in 20:28.23.
Boogades was all smiles after the race and said he managed to keep his footing throughout the race. He hadn’t ran the course since winning the Class 4A East Region meet last year.
“I was happy with the race, but I wasn’t really worried about the time,” Boogades said. “I think it’s my first 5K finishing over 17 [minutes] since last year. It was definitely slippery conditions out there, especially in places you wouldn’t expect it. Some of the guys fell and I took advantage of that. I managed to keep the lead. I knew the Westlake No. 1 [Hall] was there, but I also knew my No. 2 guy was there behind me. I was really happy with that. I do like this course.”
Hall battled the conditions as best he could and continued to fight for the second-place finish.
“I started out good, got out to the front and tried to keep in the front the whole way basically,” Hall said. “I knew it was going to be muddy, but ... I fell three times. It was an OK race. I want to try to keep going down in time more and try to place well at SMAC, regionals and states.”
Imhof, who ran in brand new spikes, said she wasn’t concerned with running a best time but was overall thrilled with the win.
“I was really just trying to stay on my feet,” Imhof said. “I felt like my muscles were working twice as hard. It is pretty rough out there. It was great during the course walk. I kind of wished they would have moved the race to earlier just because during the course walk there was just a little mist. It was mostly dry compared to what it is now.
“The course was super clear. Leonardtown’s team came in and got all the leaves out and spray-painted the route so it was super easy to navigate through. You knew where everything was but there were huge puddles that you can’t really avoid. I was stepping in an inch of water at times. I ran in these spikes. I can’t imagine just running in tennis shoes today.”
Imhof said Nueslein pushed her throughout the entire race.
“We were supposed to race against North Point last week but it got canceled because of the rain and we’ll race against each other next week, but she really pushed me today,” Imhof said.
“We always seem to work well with each other when we race,” Nueslein said. “We’re really good friends and even after the race, we’re really proud of each other.”
“It’s internally competitive, but outwardly motivational.” Imhof added. “It’s a healthy environment for sure.”
Kayla Fraser, 9, from Indian Head, gets help from her mother Crystle, taking a bluegill off the hook at the Fall Fishin’ Buddies Derby at Gilbert Run Park in Dentsville on Oct. 8.
Westlake’s Jay Hall, who said he fell three times, battled it out to finish second overall at the Chaptico Cross Country Invitational on Saturday morning at Chaptico Park in Mechanicsville with a time of 17 minutes 11.42 seconds.
North Point’s Rachel Nueslein, left, and Great Mills’ Annie Imhof, claimed the top two spots in the Chaptico Invitational on Saturday morning at Chaptico Park in Mechanicsville. Imhof won the meet in 19 minutes 53.38 seconds with Nueslein finishing in 20:16.20.