Plenty of smiles de­spite the rain­drops

Westlake’s Hall, NP’s Nueslein place sec­ond at Chap­tico Cross Coun­try In­vi­ta­tional

Maryland Independent - - Sports - Jamie Drake

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.”

PHOTO BY JAMIE DRAKE

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.

STAFF PHO­TOS BY TAMMY SHOWAL­TER

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.

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