Calvert boys, Northern girls sweep meet
Northern girls, Calvert boys sweep quad
Somewhere along the way Northern’s Abby Sweeney is going to have to repay teammate Claudia Dolan after Sweeney inadvertently edged out her cross country teammate at the finish line.
The duo made a pact to stay together throughout the course and cross the finish line in tandem, but Sweeney mistakenly crossed the line 62-one hundredths of a second ahead of Dolan.
“We were having fun, so I just figured I’d ask Claudia ‘Hey, do you want to finish together?’ and she’s like, ‘Yeah,’” Sweeney said just before the two-mile marker. “[Just before the finish] I realized I had started to kick and then I’m like, ‘Oh no, I said together. What am I doing?’ I tried to slow down a little, but it just would have been weird if I had stopped. I definitely do owe her one.”
Sweeney finished in 19 minutes 50.23 seconds to win with Dolan coming in at 19:50.85.
“She already pushes me, but about halfway through we were like, ‘Together, together until the end,’” Dolan said, “so yeah, maybe she owes me one.”
Regardless of who finished first or second, the Northern girls swept the quad-meet Wednesday against Huntingtown, Lackey and host Calvert.
“Northern’s Northern, we couldn’t handle them,” Calvert head coach John Major said. “We just wanted to see how close we could get and I think our girls ran about what I expected.”
The Patriots (8-0 overall) remained unbeaten on the season following wins over Calvert (1845), Huntingtown (20-41) and an incomplete Lackey squad.
The Cavaliers (6-2) posted a 26-30 win over Huntingtown and 15-50 over Lackey and the Hur- ricanes (6-2) also defeated the Chargers (1-7), 15-50.
Calvert’s Justin Diehl won the boys race and the Cavaliers (8-0) picked up wins over Northern (19-44), Lackey (15-50) and Huntingtown (18-43).
The Patriots (7-1) took second-place after posting a 20-41 win over Huntingtown and earned a 15-49 decision over the Chargers (0-6-2).
“I’m very pleased with the results today,” Northern head coach Josh Dawson said, referring to both his boys and girls teams. “Everyone persevered with the heat today and I’m really excited to see the times are still getting faster. I think we’re all running very well and they’re racing amongst themselves and that’s good because I tell them all the time not to be complacent with the pecking order.”
Huntingtown (5-2-1) managed a
victory following an 18-42 decision against Lackey.
“I’m pleased with how we competed despite the circumstances,” said Huntingtown head coach Dave Spain, who, like other teams, had several runners battling the flu. “The boys fought real hard and the girls ran well. They’re real inexperienced, but they’re really starting to come into their own.”
Diehl finished the race in 16:38.65, more than 16 seconds ahead of runner-up Greg Oldham of Northern.
“I always like to go hard on the home meets. They’re my favorite league meet, so I’m happy with it,” Diehl said. “I wanted to set the pace and we have a really hard hill at the back of the trail so I try and push it up there to try and get some separation.”
“I’m pretty pleased,” said Oldham, who crossed the finish line in 16:55.35. “It was a little slower than I wanted it to be, but for the most part I finished and got a good place. My strategy was to go out with Justin and just stay with him as long as I could.”
Calvert’s John Dodsworth (17:18.58) and Paul Fagnano (17:25.03) were third and fourth, respectively.
“I kind of knew Justin and Greg were going to be ahead of me,” Fagnano said, “so my main goal was to stick to a pace I knew I could run and have a good kick and try and get in the top-5.”
Conor McGirr of Huntingtown was fifth in 17:26.12 and teammate Ben Russell (17:42.87), who was recovering from the flu, grabbed seventh.
“We knew Calvert was going to have a really good team and Northern always has good runners,” McGirr said, “so I was just trying to pace with [teammate] Ben Russell for awhile and then make my move.”
“He’s really getting what he deserves now,” Spain said of McGirr, who was injured last year and missed all of indoor and outdoor track season. “And Ben didn’t have his top race but he fought his heart out.”
Andrew Wright was Lackey’s top finisher when he crossed the finish line in 18th place in 19:36.24.
“We went hard and talked about what our goals are and how we were going to get there and everyone dropped a lot of time, so we’re happy,” Wright said. “We wanted to hit the hills hard and go after them on the turns. If you can’t pass, then stay in that spot and use your arms to get some air going.”
Sweeney and Dolan finished 1-2 — or could have finished 2-1 — but early on it didn’t appear that would happen as the duo was among several runners who made a wrong turn in the first couple hundred meters.
“I kind of ruined my race,” Dolan said of the early miscue, “but I came back strong and stayed with Abby.”
“When I turned around there were some people in front of me [also going the wrong way] and I was like, ‘Oh, shoot,’” Sweeney said. “But we also took a wrong turn in the course walk, so that got in my head a little bit.”
Calvert’s Sydney Friedel (season PR of 20:22.60), Huntingtown’s Jane Gorman (21:03.13) and Northern’s Alyssa Tatum (21:05.85) rounded out the top-5.
“I wanted to go out with a good, consistent pace,” Friedel said, “and we had home course advantage so I knew where all the hills were so surge up the hills the best I could.”
“The other teams definitely motivated me,” Gorman said. “I know Northern and Calvert are really good, so I knew I could keep some of them in front of me, but keep them in eyesight and then at the end try and save up some energy if possible to pass some of them.”
Annie Landgraf was the top Lackey runner and one of just three Chargers to compete.
“I think I died out a lot at the end of the second mile,” Landgraf said. “Our course has a lot of hills as well, so I think it was because of all the sharp turns and also because of the heat. I’m supposed to stay with this [middle] group, but I try and push past them to push myself because I practice with the guys.”
Though the teams are battling for top spot in the regular season standings, Dawson knows its just a warmup.
“League meets are fun and all,” he said, “but we really are training for October and November [postseason meets].”
Northern’s Abby Sweeney, right, and Claudia Dolan finished first and second, 63 one-hundredths of a second apart with Sweeney winning in 19 minutes 50.23 seconds, to help the Patriots sweep Wednesday’s quad meet at Calvert that also included Huntingtown and Lackey.
Calvert’s Justin Diehl won the boys race in 16 minutes 38.65 seconds during Wednesday’s home quad-meet that also included Huntingtown, Lackey and Northern.