Northern High School’s Dolan wins at Bull Run
Patriots girls finish second, Hurricanes third at Bull Run
On the one hand, a couple of state championship trophies and consistently strong showings in significant meets over the past few years by Northern’s girls cross country team have made success seem more of the norm than the exception.
But on the other hand, Claudia Dolan still didn’t necessarily expect what transpired on Saturday at the Bull Run Invitational at Hereford High School in Parkton. Running in the medium school girls race, Dolan crossed the finish line first in 19 minutes 9.9 seconds, pacing the Patriots to a second-place team finish.
“Finishing first was a huge surprise and accomplishment for me since I’ve never performed that well in a large race before,” said Dolan, who did finish fourth at the Class 3A state meet a season ago. “It also is motivating me to work even harder from this point on, knowing the people I beat this weekend will be focusing on beating me specifically in the championship season. So it’s a very rewarding yet scary feeling at the same time.”
Among those chasing behind Dolan to the finish line were C. Milton Wright’s Haley Cummins, who has won the 3A race each of the past two years. Cummins finished third in 19:17.9 on Saturday, behind Dolan and Huntingtown’s Oakley Olson (19:16.3).
Olson’s runner-up effort paced the Hurricanes to a third-place team finish in the medium schools race. Bel Air, which packed its top five runners between sixth
and 17th places, were the top team with 52 points, 13 points clear of Northern. Huntingtown finished with 102, while C.M. Wright’s 106 was good for fourth.
For a program that has enjoyed the success Northern has in recent years, anything less than a first-place effort can feel less than fulfilling, but Patriots head coach Josh Dawson found some satisfaction in how his relatively young squad responded in the competitive meet.
“We were going into the meet with the mindset of coming out as the medium race winners, so initially a little disappointed,” he said of his feelings on the performance, “but after watching the way the girls ran, and the team as a whole, I was really happy with the team’s performance overall. The girls ended up placing fifth out of 72 teams when Md.milesplit.com merged all of the different races together. So that makes me Northern’s girls cross country team finished second in the medium schools race on Saturday at the Bull Run Invitational at Hereford High School in Parkton. Claudia Dolan, center, finished first in the girls race in 19 minutes 9.9 seconds.
even happier with their performances.”
Joining Dolan at the top end of the results for Northern was Hannah Mack, who finished fourth (19:58.1). The Patriots’ top five in the race were round-
ed out by Sydney Yankanich (11th, 20:56.8), Abby Setzfand (23rd, 21:40.5) and Roni Dolan (26th, 22:08.3). While the team did not win the meet, its performance left the feeling that the group might be able to build to
the level of the previous Northern teams by year’s end.
“It’s very exciting to see how well we have done so far in bigger meets,” said Dolan, the only senior among Northern’s top finishers at Bull Run. “Before
the season started, I was a little nervous knowing we graduated some of our top runners and had a pretty young team. However, after our finish this weekend I have high hopes for how we will perform at the end of the season and believe we have the potential to do as well as we have in the past.”
“I believe that the outcome of this meet has and will continue to ignite that flame of competition in all of them more than it already has been,” Dawson said. “I had several underclassmen really step up and get excited about racing and hopefully they put forth the effort that I know they can to get where I believe they should be.”
In the medium school boys race, Huntingtown placed eighth overall as a team with 247 points, while Northern was ninth with 271. Huntingtown’s Conor McGirr placed 21st overall in 17:57.5, while Northern’s Jack Lehnhardt was 22nd (17:59.4). Liberty was the team champion with 44 points, led by race winner Daniel Saxon (16:30.7).
Members of Northern and Huntingtown girls cross country teams pose with their plaques after the Bull Run Invitational at Hereford High School in Parkton on Saturday. Northern’s Claudia Dolan won the girls medium school race in 19 minutes 9.9 seconds, while the Patriots finished second as a team. Huntingtown’s Oakley Olson finished second in the race (19:16.3) to pace the Hurricanes’ third-place effort.