Running to sweeps
Calvert boys, Northern girls remain unbeaten in cross country
The clouds and rains from earlier in the week parted ways just in time for the sun to make an appearance for a hot and humid Southern Maryland Athletic Conference cross country quadmeet Wednesday afternoon at Calvert High School.
Calvert County was well represented with three of its four high schools —Northern, Huntingtown and Calvert — in addition to Lackey from neighboring Charles County.
“With three schools right here in the county today and all three have good programs and good followings, it was awesome I thought today,” Calvert head coach John Major said. “I was surprised with all the parents and people here for a SMAC cross country meet. This place was packed with people and that was awesome.”
The sun and heat were not enough to slow down Calvert’s Justin Diehl as he took home a first-place finish at his home course with a time of 17 minutes 48.38 seconds.
“The race was pretty good. I felt pretty comfortable the entire time and nice and smooth today, I felt good,” Diehl said.
Four of the top-five boys finishers were from the Cavaliers as well as seven of the top 14 to help earn them a sweep in the quad-meet and remain unbeaten so far on the season.
“We are progressing good as a team. We didn’t get off to our best start this year, but are definitely starting to progress a lot better now,” Diehl said.
“We are going to be really good come the end of October and early November when it really counts. We might not be in our best shape right now, but we are working towards it for the postseason.”
Ben Aris was second (18:18.40) followed by Isaiah Willett in fourth (18:26.58) and Carter Singletary was fifth (18:35.86).
Conor McGirr of Huntingtown was the only boy not representing the Cavaliers to finish the race in the top five with a time of 18:20.84.
“Calvert and Northern are great teams so it is always fun racing against them. Justin Diehl is a great runner. I kind of just wanted to pace with him for as long as I could,” McGirr said.
Calvert (8-0 overall) beat Lackey 15-50, defeated Huntingtown 19-40 and took care of Northern 18-40. Northern (7-1) beat Lackey 15-45 and narrowly snuck past Huntingtown 27-28, while
Huntingtown (4-4) topped Lackey (1-7) 17-42.
“It was a hot day, they did pretty good. It was tough losing by one point to Northern, but you know we got three more shots at them and we will give it a go,” Huntingtown head coach David Spain said.
Northern’s Jack Lehnhardt was the first to cross the finish line for the Patriots, finishing seventh overall (19:33.81), while Montez Berry of Lackey was the first to cross the finish line for the Chargers by placing
“They come out here and push it really hard. We are not always the best team on the course, but I always like to think we are out here giving it as much effort as any team and I am as proud to see them finish as I am to see anyone finish,” Lackey head coach Neal Duggan said.
While the girls race was contested after the conclusion of the boys, the sun and heat were still beating down on the runners.
“I thought today’s race was a little hot. Our team was really together and we were getting really excited because it was a
close to home meet. We know Northern and Calvert and are really close with them and we want to really push ourselves with them,” Huntingtown’s Oakley Olson said after she claimed first place on the day by taking the girls race in 20:24.32.
Northern claimed spots two through four with Claudia Dolan (20:30.08), Hannah Mack (20:54.52) and Sydney Yankanich (21:01.90). Sydney Friedel of Calvert rounded out the top five with a time of 21:19.96.
“I thought they all raced well,” Northern head coach Josh Dawson said. “The weather definitely doesn’t help, it was
hot and the Calvert course is not flat or easy for that matter and they just ran one of the toughest courses on Saturday at the Bull Run Invitational at Hereford High School. So their legs are definitely feeling tired and overall I thought they raced well and I am happy with it.”
Northern remained unblemished after sweeping the quadmeet and improving to 8-0 overall on the season with wins over Calvert (19-38), Lackey (15-no score) and Huntingtown 23-33. Huntingtown (7-1) earned wins over Lackey (15-no score) and Calvert (25-30).
Calvert (4-4) topped Lackey (0-5) by the same 15-no score
as the Chargers did not have enough runners to qualify for a team score. Annie Landgraf placed 11th overall for Lackey (23:01.05).
Despite suffering their first loss of the season, Olson is proud of her team and what they still can accomplish this year.
“We have never been this fast before in Huntingtown’s history and I am really proud of coach Spain and all of my teammates in how hard we have been working,” she said. “I think we have a good shot at SMAC and regionals. Anything is our limit right now with how hard we want to push it.”
Calvert’s Justin Diehl won the boys race Wednesday afternoon in a time of 17 minutes 48.3 seconds and led a pack of four Cavaliers in the top five as the boys team swept Huntingtown, Northern, and Lackey.