XC County Preview/Recap of Tri-Meet, Gunpowder Falls


Photo courtesy of Koki Takizawa

Junior Calix McCormick paces himself in the Invitational. He finished 9th overall and led the boys to a 3rd place overall finish.

At Gunpowder Falls State Park, in Kingsville, Maryland, the 10th Annual Gunpowder Falls Cross Country Invitational took place on Oct. 15. Walter Johnson saw many inspiring performances throughout the afternoon.
“I’m happy with the way our team has been performing as the season comes to a close, we have been consistently improving and I’m excited to see what we can do in the county championships,” senior captain Matt Uhl said, who finished 22nd amongst the varsity boys.
Junior Calix McCormick and senior Ben Dutko finished ninth and 10th place in the varsity boys race, amongst hundreds of fellow competitors. Overall, the boys finished third in the invitational behind Towson and Dematha with an average time of 17:38.
“It was a good experience, it was my second time doing the race so to see improvement from last year was good. It’s nice to finish in the top 10 with some other teammates, so it was nice that Calix was there too. For our team to finish third out of all the teams there just shows how good of a team we are as a whole. We’re all able to put in the work and be a competitive team…Counties will be a chance to prove ourselves against some of the more local teams,” Dutko said.
The girls raised the bar, boasting the second, fourth and ninth best times in the race via sophomore star Madeleine Simmons and juniors Mackenzie Raue and Carolyn Hultman. The young, dynamic trio shows great promise for the future of the program. Overall, the girls finished second in the varsity race, behind the McDonogh School with an average time of 20:43. Competitors in the events featured a combination of 21 public and private school runners, such as BCC, Dematha, Archbishop Spalding and more.
“We’re pretty light on seniors this year so one of the best parts of the season has been seeing the juniors step up. I think we’re going to do really well at counties, states and regionals because we have been working hard all season,” Simmons said.
A few weeks prior to Gunpowder Falls, the talented girl’s varsity claimed a top prize in the 48th Annual Georgetown Prep Championship, while the boys claimed third. The relatively young cross-country team has flashed clear potential, not only for the upcoming county championships but for future years as well. Counties, which is held at Gaithersburg High School, kicks off on Oct. 22 and will be the final race of the season for most runners, as only the top seven run at regionals and states. Counties are composed of essentially all of MCPS and both teams aspire for top-three finishes.
“I’m looking forward to counties, the course (Bohrer Park) is really fast, so there will be a lot of best times. Junior Zuzana Huserova is in the top four but is fighting an injury. While we’re sad she can’t compete, I believe that everyone else can step up so we can still perform well,” Simmons said.