As Regionals comes and goes, XC races towards states


Photo courtesy of Mackenzie Raue

Junior runner Mackenzie Raue runs during regionals. The girls’ cross country team celebrates their second-place finish at the 4A West Regional Championship. They will be running in the 4A State Championship at Hereford High School on Nov. 12 and hope to blaze past the Wootton Patriots who won regionals and are favored to win the state meet.

As the 2022 fall athletic season comes to a close, cross-country state championships are now just around the corner. On Nov. 12, the season concludes at Hereford High School, as athletes will trek upon one of the most difficult courses in the country. Coming off a 4A State Championship last year, the girls’ team looks to compete once again for a spot on the podium. As for the boys, they look to get back on track after a disappointing performance at regionals.

“Underwhelming regionals for me, I intend to take it all back at states,” star junior Calix McCormick said.

For the girls, at the preceding regional finals, which took place on Nov. 3 at Watkins Mill, they excelled and comfortably earned a bid to compete at states, as expected. Fueled by strong performances from sophomore Madeleine Simmons, who finished 3rd overall, junior Mackenzie Raue, who finished 12th and junior Carolyn Hultman, who finished 17th, they claimed 2nd overall, falling only to the powerhouse Wootton. The girls beat out the likes of Bethesda-Chevy Chase, Clarksburg, Gaithersburg, Northwest, Quince Orchard, Richard Montgomery, Seneca Valley, Urbana and Walt Whitman with an average top-5 time of 21:52.

We’ve been focusing on pack running and powering off the top of the hills… we’re going to do great.

— Hultman

For the boys, there were unexpected struggles, though they managed to qualify by the skin of their teeth. Led by an experienced trio of seniors in Ben Dutko, Dylan Schmidt, and Matt Uhl, who finished 6th, 22nd, and 25th, respectively, WJ earned 6th in the meet behind Churchill, Whitman, Wootton, Richard Montgomery and Northwest. They secured the final bid for states with an average time of 18:59.