By: Mack Leach
The Glenelg boys and girls Cross Country teams ended their seasons finishing fourth and fifth, respectively, at a sloppy and muddy State Championships at Hereford High School on Nov. 13.
Hereford plays host to the Bull Run Course, one of the most challenging in Maryland due to its steep hills, according to sophomore Liam Rutledge. Add the muddy terrain due to the weather that day, and it could have spelled disaster for the runners.
Instead, senior Kalia Spence was able to make the most of the poor conditions.
“The muddy terrain was definitely a struggle on the steep hills and the course was also pretty slanted,” Spence said. “The hills were mostly bare with mud which caused me to slip a lot going downhill. The course overall was tiring which did affect my 5K time as well as all many other peoples' times.”
Spence, who never ran cross country before the season - though no stranger to track and field - finished 4th overall with a time of 20:21.13.
“I was surprised and thankful to be able to run at states for my first (and last) cross country season,” she said. “Coming back from a knee injury, I was unable to play soccer so I decided to run cross country my senior year. The training was different and at times difficult because running did not feel the same.”
Tim Cherry, senior and team captain, also used the course to his advantage on his way to a second place finish with a time of 17:06.60.
“I actually slipped and almost fell about halfway into the race so that was pretty fun,” Cherry said. “I thought I had an edge on the other runners because I bet a lot of them saw the muddy conditions as an obstacle, whereas I saw fun and excitement. I’m more than happy with my placement at states. My goal is always podium and I did as best as I could.”
Following Cherry's time were freshmen Bennet Walsh (18:15.52, 22nd place), senior captain Michael Stutevant (18:15.58, 23rd place), junior Anthony Hagan (18:48.81, 36th place), junior Grady Cronkite (20:12.72), freshman Isaac Choi 20:30.27, and 78th place), and sophomore Michael ‘Snoots’ Lau 20:53.38 (87th place).
On the girls side, the following runners placed: senior Milania Gurvich (22:36.30, 24th place), senior Brooke Birckhead (23:08.55, 36th place), senior Kara Rivenbark (23:19.08, 39th place), sophomore Ava Rivera (23:36.17, 41st place), junior Sarah Jones (24:00.17, 53rd place), and junior Kelly Richardson (25:05.74, 63rd place).