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WJ makes state record in cross country, MoCo runners sweep 4A individual titles

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Green NakasakaSeen here in earlier races, Abbey Green led the WJ Lady Wildcats to a fifth state championship win while Adam Nakasaka repeated his winning performance from last week’s regionals to lead the B-CC Barons to a fourth-place finish. FILE PHOTOS

A Montgomery County cross country team made a new state record and three county athletes finished their high school careers as state champions in the 5-kilometer run Saturday.

The Walter Johnson High School girls cross country team overcame the loss of two top runners (who were both injured before Saturday’s meet) to win their fifth consecutive state championship – a state record according to the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association.

WJ head coach Tom Martin told the Sentinel that during a Friday night team meeting, he warned the healthy portion of his squad that they would have to run faster to win the race. But his team rose to the occasion, as the Lady Wildcats’ score of 83 points was sufficient to claim the state 4A crown.

Walter Johnson senior Janet Scott said she and her teammates each had to put in extra effort during their races to get the win.

“It’s been a lot of challenges, but it’s been a lot of us coming together and working really hard,” she said.

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Local cross country athletes qualify for state championship at regional meet

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GAITHERSBURG –Local teams and individual runners qualified for the high school cross country state championship at the regional championship for 3A West and for 4A West at Watkins Mill High School Thursday.

Boys 4A West

Perhaps the most competitive race of the afternoon was won by Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School senior Adam Nakasaka – the 2016 state runner-up – with a time of 16 minutes and 26 seconds. Nakasaka was followed by Richard Montgomery sophomore Garrett Suhr, who came in second 14 seconds later. Nakasaka’s individual victory allowed B-CC’s team to win the meet with 88 points,  a one-point advantage over their crosstown rivals at Walt Whitman High School, who scored 89.

“Overall the race felt pretty slow,” Nakasaka said. “I know the course is difficult, but just in terms of how I felt, like I felt completely fine throughout the entire race. It didn’t feel particularly fast, and that’s pretty much what it was.”

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WJ, Whitman take MoCo cross country titles

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DSC 8747WJ Lady Wildcats' Abbey Green aids teammate Janet Scott. Green finished first in the girls cross country championships for Montgomery County, 47 seconds ahead of Scott in second place . PHOTO BY DAVID WOLFE  

GAITHERSBURG — The Walter Johnson High School varsity girls and the Walt Whitman varsity boys cross country teams each finished with the lowest amount of points overall, earning them the championship trophies.

The Montgomery County varsity boys and girls county 5 kilometer individual champions were not unfamiliar faces.

Two seniors – Poolesville’s Ryan Lockett (15 minutes and 32 seconds), the county’s 2016 runner-up and 3A state champion, and Walter Johnson’s Abbey Green (17:57), two-time county champion (2015, 2016) and 2016 4A state runner-up – won their respective races.

“It was close the entire race,” Lockett said.

For the girls team, Walter Johnson head coach Tom Martin said the girls work together well. This year was Walter Johnson's fourth consecutive County title.

“Our four seniors have been good – they’ve done this plenty of times, they know what they have to do, and when it comes down to this time of year, they’re a good group at figuring out what they have to do in a race, where they have to be to be successful,” Martin said.

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Cross Country teams ready for fall meets

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Here are some top County cross-country teams to watch in 4A and 2A:

4A:

Thomas S. Wootton and Walter Johnson girls teams each had three runners finish in the top 25 of the event, and each retains those top three, keeping a stake at winning the state championship. WJ has been the state leader in recent years.

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WJ’s Abigail Green places at Foot Locker National Championship

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20161022 MoCo XCtry Championships-1Abigail Green of Walter Johnson High. FILE PHOTO  

Walter Johnson junior Abigail Green finished 21st out of 40 top runners from across the country with a time of 18:02 minutes at the Foot Locker National Championship 5 kilometer race in San Diego Saturday.

Though she said she usually runs races with her Walter Johnson teammates in mind, in San Diego she was her school’s sole representative.

“This one was just for myself, my family and my coaches, and wrap it up… leaving it all out there so I feel I can be satisfied with my season,” said Green.

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Richard Montgomery's Asfaw shines in cross country national championship

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20161022 MoCo XCtry Championships-5Richard Montgomery's Rohann Asfaw. FILE PHOTO  

Richard Montgomery senior Rohann Asfaw concluded his final season of cross country Saturday by placing 94th in his first national cross country championship in Portland, Ore.

Asfaw, who won the 4A cross country state championship Nov. 12, said he was glad to represent his school in a national cross country meet.

“I’m very honored and it feels great to be able to represent our school and Montgomery County and be able to compete on the national level,” Asfaw said.

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Two cross country runners qualify for national championship meets

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Local cross country champions Rohann Asfaw and Abbey Green placed in two separate regional qualifiers for national meets Saturday, earning spots in national championships.

Asfaw, a senior at Richard Montgomery, placed fourth with a time of 15:15 minutes in the Nike Southeast Region boys race in North Carolina.

Green, a junior at Walter Johnson, placed ninth in the Foot Locker Northeast Region championship in New York City, finishing in 18:08.

Minutes after finishing his race, Asfaw said he had not comprehended his accomplishment. 

“I’m pretty sure I’m fourth,” Asfaw said. “It hasn’t really (hit me).”

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Wheaton boys cross country team claims 3A South region title

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MONTGOMERY VILLAGE – The Wheaton High School boys cross country team won the 3A South regional meet after three of their runners placed in the top 20 at Watkins Mill High School Thursday. 

Wheaton beat Northern High School- Calvert County’s 55 points with a score of 49. 

Knights Head Coach Michael Trumbull said he aimed for his team to run as a pack to minimize the time between the first and fifth runners.

 “I knew going into it that if our guys could run together… they had a shot at winning it,” Trumbull said. “That was the game plan going in.”

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