GAITHERSBURG – Several local athletes placed in the top spots at the regional championship for 3A West and for 4A West and thus qualified for the high school cross country state championships in a week.
Boys 4A West
Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School senior Adam Nakasaka (2016 state runner-up) won perhaps the most competitive race of the afternoon with a time of 16 minutes and 26 seconds, followed by Richard Montgomery sophomore Garrett Suhr (16:40) in second.
Girls 4A West
Walter Johnson senior Abigail Green, County champion and 2016 state runner-up, placed first in the girls 4A race with a time of 18:45. Fellow WJ senior Janet Scott finished second (16:40). Green said she and her teammates were hoping to win the regional meet, which Head Coach Tom Martin said was the fifth year in a row, and they did. The team’s next goal is to win the state championship again, which would be year five in succession. She said Thursday was the first time she had raced on the course, but her team had a practice on the course ahead of time.
Girls 3A West
James Hubert Blake freshman Ella Jacobs won first place in the 3A girls race, finishing in 21:31. North Hagerstown High School freshman Phoebe Meehan (21:47) followed in second.
Boys 3A West
Jacobs’ teammate senior Evan Pollock (18:01) finished ninth in the 4A West region and first in the County for the boys 3A race. He was the only county runner to crack the top 15. Linganore High School junior Michael Belmaggio (16:49) beat runner-up and sophomore teammate Kyle Guinn (17:06) by 17 seconds.
The top 50 percent of teams in the regional races qualify for the state championship, as do the top 25 percent of individual runners, according to the 2017 MPSSAA state championship cross country bulletin.
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