By: Katie Smythe
Senior Shannon Smythe was firing on all cylinders Thursday finishing in 15th place at the Northern Region cross country championship at Burke Lake Park. With her top 15 finish, she earned a spot on the All-Region team and qualified for the State cross country championship on Nov. 12 at Great Meadows (The Plains, VA). Smythe clocked with a time of 18:12 on the 3-mile course, just 2 seconds off her personal best time from the Patriot District championship the previous week.
Sydney Schaedel was next to finish for the T.C. Titans, crossing the line in 28th place. Each of the other T.C. girls -- Hannah Smythe, Hannah Clark, Grace Garrahan, Stephanie Slaven and Eileen Nakahata -- posted a ‘personal record’ in this championship race, a fitting end to their cross country season.
T. C. Williams had two individual runners competing in the boys’ championship race, sophomore Nick Brown and freshman Anteneh Girma. Nick Brown finished in 17th place just shy of the qualifying mark, but he posted a new personal best time of 15:55 and the first sub-16 minute 3-mile time for the Titans since 2007. T.C.’s Girma finished in the top 50 with a time of 16:23.
The overall winner in the boys’ race was Ahmed Bile (Annandale) who set a new course record of 14:38, blowing away the previous time of 14:56 set in 2000. For the girls, Sophie Chase (Lake Braddock) ran away with the race, finishing in 16:53, a new personal record for her and the sixth fastest time on this course. Look for both of these runners on the podium at the State championship on Saturday.
In addition to the top 15 individuals, the top four teams also qualified for the State championship. The West Potomac girls took top honors as Northern Region champion followed by Oakton, Thomas Jefferson and West Springfield. Oakton won the boys team title. Robinson, Chantilly and Thomas Jefferson also qualified.
STATS (3-mile Burke Lake course)
15) Shannon Smythe 18:12 *
28) Sydney Schaedel 18:56
51) Hannah Smythe 19:30 (PR)
60) Hannah Clark 19:36 (PR)
77) Grace Garrahan 20:09 (PR)
94) Stephanie Slaven 20:50 (PR)
101) Eileen Nakahata 21:05 (PR)
*national elite standard (under 18:20)
17) Nick Brown 15:55 (PR)
48) Anteneh Girma 16:23