Cross Country opens season with three meets


Photo by Kellie Redmond

The girls’ varsity squad celebrating their first place award the practice after Bull Run. (Rebecca Vasconez, Anaya Tiwari, Ella White, Jessica Winson, Julianne Yao, Mei Rodgers, Charlotte Chang, Maya Gottesman, and Victoria Ketzler)

The cross country season is underway: with the opening three meets in the books, optimism and confidence are higher than ever. 

The Pats opened up the campaign with a home scrimmage against Richard Montgomery, an away meet at Springbrook, and the Bull Run Invitational. Even though injury and sickness kept many runners out indefinitely or forced them to compete while not being completely  healthy, the coaching staff expects a great season to all and a great comeback for those who hope to regain their true form. 

On Sept. 8, the coaches for Richard Montgomery and Wootton organized a joint two mile scrimmage at home. This was an unusual arrangement considering normal cross country meets are 5Ks The course was the same as the normal 5K course used by the team, except only two laps were completed instead of three. Nevertheless, improvements were high and places were low. 

senior Tyler Sauvajot (11:26)

junior Victoria Ketzler (12:53) 

sophomore Edward Sun (11:42)

 senior Maya Gottesman (12:54)

sophomore Rendon Yerman (11:50)

senior Rebbeca Vasconez (13:10) 

junior Troy Bailey (12:02)

 freshman Charlotte Chang (13:31) 

sophomore David See (12:05)

sophomore Aanya Tiwari (14:02) 

On Sept. 13, the team competed in its first dual meet at Springbrook. The Patriots were hampered with injury and sickness but still raced with grace against their tough division opponent. This course was one of the rare “non-spike” races the team will run, due to it mostly having paved surfaces that could damage the shoes themselves. “Spikes” are racing shoes that have metal spikes at the bottom to erase traction and provide better grip to the ground. The course also includes a wooded area to balance out the terrain. 

senior Tyler Sauvajot (19:01)

 junior Victoria Ketzler (20:18) 

freshman Luke Gabrielle (19:07)

senior Maya Gottesman (20:25) 

           sophomore Edward Sun (19:11)

senior Rebbeca Vasconez (20:46)

           sophomore Rendon Yerman (19:36)

freshman Charlotte Chang (21:22) 

           sophomore David See (19:45)

sophomore Anaya Tiwari (21:50) 

On Sept. 17, the team competed in its first invitational at Bull Run. While some runners remained not 100% healthy, the girls’ varsity squad still pulled off an amazing first place team finish overall. On the boys’ side, there was a split of less than a minute between the first and fifth place finishers. This course at Hereford High School is considered to be the toughest three-mile race in Maryland, but still times were as low as could be. Coach Redmond entered the girls’ varsity team into the Large Team Elite Race, while the boys’ barely missed the mark for qualification. “When I saw that the girls won [the] Bull Run Elite race, I was filled with joy, I was exhilarated,” senior Maya Gottesman said. “I knew how hard we have all been working and I was excited to show DMV schools what Wootton girls XC is bringing to the table this season.”

Overall, the first set of meets went surprisingly well considering the circumstances surrounding the team environment. More people were sick and injured than the four coaches would have liked, but strong effort still was evident from all.  “I’m very happy with our start to the season and can see progress already from both the boys’ and the girls’ teams. As we get into the more competitive part of the racing season, I have confidence that we will continue to develop as a team,” Coach Redmond said. “The goal is to be able to compete with anyone come season’s end.”