Reloaded Severna Park cross-country sweeps Maryland 4A titles


After years as the standard-bearer for Maryland’s cross-country scene, Severna Park entered Saturday morning’s Class 4A meet in Parkdale as a championship hopeful, not a shoo-in. The girls had only narrowly won at the regional championship, while nine of the top 10 runners from the boys’ 2021 state championship team graduated, leaving a perennially dominant program seemingly in limbo.

And yet the Falcons again planted their flag atop the state’s hierarchy, with an underclassmen-laden girls’ team ending a two-season title drought and the boys’ team capturing its fifth consecutive championship.

“No matter what, [a state title] is the goal,” said senior Cami Glebocki, whose finish in 20 minutes 7.5 seconds was good for ninth in the girls’ race. “This is the deepest team from my four years. … At the beginning of the summer when we started our training, we were like, ‘Wow, this is the year, state champs.’ ”

On Saturday, seven new runners — including two sub-17:30 runners in senior Chris Nunn and junior Taylor Jarvis — propelled the boys to 101 points, besting Churchill (112) and Whitman (114).

Jarvis, in his first year at any level of the program, said the Falcons’ younger runners set the standard to push up the already-strong junior and senior classes. It’s that foundation, he said, that translates to victories in November, even as several top runners battled injuries.

“I knew Severna Park had a reputation for being pretty good in the cross-country realm,” Jarvis said. “It’s such a cool thing to carry on the legacy.”

The Poolesville boys’ team won its second-straight state title in the 2A meet, following up a historic victory at October’s Montgomery County cross-country championships. Seniors Aaron Longbrake and Caleb Dastrup were the team’s top runners, placing third and fourth. The girls’ team placed second, with junior Daisy Dastrup third among individual athletes.

In 4A, Blair senior Frederick Alfonso-Frank (16:47.2) was the top local runner, earning silver behind senior Ty Dailey (16:25.2) of Dulaney. Richard Montgomery senior Noah Fisher (16:59.2) placed third.

In the girls’ race, the Falcons (100) outpaced Walter Johnson (117) and Wootton (125). Runners on the girls’ team said the program’s success has come from a selfless approach.

“Our team is more focused on the whole than the individual,” junior Sarah Kelly said. “It’s really just how strong our team bond is.”

After finishing last year’s state meet over a minute behind the front of the pack, Leonardtown junior Elena Blodnikar pulled ahead of Bethesda-Chevy Chase junior Varri Higgins in the final mile to take home individual gold in Class 4A. Blodnikar (18:58.8) ran the lone sub-19 minute time, with Higgins (19:19.8) and Whitman sophomore Katherine Greenwald (19:25.8) next to finish.

In Class 3A, Howard junior Kiley Mann and Reservoir freshman Ela Muniz were the lone local top-10 finishers on the girls’ side. Centennial seniors Sebastian Martinez (16:26.4) and Antonio Camacho-Bucks (16:36.5) earned respective third and fifth-place medals, leading the boys’ team to bronze.

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