By Kathleen Stubbs
On Saturday, a pair of local teammates took first and second places at the boys cross-country state championship three-mile run, 4A division, bumping the 2017 runner-up to third place.
In the 4A and 2A girls races, two county runners finished as state runners-up, respectively.
Hereford High School senior Emily Konkus became the girls 2A state champion with a time of 19:38 minutes, followed by Poolesville senior Nandini Satsangi (19:51) as runner-up.
Northwood seniors Obsaa Feda (15:44.05 minutes) and Eldad Mulugeta (15:44.29) finished within two-tenths of a second of each other, becoming boys 4A state champion and state runner-up, respectively.
No other pair of teammates finished first and second in the 4A state championship between 2002 and 2018, according to the race results. Mulugeta also ran most of the race missing a running shoe.
For the first two miles, the two Gladiators ran with a pack of runners in the front, Feda said.
“My teammate [Mulugeta] took the lead at the two-mile mark, and I took over 800 meters to go,” said Feda. “Toward the finish, you know, coming down the downhill, that’s when he [Mulugeta] started kicking; and I started kicking at the flat surface, that’s when I passed him, toward the finish.”
Feda earned a lifetime personal record in the race.
Northwood’s second-place team victory occurred two weeks after they made school history by winning the five-kilometer county championship, in which Feda and Mulugeta took first and second place, respectively.
In the girls 4A three-mile run, South River High School sophomore Bronwyn Patterson took first place, with a time of 19:06.2 minutes, and Richard Montgomery sophomore Charlotte Turesson finished runner-up in 19:18.8 minutes. She said her race went well compared to a challenging race in 2017.
“I feel like staying up with those top girls… let[ting] them like break the wind and stuff helped me mentally to keep going and to know that I had potential to be one of those top five girls, maybe,” Turesson said.
In 2017, Turesson had hoped to earn a medal, but coming in 26th place she barely missed the cut. This year, her goal was to finish in the top five.
Turesson said she was trying to close the gap between Patterson and herself during the final turn, even if she didn’t catch up soon enough to pass her. Annapolis Senior High senior Anna Coffin (19:19.7 minutes) was close behind Turesson, finishing third. Coffin was 2017 runner-up.
The Severna Park boys cross-country team continued its winning streak, placing first in the 4A boys race with 48 points.
Northwood placed second with a score of 105.
The last time the Northwood team scored that high was decades ago, according to Mocorunning.com publisher Kevin Milsted.
George Smith also contributed to this story.