BOONSBORO, Md. — Even though it was second as a team in the “Large School” division at the Frank Keyser Invitational cross country meet on Saturday at Boonsboro High School, the Jefferson boys got some vital improvement from its third, fourth, and fifth individual finishers.
The runner-up Cougars had 77 points to finish just behind meet winner Thomas Johnson of Frederick, which had 68 points.
Jefferson’s goal is to repeat the Class AAA state championship it won in 2011. For the Cougars to do that, they must have creditible races from Jackson Jacobs, Zach Wiberg, and Rhett Zillinger — the three individuals that have been finishing behind Ryan Graf and Andrew Milliron.
The Cougars may be the reigning state champions, but they are ranked second in the state to last year’s runner-up team, Cabell Midland and Jacob Burcham, the top individual runner in the state in any class.
In the Keyser Meet on Saturday, Ryan Graf was third overall with a time of 15:19.4. Milliron was sixth overall in 15:29.4.
Jacobs, Wiberg, and Zillinger picked up their times — all completing the course in under 17 minutes and finishing 19th (Jacobs in 16:25.3), 22nd (Wiberg in 16:37.2), and 27th (Zillinger in 16:51.2).
With Burcham widely expected to win the Class AAA race at this year’s state meet, Jefferson has to deal successfully with Cabell Midland’s third, fourth, and fifth runners or find the Knights occupying the top level on the 2012 championship stand.
Jacobs, Wiberg, and Zillinger showed improvement and posted some of their best times of the fall season.
Following Jefferson in third place was River Hill with 119 points.
There were 126 runners in the Large School Division.
Washington competed in the “Small School Division” and was 15th in a 21-team field. That race was won by Poolesville’s Chase Weaverling in 15:02.9. Washington’s Joe McCormick was 38th overall in 17:24.4. There were 145 runners in that race.
In the “Large School” division of the girls meet, Jefferson was seventh behind meet winner, River Hill. Jefferson had 175 points and River Hill had only 64.
Urbana’s Emily Mulhern won in 18:02.7, while Jefferson freshman Abby Colbert was second and right behind her in 18:03.4.
Jefferson’s Anya Wallace was 23rd, Malika Briggs 40th, Emma Lindberg 41st, and Emma Alquist 69th. There were 118 runners entered.
In the “Small School” division, the team champion was Boonsboro with 78. Oakdale was second with 85, Liberty was third with 99, with Washington finishing 10th with 261 points.
Winter’s Mill’s Jennifer Breichner won the “Small School” race in 18:26.5. Washington’s Destiny Harrison was 24th overall in 20:32.8. That race had 123 runners entered.