This season, Catholic's Ellie Gonzalez and the Archbishop Spalding girls cross country team set championship goals. They were able to realize those goals Monday afternoon at the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland championship race.
Gonzalez repeated as the IAAM's individual champion with a time of 18 minutes, 19 seconds. She led from the start and easily won for the second consecutive year while Spalding's depth proved too much for the rest of the A Conference as the Cavaliers finished with a second straight team title.
Bryn Mawr and Garrison Forest were the other two team champions. For Bryn Mawr, its 35 points were more than enough to beat Maryvale (65) to take the B Conference. Garrison Forest had a bit of a tougher time, finishing with 37 points to beat out Gonzalez and Catholic (50) in the C Conference.
Gonzalez set a meet record when winning last year's championship meet in 17:59 . This year, her time beat runner-up Hannah Mansbach of Glenelg Country School by 40 seconds.
"It's my goal the entire season to prepare for [the] championship," Gonzalez said. "It can be [my] big moment."
That's what it turned out to be again. The junior finished second two years ago and won last year and this. Her strong run helped Catholic to that second-place finish in the C Conference team standings.
Spalding used its depth to finish with 44 points and easily beat out St. Mary's (80) and Mount de Sales (84) in the A Conference team standings. The Cavaliers put five runners in the top 25 overall as all three conferences ran in the race together.
They got top-10 finishes from Elizabeth Voigt (fifth) and Alie Kamm (seventh) plus top-20 efforts from Caitlin Anson (14th), Caitlyn McGuinness (16th) and Erin Behrens (17th).
Spalding coach Mike Calderone's team had to overcome the recent loss of No. 2 runner Zoe Barnes (leg injury). He also was worried because the Cavaliers edged out both St. Mary's and Mount de Sales by just one point in regular-season match-ups, but they'd been pointing towards repeating as team champion all season.
"It's a team sport," Calderone said. "I've always had that philosophy. We did train hard, and we did hard workouts [the last three weeks]."
(at Oregon Ridge)
Individuals (top 10 overall): 1. Gonzalez (CAT), 18:19; 2. Mansbach (GCS), 18:59; 3. M. Reiser (STM), 19:40; 4. C. Reiser (STM), 19:41; 5. Voigt (SPA), 19:44; 6. Kohles (JC), 19:59; 7. Kamm (SPA), 20:00; 8. Stewart (STM), 20:02; 9. Monaghan (NDP), 20:10; 10. Balles (SK), 20:16.
Team results (by conference)
Team scores (top 5): 1. Spalding, 44; 2. St. Mary's, 80; 3. Mount de Sales, 84; 4. Notre Dame Prep, 86; 5. John Carroll, 105.
Team scores (top 5): 1. Bryn Mawr, 35; 2. Maryvale, 65; 3. Annapolis Area Christian, 70; 4. IND, 97; 5. St. Paul's, 121.
Team scores (top 5): 1. Garrison Forest, 37; 2. Catholic, 50; 3. Oldfields, 103; 4. Indian Creek, 106; 5. Pallotti, 108.