Sean McGorty wins, sets records at Great American Cross-Country Festival
By Carl Little,
Sean McGorty won the championship boys’ division of the Great American Cross-Country Festival on Saturday, eviscerating both the meet and course records on the 5K course in Cary, N.C.
The Chantilly senior entered the race having won two invitationals by an average of 26 seconds. He got pushed all the way to the line on Saturday. McGorty raced controlled early, surged past Jacob Thomson of Holy Cross (Ky.) in the final 10 meters and smiled as he crossed the line in a chip-timed 14 minutes 43.6 seconds.
“He rocked it,” Chantilly Coach Matt Gilchrist said.
Thomson was runner-up in 14:43.9.
McGorty didn’t just crush a modest course record on an obscure course. It was the 10th annual meeting at Wake Med Soccer Park, which is also the site for the qualifying meet for the Nike national championships.
Saturday’s race was the fastest in meet history and McGorty sped past more than 220 runners while simultaneously zipping to the top of the all-time list. Florida’s Daniel Moore (14:57.6) previously held that distinction, but McGorty blew his time away on a course that was made a little tough to navigate because of rain.
Gilchrist was proud to watch McGorty get tested and prevail, but he said he was even prouder to witness the 17-year old, an All-Met and Foot Locker finalist last year, lead the Chargers to a fourth-place team finish out of 31 schools. The three teams that finished ahead of Chantilly — Christian Brothers Academy (N.J.); St. Xavier (Ky.); Cardinal O’Hara (Pa.) — are ranked among the top 10 in the country.
“The team has high expectations,” Gilchrist said. “We came to test ourselves against teams that on paper were better than us and today we held our own.”
Oakton sophomore All-Met Allie Klimkiewicz was the top area performer in the girls’ championship race, placing sixth in 17:51.1. She led the Cougars to sixth place in the team standings.