Jason Morgan and Erin Keogh are alike in a number of ways, including being shy and having an exceptional ability to run long and fast.
Morgan, from Winchester's Handley High School, and Keogh, from Langley High, also head The Washington Post's 16-member all-Met cross country team. Both runners, undefeated all season, were also chosen for the team last year.
The selections were made on the basis of best times in major metropolitan area meets.
Morgan used his kick to win in the final stages of every race this year, Keogh never trailed after the halfway point in each of her races.
Morgan, a junior in his final year of eligibility, finished his season with a come-from-behind victory in the Virginia AA state meet. Keogh, a sophomore, ran into her only challenge of the year before earning a 21-second victory over Demarch Robertson of Richmond's Jefferson-Huegonot-Wythe.
Among Morgan's achievements were victories in the Handley Judges Classic, George Mason Invitational, University of Virginia Invitational and the Northwestern District, Virginia AA Region 2 and state AA championships.
Keogh claimed titles in the Northern Region Athletic Directors' meet, George Mason, University of Virginia and Georgetown Prep Classic events and in the Great Falls District, Virginia AAA Northern Regionals and state championship meets. Her average margin of victory in the meets was more than than 47 seconds. She also broke the course record at Burke Lake Park and has the second-best time on the Piedmont course in Charlottesville.
Maryland all-Met runners include, for the boys, Central's Kirk Young and Whitman's Eric Meleney. Private school runners include St. Albans' Duncan Schloss and Georgetown Prep's John Caldwell.
Young, from Central, was timed in 15:40 for three miles, winning the Class A state race by 15 seconds. Young, a senior, opened his season with a close victory in the Arundel Invitational. He ran away from the Class A Region II field, running a course-record 15:46 at the National Bureau of Standards.
Whitman senior Eric Meleney set a course and meet record (16:13 for 5,000 meters) in winning the Georgetown Prep Classic's seeded section by seven seconds. He won the AA state race in 15:57. Meleney set a record in the Spiked Shoe Invitational at Johns Hopkins (15:35). He won both the county and Class AA Region I meets by large margins.
Schloss won all but two invitationals he entered. After losing in a sprint to Morgan in the George Mason Invitational, Schloss ran away from Meleney at Pallotti, running 15:07 for three miles. He added titles for the seeded race at the Spingarn Invitational and the IAC championship (15:39).
Caldwell, also a senior, steadily improved this season, finishing up with a victory in the Metropolitan Catholic School championships. On Prep's three-mile course, Caldwell scored a 24-second victory with a 15:38.1. The week before, in the state Catholic championships, Caldwell had the third-fastest time ever at Prep (15:06.5). Unfortunately for Caldwell, Curley of Baltimore's Jim Hessenauer beat him by four-tenths of a second.
Other all-Met runners from Virginia include senior Nicky Embrey of North Stafford who won the Northwest Regional and was runner-up in the AAA states by three seconds. Embrey's other major accomplishments were wins in the James Wood Invitational and the Woodberry Forest meet.
Two other sophomores on the team include Andrew Hudson of Woodbridge and Jeff Pajak of Annandale. Hudson ran all season with a pack of Vikings, always finishing among the top three. After an eighth-place regional performance, Hudson surprised many observers by taking third in the state meet. His effort helped Woodbridge defend its state title.
Pajak's fifth-place time in the states was only 13 seconds off the winning time and was a great improvement over his 53rd place of last year. Pajak was among the top three in every meet: third in the Athletic Directors', Pallotti, and University of Virginia meets, second in the Prep and regionals, and first in the Potomac District.
Among the girls, Kathy Graves of South Lakes was another outstanding sophomore. She placed an unexpected third in the states after finishing third in a number of meets and running poorly at George Mason and Georgetown Prep. She had fine races in the district (fourth) and regional (fifth) before the state championships.
Tama Clare of Robinson, a junior in her first year of cross country, was fourth in the state. She placed in the top four in every meet she ran with the exception of the University of Virginia meet (seventh). Her runner-up efforts were in the Athletic Directors' and Northern District meets.
Angie Cheek, a senior from Stonewall Jackson, also made the team last year. She finished the season by taking fifth in the state meet. Her best races included a victory in the Northwest Regional and a second in the Commonwealth District meet.
From Maryland, the all-Met picks were Kennedy's Beth Jacobson, Springbrook's Annie Hoefler, Churchill's Tammie DeVore and Bowie's Natalee Kavetski.
Jacobson finished a fine career with her third state title after taking second place as a freshman. In Class A, Jacobson posted a 51-second victory with the day's third-fastest time, a 14:43 for 2.5 miles, the fifth fastest ever at Hereford. She won at Williamsburg and in the A-II region (14:37) by large margins.
Hoefler, a freshman, revamped her training methods and ended up with convincing victories in the AA-I regional and the state meet. In the regional meet, Hoefler left defending state champion DeVore with a mile to go, posting a course-record 14:14. In the AA state meet, she ran 14:29 for the championship.
DeVore, a Churchill senior, won at Pallotti and in the county meet. She had the highest place for a Maryland runner at Georgetown Prep, finishing second to Keogh. In losing to Hoefler in the AA-I region contest, she still ran the third-fastest time (14:45). In the state meet, in losing to Hoefler again, she had the day's second-fastest time, a 14:33.
Kavetski finished second in the Spiked Shoe meet, was second again at Arundel, and then won every race before the state meet. Her victories included the Prince George's County meet by more than 20 seconds (16:12) and the AA-II region, which she won in 15:44 by a margin of more than 30 seconds. Kavetski, a senior, was fourth at the AA state behind Amy Harden of Westminster.