Potomac Falls High School senior Jeff Maynard was not trying to show off last Saturday when he ran the Loudoun County Cross-Country Championships in his training shoes--he just had no other choice.

"I left my racing flats on my bus," Maynard said. "I got the cooler, but the bus left."

It did not matter in the end, as Maynard captured his second invitational of the season, winning by 18 seconds in 16 minutes 59 seconds on the 3.1-mile course at the Franklin Park meet in Purcellville.

Maynard "was going to win the race, and I don't think he needed" racing flats, Potomac Falls Coach Brian Blubaugh said. "He got the lead pretty early and put it in cruise control."

Unfortunately for Maynard and Blubaugh, Loudoun Valley defeated the Panthers, 40 to 43, for the boys team title.

"It was nice to win, but I wanted my team to win, and we lost by three points," said Maynard, who also won the Frank Keyser Invitational (15:45.7) on Sept. 18 in Boonsboro, Md.

The girls team competition was not as close, as Loudoun County defeated Broad Run, 29 to 40.

Senior Jennifer Lapetoda paced the Raiders by winning the girls individual title for the third straight year, finishing in 19:49.

Junior teammate Melissa Caudill placed second, in 20:17.

Lapetoda "was definitely excited even though this meet means nothing as far as advancement," Loudoun County Coach Courtney Campbell said. "It was for bragging rights in the county, and she was pleased."

Maynard had to be pleased, too, after winning a race he led from the gun Saturday.

"It got kind of lonely, and it was kind of hilly," said Maynard, who had finished second behind teammate Jonathan Farrell the past two years.

"So after a while I was just running."

He also knew exactly where he was going, a lesson learned after the Bull Run Invitational at Hereford High, a meet that continues to haunt Maynard.

"I was leading by 60 meters, and we had been watching the other races," Maynard said. "I was out at [the first mile] at 5:18, and when I got back in the woods some guy pulled me off the course and told me I was disqualified because I missed a cone during the first mile."

Blubaugh said the Panthers did not go on a course walk, which was an hour before the race, because he wanted them to warm up instead.

"My dad and [Blubaugh] make jokes now about getting me a map, but now I try before a race to know exactly where I am going," Maynard said.

"Not that I wanted to drive four hours to learn that."

Note: The Vikings were led by sophomore John Tew (second, 17:17) and Matt McWilliams (fifth, 17:44).

"Tew has really gained some confidence" this year, Loudoun Valley Coach Louise Spicer said. "He has gotten a lot of miles under him."

Boys

1, Jeff Maynard, Potomac Falls, 16:59; 2, John Tew, Loudoun Valley, 17:17; 3, David Bolton, Loudoun County, 17:30; 4, Will Justice, Broad Run, 17:33; 5, Matt McWilliams, Loudoun Valley, 17:44. Top teams: 1, Loudoun Valley, 40; 2, Potomac Falls, 43; 3, Park View, 70; 4, Loudoun County, 74; 5, Broad Run, 118.

Girls

1, Jennifer Lapetoda, Loudoun County, 19:49; 2, Melissa Caudill, Loudoun County, 20:17; 3, Audrey Pietrzyk, Broad Run, 20:37; 4, Christy Dannenberg, Potomac Falls, 20:58; 5, Tamara Buckman, Broad Run, 21:15. Top teams: 1, Loudoun County, 29; 2, Broad Run, 40; 3, Potomac Falls, 74; 4, Park View, 108; 5, Loudoun Valley, 117.