Chantilly junior Brad Siragusa and Lee senior Dawit Legesse spent a lot of time working out together last summer in preparation for the cross-country season.
This fall, the workout partners have become friendly rivals as well as the most successful runners thus far in the AAA Northern Region.
On Saturday, Legesse got the best of Siragusa at the Georgetown Prep Classic in Bethesda. Legesse finished a close second to senior All-Met Andrew Jesien of Walter Johnson, and Siragusa finished third.
"He's one of my best friends," Legesse said. "I won't say a bad word about him."
Legesse put on one of his best performances of the season at Georgetown Prep, pulling ahead with about 800 meters to go before being overtaken by Jesien.
In a race that was led early by Georgetown Prep's Steven Duplinsky, a junior All-Met, and Jesien, Legesse lurked behind before surging to the lead. But Jesien, who is known to have a strong kick, regained the lead in the final 200 meters and never stopped sprinting to the finish in 15 minutes 54 seconds. Legesse finished five seconds later.
"I thought I was going to win it, I didn't expect him to come back like that," Legesse said. "But it was a good race for me."
In two previous races this year against Siragusa, Legesse had taken second. He finished behind Siragusa at the Monroe Parker Invitational on Sept. 11, and again Oct. 2 at the Octoberfest Invitational. On Oct. 9, Legesse took first place against a tough field at Virginia Tech.
On Saturday, after Jesien and Legesse crossed, Siragusa made a final push at the finish line to pass Duplinsky and take third. Episcopal senior Ryan Woodlee took fifth, followed by Herndon sophomore Ermin Mejesinovic. Herndon finished second as a team behind Gaithersburg; Annandale was fifth.
Fairfax sophomore Jessica Trapeni was the top female finisher in the seeded race, taking seventh in 19:26. Forest Park junior Stefanie Slekis cruised to the win in 18:46.
Westfield sophomore Alexis Deegan was ninth as the Bulldogs finished second in the team competition with 121 points, behind champion C. Milton Wright's 73.
Oakton in the Big Apple
Oakton traveled to New York last weekend and brought home another impressive title.
The Cougars won the Eastern States Championships girls' "A" race with a dominating 35 points, well ahead of Cardinal O'Hara of Pennsylvania (72).
Oakton junior Kayley Byrne finished fourth, and senior Danielle Light, sophomore Meredith Tighe and senior Allegra Smith finished sixth through eighth, respectively. Freshman Carley Hudson rounded out the Cougars' scoring by finishing 10th.
Earlier this year, Oakton finished fourth at the Great American Cross Country festival, an elite race that featured several nationally ranked teams that finished behind the Cougars. The Cougars also won the Lake Fairfax meet and the Mount St. Mary's Invitational.
Jefferson's boys finished an impressive third in the championship race in New York. The Colonials had 145 points, behind Christian Brothers Academy of New Jersey (54) and Cherokee of New Jersey (140).
Senior Kyle Smith finished seventh on the 2.5-mile course, finishing in 13:02. Senior Chris Katilie finished 21st.