For the second straight week, Chantilly senior Brad Siragusa took second place at a major invitational. But the reigning Northern Region champion and two-time All-Met said that, nevertheless, he is right where he'd like to be in terms of the cross-country postseason.
"I'm not too worried about it," Siragusa said after Saturday's Oatlands Invitational, where he finished two seconds behind Herndon junior Abe Dagnachew. "Generally, I like to operate under the radar. It's a lot of pressure when you're supposed to be first every week. I think I'm running just as well, if not better than I was last year."
Despite the two runner-up finishes, Siragusa still has been among the Washington area's best runners this fall. He won the Monroe Parker Invitational on Sept. 10 and then took second at the Bull Run Invitational in Parkton, Md., finishing behind Georgetown Prep senior All-Met Steven Duplinsky, who had just come off a gold-medal performance at the World Triathlon Championships. Siragusa finished ahead of Broadneck junior Matt Centrowitz, another All-Met.
On Saturday, Siragusa ran into another hot runner in Dagnachew, who won the Virginia Tech Invitational on Sept. 3 by 30 seconds. Dagnachew won in 15 minutes 45 seconds, ahead of Siragusa's 15:47.
"Two for two," Herndon Coach Pete Sherry said of Dagnachew's start to the season. "He's running very well so far."
Although the Oatlands meet in Leesburg drew many Northern Region teams, some of the best were not in attendance and others did not enter their top runners. Jefferson, the state's top-ranked boys' team, took the week off, and Oakton traveled to North Carolina for the Great American Cross-Country Festival, at which the girls' squad finished an impressive sixth overall.
The girls' teams from Lake Braddock and Westfield were at Oatlands, but neither team ran its regular lineup. Westfield, with one regular runner in the lineup, took second in the girls' race to Northwest; Lake Braddock, with none of its top four participating, took fifth.
T.C. Williams sophomore Danielle Canfield was the top Northern Region girls' finisher at Oatlands, taking fifth in 19:38. Brooke Point junior Brittany Copeland won with a time of 19:04.