For the second straight week, Bethesda-Chevy Chase junior Christopher Bowie fell just short in his pursuit of Linganore standout Kyle Ryan. But with a second-place finish at the Maryland 3A cross-country championship race on Saturday, Bowie has shown that next season could be one of great promise.

"There's the feeling like I could have had [Ryan], so it's a little disappointing," Bowie said. "On the other hand, I finished second. And this has been my best year so far and I have one year left to go, so it's exciting."

Bowie led for much of the three-mile race at Hereford High School in Parkton, but Ryan pulled ahead with about a mile to go and finished in 16 minutes 36 seconds, the third-best time of any male in any classification. Bowie, meantime, crossed the line in 16:45, the best time of any Montgomery County runner.

On Nov. 3, Bowie lost by 12 seconds in the 3A West Region championships, another close race on a hilly course at Watkins Mill. On Saturday at Hereford, considered one of the country's toughest courses, Bowie used a similar strategy of trying to gain on the hills. It worked for much of the way before Ryan, who has been one of the Washington area's hottest runners this fall, pulled away for the win.

Bowie's teammate, Elias Tousley, captured fifth in 3A.

Gaithersburg senior Ryan Janes was the top Montgomery finisher in 4A, taking third in 16:51, well behind Broadneck junior Matt Centrowitz (16:01) and Eleanor Roosevelt senior Mikias Gelagle (16:15). Janes was the first of six Montgomery athletes to crack the top 10 in 4A. Sherwood junior Chris Barnard took fifth overall, and his team finished a close second with 72 points to Broadneck's 69. Churchill senior Tarik Aougab was sixth, Blake junior Kyle Gaffney was seventh, Whitman junior William Palmer was eighth and Walter Johnson sophomore Christopher Moen was ninth.

After Sherwood's second-place finish, Quince Orchard was third with 125, Whitman fourth with 171 and Richard Montgomery fifth with 181.

In the girls' race, Eleanor Roosevelt dominated, winning the team title with 61 points and placing the top two finishers, but several Montgomery runners were right behind. Churchill sophomore Louise Hannallah took third, followed by Northwest sophomore Emma Eckerstrom. Quince Orchard junior Cara Harrison was eighth, and 4A West champ Veronica Salcido finished 11th. Montgomery County champion Halsey Sinclair, the defending state champ, finished 24th.

Sherwood's Chris Barnard (300) leads a pack of runners to start the 4A championship race. Barnard placed fifth, and his team finished second.