Georgetown Prep's Jama Bile stumbled to the nearest tree and collapsed. Barely able to walk after finishing the 20th annual Georgetown Prep Cross-Country Classic yesterday, Bile couldn't find any words to describe his second-place finish, three seconds behind Denbigh's John Oliver, who set a meet record of 15 minutes 44 seconds.
But Oliver had plenty to say.
"Nothing like this has ever happened to me before," said Oliver, who is ranked third among Virginia runners. "I expected to finish fourth but I guess I surprised myself today."
Bile led going into the final stretch of the three-mile course at Georgetown Prep, but Oliver outgalloped Bile in the last couple of yards.
"I made my move at about the two-mile mark," Oliver said. "But I really got him at the end."
Following Bile across the finish line was Centennial's Paul Rodriguez in 15:59, Denbigh's Tony Sawyer in 16:03 and Bethesda-Chevy Chase's Matt Ellis in 16:10.
Robinson, who placed only Jimmy Blain (16:23) in the top 10, won the team title with 142 points. Oakland Mills, which finished fifth last year, was one point back. Archbishop Curley was third with 160 points, followed by Denbigh (170) and West Springfield (178).
Georgetown Prep, touted as the class of the field, placed seventh. A back injury to Bogi Yohannes, one of the area's finest runners, didn't help.
In the girls championship race, 1989 winner Meghan McCarthy of Robinson made it look easy, setting a meet record of 18:35. O'Connell's Amy Conway was second, 30 seconds behind McCarthy.
West Potomac's Amy Alekin was third in 19:09.
Alekin's finish lifted West Potomac to first place in the team standings with 94 points. Robinson, whose Carrie Sieberkrob placed seventh, was second with 100.