Every time Beth Catherwood passed the Bethesda-Chevy Chase trophy case this year, she thought about adding a cross-country state championship to what looked like "about a million field hockey trophies."
While the Barons' field hockey team earned yet another state championship Saturday, Catherwood and her teammates brought home the school's first girls' cross-country state title in nearly 25 years from the Maryland 2A state meet at Hereford High. Catherwood, a senior, led the charge with a 25-second win, gaining the lead after a mile and a quarter and cruising to a time of 19 minutes 58 seconds over the five-kilometer course.
"I had prepped really hard for the race . . . and it panned out pretty well," said Catherwood, who was 20th last year. "I heard people yelling, 'There's no one on you,' but it's bad form to look back -- so I just ran as if there were people on my shoulder."
Freshman Megan Andrews placed sixth in 21:08, junior Deedee Phlatts (21:19) was 12th and sophomore Emily Bartlett (21:47) 17th in team scoring for the Barons' first state title since 1978.
Meantime, B-CC senior Zach Vaslow's experiences on the demanding state course paid off, as he dominated the individual 2A championship in 16:58.
Vaslow improved on runner-up finishes at last year's state meet and at the Sept. 21 Bull Run Invitational to capture the first major win of his career.
"The timing was perfect," Vaslow said. "I worked the flat sections and pushed the downhills. . . . I really killed myself" to win.
Laurel Takes Next Step
A scoreless tie during Laurel's regular season meeting with Eleanor Roosevelt gave the Spartans girls' soccer team hope that a repeat performance by the defense could give them a chance in last Thursday's 4A South Region championship game against the Raiders.
The defense delivered again, and Laurel once again played to a scoreless tie with Roosevelt. In penalty kicks, the Spartans beat the Raiders, 4-2, for their first region championship.
"We knew we were good defensively," Coach Terry Parfitt said. "If we could get to the shootout, we could win."
Roosevelt had won two straight region championships and had been strong this year, including a fourth-place finish at the elite McDonogh (Balt.) Invitational. Laurel (11-2-1) had been close but unsuccessful in nine years under Parfitt, who announced at the beginning of the season that he will step down after this year.
Andi Perkinson, April Atkinson, Alicia Willey and Ariana Thomas scored in the shootout, setting off an emotional celebration. The Spartans will play host Perry Hall in the 4A semifinal today.
"It was good to see cries of laughter instead of cries of sadness," Parfitt said. "The girls played real hard."