By: Rebecca Lampron
The Oakland Mills High School (OMHS) Cross Country team kicked off their season with a strong start this fall. Both the boys and girls teams brought home a place in the top ten team spots at the Brunswick Invitational Meet on September 5.
Senior Brit Lang and junior Joey Navarro took first in the varsity races on September 5th. These longtime county contenders led their team to 6th and 3rd places, in girls and boys teams respectively.
Sophomore Grace Chaverini placed 6th in the girls varsity race. Chaverini has potential to be a strong leader on the team in the upcoming years, which will be important when the team’s seven seniors graduate in the spring.
Coach Phil Lang looks forward to matching up to “Liberty and Winters Mill on the boys team side. Joey Navarro has a shot to be the individual boys county champ and a Howard guy, Mt. Hebron guy and River Hill guy will battle him for that title. Brit [Lang] should win counties and regionals but a Patuxent girl and defending state champ will be there at states.”
Coaches Phil and Vicki Lang, parents of senior Brit Lang, plan to continue coaching in the future and look forward to a hardworking team and a successful season.They will lose seven seniors come May, three girls including Brit Lang and four boys. Coach Phil Lang says he “Expect[s] and hope[s] [that the] boys will compete for a regional and state championship and for the girls to qualify for the state championship.” A freshman for the boys team to keep an eye on is Frederick Eiland II, who shows promise for future seasons.
The coaches are focusing now on pace, but at the beginning of the season, many of the runners had a hard time getting used to running six days a week. Coach Phil is very excited because Oakland Mills “might have the boy’s and girl’s county champ on [our] team!” He is also looking to the future of the program with high hopes. “With very few seniors and a very competitive boys team, the future looks bright as well,” Coach Phil said, “However I hope they step up and take advantage of these great opportunities that are available for them this season!”
The Howard County Cross Country Championships will be held Thursday, October 29th, at Centennial High School. For some runners on the team, this may be their last meet of the season, and for some seniors, the last race of their high school career. Senior Brit Lang has been setting records and paces since her freshman year, and will be an athlete to watch at the Championships.