Boys cross country on road to second state title


courtesy of Amy Buck

Micheal Belmaggio, Ben Dill, Carson Buck, Jack Sears, Will Cioffi and Bryce Witmer huddle together before race at Seahawk Invitational.

by Carson Buck , Reporter

The month of September was exciting for boys cross country; they had a victory in the Rebel Invitational and a 14th place finish in an elite race at the Carlisle Invitational.

Rebel Invitational 

The 2018 cross country season started off with a win at the Rebel Invitational against rivals Walt Whitman, with a score of 54 points. Michael Belmaggio, with a time of 15:56, claimed the first place spot.

Belmaggio said, “I’m happy with it but not satisfied. It was only a reassurance that I can run sub 16 in 5k.”

Last year Belmaggio’s 5k PR (personal record) was 15:47 at the NXR (Nike Cross Country regional) Southeast Regional Meet. He finished second place at the state meet.

Runner Allejah Seraton, who ran his first sub 18:00 5k, passing an important milestone for XC runners with a time of 17:31, put up an admirable performance at the meet to finish in the top 15 along with runner Will Cioffi to help seal this win for cross country.

After cross country won states in 2017-2018, they hope to use this early Invitational win to build towards pulling off a repeat win of the state title.

Bull Run 

Their next meet was on September 22 at Hereford High School for the Bull Run Invitational. The Hereford High School course has had a long reputation as one of the toughest XC courses in the country. With steep hill features and little to no flat areas and fast elevation changes, it lives up to its fierce name quite well.                                      

The big part of the Bull Run Invitational is that the state meet is run on this course and talented teams participated. Linganore was still able to manage an 8th place finish out 19 teams with a score of 231 points and a 6th place finish from Michael Belmaggio. 

Belmaggio said, “I wasn’t under a lot of pressure and I didn’t feel the need to go all out.”

Belmaggio lost to number 1 ranked Severna park runner Garrison Clark who ran a time of 15:52, a relatively unheard of time for the Hereford course.

At Bull Run, the boys team competed against 3A rivals Centennial High School; Centennial finished 2nd at the state meet last year with a score of 126 points to Linganore’s 73. Centennial finished 13th at Bull Run, well behind Linganore. Rival Atholton finished 6th on the day, beating Linganore. 

At Hereford senior Ben Rose found difficulty running the course.

Senior Ben said, “It’s a really challenging course with a lot of steep hills.”

Carlisle Invite

September 29, cross country raced against the giants of local states, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and New Jersey at the 26th Annual Carlisle Invitational.  The team placed 14th with Michael Belmaggio taking 8th overall in the Challenge race with a time of 16:08. The course was very muddy on that day, slowing down the times of multiple runners on a course that was promised to be fast.

The team was not expecting to encounter three water crossings on the course. For many it was their first experience with water crossings in a race. Each crossing was about two and a half feet deep and ten feet across, making for a different element to the race. Many of the runners had issues with traction going around the turns, resulting in slips and falls, making the times much slower than expected.

Linganore faces another problem. They are looking to reload the team this year after losing important runners,  Kyle Guinn, Spencer Askine and Jeremy Carter. Seniors Allejah Seraton, Gunnar Eklund and Will Cioffi are stepping into  the vacant roles this season with quality performances.