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Potomac School wins, St. James second in MAC cross country meet

November 05, 1998|By JACK HILL III

ST. JAMES - St. James didn't win the Mid-Atlantic Athletic Conference cross country title on Wednesday, but to coach Keith Muller, the Saints did the next best thing.

They finished second.

"It is our best finish since this league was formed a decade ago," Muller said. "We knew that we had a chance to win, but Potomac was definitely the favorite coming into the race."

And Potomac School didn't disappoint.

Landon Schmitt overcame soreness from a weekend automobile accident to post the winning time of 16 minutes, 41.5 seconds over the 3.1-mile course to lead Potomac School to the team title.

Potomac School, of McLean, Va., finished with 36 points, 12 ahead of St. James. Mercersburg Academy was third with 88 points followed by St. Andrews (97), Georgetown Day School (124), Maret (134) and Flint Hill (183).

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St. James placed five runners in the top 15. Chris Johnson finished fourth at 17:30.1 and Tommy Syverson was fifth at 17:44.6. Cameron Snapp came in 10th (18:04.9), Tom Simchak was 14th (18:26.6) and Elliot Sanders was 15th (18:31.8).

"I was pleased with our team's second-place finish," Muller said. "Potomac is traditionally one of the best teams in our league and this is the closest that we have gotten to them. The race was better this year because there was better talent and better competition."

Schmitt stuck to his game plan of setting the early pace and pulling away to a big lead for an easy 12-second victory over St. Andrew's P.J. Hart.

"The guys stayed with me pretty much for the whole way," Schmitt said. "I started to pull away a little bit during the last three-quarters of a mile. I was pretty much satisfied with my performance today. I got a little bit of whiplash, so I was worried about my back. But it didn't bother me at all today."

All seven of Potomac's runners finished in the top 18.

"We try to put all seven of our runners in front of every team's fifth runner," Potomac coach Marcel Gauthier said. "If we can do that, then we know that there is no chance for us to get beat. It was how I expected them to run, because they haven't lost a race in the MAC since the season started."

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