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Northern Garrett High School Girls Cross Country Team - State Champions

Last Updated on Nov 16, 2021 at 10:28am | Garrett County Public Schools

The Northern Garrett High School Girls Cross Country team captured their second consecutive 1A state title on Saturday at Hereford High School in Parkton, MD on November 13, 2021. The team ended with a total score of 47 points, beating Smithsburg High School. The team boasted five (5) all-state performances on Saturday with the first five runners finishing in the top 20. All six of the finishing runners were in the top 30 of the field of 104 runners. Lydia Nelson, 10th grader, led the charge by pulling off the upset of the day by besting the heavy pre-race favorite, Caroline Matthews of Boonsboro, by 24 seconds to win in 20:27.74 and become the 2021 Maryland 1A State Cross-Country champion. She was followed closely by McKenzie Upole, 9th grader, (7th place in 22:08.45), Arrisyn Amtower, 12th grader, (13th place in 22:30.65), Sophia Brown, 11th grader, (17th place in 22:59.40), Minka Amtower, 12th grader, (18th in 23:01.54), and Kaylee Bowser, 9th grade, (28th in 24:02.41). Emma Hostetler, 9th grader, was injured during the race and was unable to finish.
NH Girls Cross Country Team
Photo credit: Jeffrey F. Bill/Baltimore Sun Media; Left to Right: Coach Shaun Peck, Lydia Nelson, Emma Hostetler, Kaylee Bowser, Arrisyn Amtower, Minka Amtower, Sophia Brown, McKenzie Upole, Coach Jaron Hawkins

During the season, the girls were able to capture seven team championships, winning the Wildcat Invitational in Williamsport, the Scorpion Crawl at Oakland Mills High School, the WestMAC Championship at New Germany, the Husky Pride Invitational at Northern, the Region 1A West Meet at Smithsburg, and the 1A State Meet. To end the season, the team enjoyed a five meet winning streak. Lydia Nelson won 3 meets during the season (the WestMAC championships, the Husky Pride Invitational, and the 1A State Meet). Her teammate Arrisyn Amtower was the overall winner at the Savage Mountain 5k early in the season.

Lydia Nelson

Photo credit: Jeffrey F. Bill/Baltimore Sun Media; Lydia Nelson, the 2021 Maryland 1A State Cross-Country champion.
The team relied most of the season on great depth with every runner from #1 to #16 running and scoring in a varsity meet at some point during the season. Lydia's emergence as a top-notch individual runner was something unexpected and helped to put the team on another level.
Jaron Hawkins, coach, stated “The real story is that this state championship is the result of great teamwork among the team members and also between the coaches of different sports at Northern Garrett High School. Coach Gregg Hostetler, Girls Soccer coach, was an extremely active supporter of cross-country and encouraged his team members to run cross-country. Those athletes have been a gigantic part of the cross-country team while also being fully committed to girls' soccer. It is quite the endeavor and workload for those athletes. It would not be possible without the mutual regard and appreciation of two successful programs and coaches working together for the advancement of young athletes.”


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