Boys XC begins season with a solid start

Dagim Tigabu comes in 15th at XC invitational at Great Meadows


Senior Mahiteme Tigabu approaching the finish line during the meet.

Jude Nanaw, Sports Editor

The boys cross country team is off to a good start after having a fairly successful meet at the Great Meadows Invitational.  The team finished 22nd out of 29 total teams in the Varsity A Division.

This division is exceptionally difficult to run in because it is compiled of some of the best cross country teams.

“The team definitely ran well given the hot and humid conditions at the meet,” Head Coach Dave Ciccarelli said.

Out of a field of 251 runners, Senior Dagim Tigabu finished in 15th place at the meet leading the Atoms with the best time of 17:25, a new personal record.

Right behind Dagim was his twin brother Mahiteme Tigabu who came in 27th place at a time of 17:41.

Many more Atoms made new personal records at the meet finishing with improved times. The tough weather and conditions of the meet definitely made running more difficult on the boys. “It was a hard and fast race, but the thing that killed most was heat and the large amount of runners there,” junior Nghia Nguyen said.

With there being many runners at the meet, dust picks up making it difficult for the runners to breathe.

“As the race went on dust would just pick up everywhere, which made it hard to see and breathe,” Nguyen said.

Despite the difficult conditions, many of the Atoms broke their past personal records and improved their times.

“I feel like I improved a lot at the meet thanks to the practices preparing me to push myself harder and making me faster” sophomore Bilal Rasheed said.

The practices leading up to the meet got the Atoms ready for difficult hills they would be facing at Great Meadows. “Coach Ciccarelli having us run one kilometer repeats and up hills that mimic the ones at Great Meadows was also very helpful,” Rasheed said.

The boys improving greatly can be credited to having new head coach Dave Ciccarelli. Ciccarelli is experienced with coaching cross country as he was a former cross country coach at Woodgrove High School.

The team will be participating in some meets that they have not run before.

This is because the Atoms also have a new head coach, Dave Ciccarelli who is experienced with coaching cross country as he was a former cross country coach at Woodgrove High School.

Some of the new meets that the team will be running at this year include the Blazer Invitational in Frederick, Maryland and the DCXC Invitational at Kenilworth Park in DC.

The Atoms will also be running at meets they have participated in before like the Franconia Park and Burke Lake Park meets.

By getting off on the right foot this meet, the Atoms have high hopes and expectations for upcoming invitationals. The team still has a total of 10 meets left which will be taking place throughout the next month and a half leading up to the Patriot Conference Championship in late October.

The Atoms boys cross country team last year was fairly successful and was able to have many runners in conference. However, last years team did not exceed the conference meet and advance to regionals.


With the good start this year, this year’s team looks to continue past the conference finals and reach regionals and maybe even states.

It is also definitely expected for runners to continue to break their own personal records throughout the season.

The team’s next meet is the Monroe Parker Invitational at Burke Lake Park. This meet will be familiar to the team as they have competed there in past seasons.