Team VA and Team MD Split 2015 Potomac XC Cups

Updated: December 11, 2015

Bethesda, Maryland —  Ideal racing conditions coupled with sunny skies showcased the 10th running of The Battle of the Potomac XC Championship in all its splendor.  Aerial drone cameras captured the rolling hills, the Christmas Tree Farm and the lufting smoke from the chicken barbecue cookers.  Yes, this is cross country at its finest.  Nicknamed the “XC Border War” after its first few years, the 10th anniversary event brought back a bit of symmetry to the event as Maryland Boys defended their Potomac XC Cup title and the Virginia Girls got back on winning ways after a two year run by Team Maryland’s girls.  

It was a dominant win by the Maryland Boys who have only faced a true challenge in 2 of the 10 Border War Championships raced.  The Virginia Girls got back to holding the Potomac XC Cup after a two year reign by Maryland’s Girls.  The individual Seeded Champions followed suit as a local Montgomery County MD boy took top honors.  Wooton HS’ Colin SyBing ended his fall “cross” season with a 13 second win over local Quince Orchard HS’ top runner Liam Walsh.  The surprise winner of the day was in the Girls Seeded race.  A homeschooled freshman pulled away from West Virginia’s 2-time 3A State Champion Abby Colbert to earn her first major win in cross country.  Theresa Long is no stranger to the Smokey Glen Farm course as she won the Middle School race In a previous effort.

The 10th Battle of the Potomac XC Championship results tie back to the first year of the state vs state race when there was just one Potomac XC Cup to hold for bragging rights.  In that year, Team Maryland edged Team Virginia based on the strength of the Maryland Boys.  In fact in its 10 year history, the Maryland Boys have won 9 out of 10 times.  For a while, it looked like the Virginia Girls would maintain the same level of dominance, yet in 2013 the Maryland Girls brought more speed and followed up that upset win in 2013 with a 2nd straight team victory in 2014.It was fitting in our 10th year the the Team Virginia Girls won over a Maryland Girls team that officially was one finisher short from scoring.  Even if Maryland had a 10th runner (scoring is 10 deep) who had finished 1st, the Virginia Girls’ depth was too much to overcome.

Some elements of the XC Border War #10 remained the same.  The drumline kept the runners’ beat, the video crew shot cool new footage including a drone pilot providing a new view of Smokey Glen Farm, and the staff cooking that famous Smokey Glen Farm smoked chicken.  When all 6 races had been completed, the smoked chicken beckoned the runners and the aerial drone with camera had landed.  The Battle of the Potomac XC #10 celebrated 10 years.  It was fitting that our primary Youth Fitness Honoree, Kaitlyn Davis, was a past 2-time champion, a scholar athlete at NC State University and now an elementary school teacher.   Our male honoree was Lee Degfae who went on to All-American Honors at Virginia Tech in track and cross country.  Lee was a past winner for Team VA in one of two years that the Virginia Boys won the Potomac XC Cup.

American Running produces and hosts the event as part of its commitment to improving the physical activity and fitness levels of all America’s youth.  The middle school race will expand and be a link to future high school cross country runners.  That tie was evidenced by the win in the Girls Seeded race, a former middle school competitor and past winner.  Additional photos and updates will be posted on the Battle of the Potomac XC site –  Results are posted on ( and on the host site,

The Battle of the Potomac XC Championships is produced by the Bethesda, Maryland-based American Running Association (ARA). This championship meet, which involves four neighboring states, serves as a venue to encourage more kids to become interested in the sport of cross country running and to become runners themselves. All proceeds from the meet help produce the event and support ARA’s free Youth National Run A Mile Days Fund and training programs. ARA is a nonprofit organization founded in 1968 to promote healthy living and active lifestyles among all Americans. It is dedicated to supporting runners through education and specialized programs, as well as encouraging all individuals from children to adults to run and be fit. For more information about the association or to learn more about the walk-run programs, visit


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