Defending Champ Ortmans Going For Sub 15 At MileStat Invite XC Invitational Boys Virtual Meet Preview

Pre-meet interview with the returning XC Invitational elite boys race champion Charlie Ortmans of The Potomac School. Ortmans had a breakout victory in last year's race with his 15:24 victory as had run only 16:35 for 5K prior.

He had had modest freshman year times of 18:35 for 5K and 4:53 for 1600 meters before he used the time during the height of the covid pandemic shutdown of his sophomore year to train and take his running to the next level. 

Despite beating several eventual state champion runners in last year's XC Invitational, Ortmans was denied winning a state title himself later in the season in the VISAA State Championship division 1 race finishing just 8 seconds off Woodberry Forest boarding student Ferenc Kovacs (15:18) with a 15:26 runner-up finish on the same Pole Green Park 5K course.

Ortmans and Kovacs also had a nice rivalry over the track season with Ortmans getting the better of the sub 4:10 miler and 14:08 5K runner on the track in Kovacs in the VISAA State Indoor Championships with a 9:08 win. He continued to drop his time in the spring including traveling to highly competitive out-of-state meets to run personal bests of 4:11 in the 1600 and 9:04 in the 3200 meter run.

His next eye raising performance was last month at the Oatlands Invitational when he was only a handful of seconds off Drew Hunter's course and meet record on the hilly and challenging Oatlands Plantation 5K course with a 15:19 personal best run.

The performance at Oatlands certainly indicate that he is fit and ready to shoot for sub 15 minutes this weekend at the Invitational. There will be no shortage of great competition to push him including Pierre Attiogbe of St. Albans, Conner Rutherford of Blacksburg, Berkley Nance of Mills Godwin, Owen Shifflett of Western Albemarle, and Nathan Atchue of Franklin County.

Pierre Attiogbe just ran 15:02 last week at the MDXC Invitational in Maryland for the fastest season best performance in the field, while Conner Rutherford has the second fastest best run this season when he dropped a 15:08 performance earlier in the season at Knights Cross Invitational.

Oatlands Invitational runner-up Berkley Nance of Mills Godwin was just 9 seconds off Ortmans in 15:28 at Oatlands and finished ahead of both Attiogbe and Rutherford in the race.

Albemarle Invitational winner Owen Shifflett of Western Albemarle won last year's NXN Southeast Regional in 15:10, while University of Tennessee commit Nathan Atchue of Franklin County ran 15 minutes flat at last December's RunningLane Championships. 

It almost seems like it is setup that sub 15 minutes will be required this year for the win and Ortmans to repeat at the 2022 Invitational, which is the largest in meet history with over 170 schools registered with 4,200 plus runners spread out over 15 races at Pole Green Park in Mechanicsville. 

The meet and course record is 14:49 held by former Douglas Freeman and Ole Miss star Waleed Suliman at 14:49 from the 2016 XC Invitational. Only two others have broken 15 minutes in the meet history with 2015 winner Jonathan Lomogda of Cox at 14:56 and 2019 winner Daniel O'Brien of Virginia Episcopal at 14:57.