The 11th annual Westminster Cross Country Invitational actually was a day of firsts yesterday at Western Maryland College.
In winning the girls varsity race, Dulaney's Amanda White registered the fastest time ever run on the 3.1-mile course by a high school or college female. She was clocked in 18 minutes, 13 seconds.
That followed on the heels of C. Milton Wright's Brian Harris taking first in the varsity boys race. His time of 16:26 was the third best effort by a high school runner.
hTC The Frederick girls and the Glenelg boys won team titles for the first time at this event.
White's performance was anticipated, but she actually was upset with herself when she learned her time. She did not know at that point she had broken the course record.
"I felt I could have done a lot better," said White, who ran 17:11 to tie Virginia standout Megan McCarthy for first last Saturday at the Pallotti Invitational in Laurel. Yesterday, White was running a hilly golf course circuit dampened by a light mist and she had no Megan McCarthy pushing her. Westminster's Stephanie Morningstar, running in only her second meet, placed second in 19:42.
"I practice with the boys team and that helps me improve, but it's a lot different in a meet when there is no one running there with you," said White. "I've been working on a technique my dad suggested, trying to imagine that there is a runner out in front and I have to catch up. I guess that didn't work too well today."
Amanda and her father, former Colts linebacker Stan White, worked on her running from behind this past summer in Ocean City.
"We would run 40 blocks and back, but he would cut it short by a block and start back," said White. "I had to try to catch him."
Dulaney coach Bob Dean said he probably will hold White out of Friday's meet and point her workouts toward running next Tuesday. Her next big race will come in four weeks at Georgetown Prep.
"Megan McCarthy should be there," said White.
In the boys race, Glenelg's Gerard Hogan served as a target for Harris.
The Mustangs' sophomore, who finished 13th in last year's event, had lost to Hogan at the Howard County Invitational last week by 34 seconds. Yesterday, he made his move just as Hogan slipped and fell with a half mile remaining.
Hogan bounced right up, but with concentration broken, he was unable to catch Harris. Hogan finished 19 seconds behind and one second ahead of his brother Edward in 16:45.
"I slipped, but it was no big thing," said Gerard Hogan, pleased that the Gladiators had captured the team title with relative ease.
Harris, who won county and regional honors last season, said, "I just keyed on him [Hogan] the whole race. I made my move just about the time he fell," said Harris. "I really wasn't expecting to win here, so I guess I'll have to reset my goals for the rest of the season. At the state's [Class 3A], Pascal [Dobert] from Walt Whitman will be the runner to beat."