A record-breaking performance by Gerard Hogan led the Glenelg boys cross country team to its first county championship in at least 17 years during competition Thursday at Howard Community College.
The victory --ed Oakland Mills' hopes for an eighth straight title. The team finished second, with 62 points, behind Glenelg's 32 points.
Alicia Adams of Glenelg, second in the county title race last season, won the girls competition in 20:05.
Mount Hebron captured itsfirst girls team title by taking five of the first 13 places. Centennial grabbed second place, trailing Mount Hebron, 38-53.
Hogan's time for the three-mile event was 15 minutes, 56 seconds, and it eclipsed the record set by Centennial's Pat Rodrigues in 1989 by three seconds.
Hogan, who finished fourth in the county championship last season and was the state Class 2A runner-up, came in 35 seconds ahead of runner-up Bryan Townsend of Atholton.
Despite being a prohibitive pre-race favorite -- after winning seven of nine races this year, including three invitationals -- Hogan said he was still nervous before the race.
"I was running for the course record because a lot of people told me they wanted me to break it," Hogan said. "Andthat made me nervous."
Hogan set the pace the entire race, a difficult way to break a record. When Rodrigues set the previous mark, hewas pushed by Oakland Mills' Joe Drissel in a race that ended in a near dead-heat.
The boys team title was the first for Coach Roger Volrath in 17 years of coaching the Gladiators, and he obviously enjoyed watching his team receive its awards in a post-race ceremony at the HCC gym.
"I'm not surprised at Gerard's course record," Volrath said. "I felt he had it in him."
Hogan, a senior, is a National Merit Scholarship semifinalist and carries a 4.0 grade-point average while taking five advanced courses at Glenelg.
His brother, Edward, a junior, finished fourth, in 16:38, running behind second-place Townsend (16:31) and third-place Mark James (16:37) of Centennial.
Glenelg got a personal-best, eighth-place performance from sophomore Kris Edwards (17:03). His previous best time was 17:31.
The Gladiators also received a near-best from ninth-place Joe Rankin (17:03), whose previous best was 17:00.
Mike Goldberg (17:23) rounded out Glenelg's top five by finishing 16th.
Oakland Mills' top finisher was Tim Brenza (16:54) in seventh place. Mike Vanghel (17:05) was 10th.
Atholton finished third with 62 points, led by second-place Townsendand fifth-place Norman Flecker (16:43).
Alicia Adams, the favorite, ran away with the girls race in much the same fashion as Hogan. The Glenelg runner was alone in front after the first mile.
"I was surprised no one went with me," she said. "I was trying to break 20 minutes."
Last season she ran 19:51 for second place behindher sister, Kristina, who ran a 19:26.
"I didn't feel as well today as I'd hoped I would," Adams said. "I kept telling myself while I was alone in front that my sister was ahead of me and I had to catch her."
Adams was the state Class 2A runner-up last season and won the Howard County Invitational earlier this season.
Erin Gibbons (20:47) of Mount Hebron finished second overall, 36 seconds behind Adams.
"This was my best race of the year," said Gibbons, who continues to show improvement with each race. She finished 25th in 23:05 at last season's county championship.
Although it was Mount Hebron's first title, it came as no surprise.
"We thought we had a chance towin it since the beginning of the year," Gibbons said.
Amanda Fleck (21:06), who led early in the race, finished fifth for Mount Hebron and also ran a personal-best time.
"Lisa Board (21:41), who finished eighth, ran a crucial race for us, because she finished just ahead of two Centennial girls," Vikings coach Frank Horstman said.
Also running a crucial and courageous race for Mount Hebron was Angela Turner (22:22), who fell and injured her right ankle during the second mile but still finished 13th.
"I can't even remember getting up and finishing the race," said Turner, who laid on the ground with an ice pack on her ankle for an hour following the race.
Ania Jastreboff (22:05) of Mount Hebron finished 11th after coming off a foot injury that sidelined her for two weeks.
"These girls are very goal-oriented and drive themselves to win," said Horstman.
Atholton placed two runners in the top seven, as Gail Hodges (20:50) took third and Anna DoCouto (21:39) was seventh.
Glenelg's Kelly Pelovitz (20:52) ran a strong fourth.
Last season's state Class 3A champion, Amanda Cox (21:29) of Centennial, finished sixth.
Ha Lam (21:41) and Lauren Dutterer (21:46) of Centennial were ninth and 10th respectively, giving the Eagles three of the top 10 finishers.