The Anne Arundel Community College women's cross country team qualified four runners for the nationals on Nov. 16 in Wichita, Kan.
Theteam placed second at the regional meet in New Jersey over the weekend, three points behind champion Hagerstown. The Hagerstown men also placed first, with the Pioneers fifth.
Anne Arundel's Yvette Lee (Severna Park) finished fourth at 21 minutes, 39 seconds. Lee had been doubtful for the race with an injuredhamstring that had sidelined her for three weeks.
Also making thetrip to Kansas are Kellie Smith (South River), sixth at 21:55; Amy Henske, eighth at 23:21; and Heidi Bugher, 11th at 24:45.
Lee's strong finish came as the greatest surprise to Coach Jim Fontaine, who said he watched the former All-Metro selection warm up prior to the race before deeming her ready.
The greatest disappointment came on the men's side, where No. 1 runner Doug Murphy (Broadneck) failed to qualify for the nationals by placing 27th at 29:45. Only the top 15 runners compete at the nationals.
"He's run 11 races in 11 weeks, which proved too much," Fontaine said. "He developed some inflammation in his knee and ran 2 1/2 minutes slower than normal.
"During the race, I was standing there looking for him and looking for him, and Icouldn't find him. I knew something was wrong."
Murphy, 18, is a former All-County selection at Broadneck who set a school record as asenior with a time of 16:46 in a 3.1-mile run at Queen Anne's.