WESTMINSTER X — WESTMINSTER -- There was a long silence after Amanda White crossed the finish line at the 40th Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association Cross Country Championships yesterday at Western Maryland College.
More than a minute passed before the second-place runner came into the crowd's view at the finish. The slender, 5-foot-10 Dulaney High School junior had caught her breath and looked as fresh as the roses she held by the time Stephanie Morningstar of Westminster approached the chute in second place.
White's winning margin in the Class 4A girls race -- 1 minute, 34 seconds -- was the biggest in memory at the state meet. And her time of 17 minutes, 25 seconds was easily the fastest in the five years since the girls distance was increased to 3 miles.
Technically, it was also a course record, although the mark of 17:46 she set here in winning a 5K (3.1-mile) in the regional meet a week earlier is superior. With that minor point considered, White achieved a perfect 10 for the season -- 10 races, 10 victories, 10 course records.
"I wanted to break 17:00 today," said White, who is in only her second season of cross country competition. "But the cold really bothered me. I got a little numb."
In the 4A boys race, Westminster claimed its second team title in three years. Paced by junior Jim Holford, the Owls' county and regional champ, they scored 57 points to easily beat a field of 18 teams. Troy Harry of Quince Orchard won the individual title, followed by Old Mill's Scott Boetig.
Montgomery County schools swept both the team and individual titles in Class 3A. Walt Whitman won both team crowns and had the top boys finisher -- junior Pascal Dobert, by far the fastest runner of the day -- while Tonya Watson of John F. Kennedy won the girls race.
Brothers Gerard and Edward Hogan placed first and second, respectively, to lead Glenelg to the team title, as Howard County schools took three of the top four spots in the Class 2A boys portion.
The Gladiators beat runner-up Oakland Mills by 46 points, as all five of their scoring runners placed in the top 17.
"They all ran the way they were capable of running," said Gladiators coach Roger Volrath. "They basically did what we asked them to -- stay injury free and run the way they have been running."
Two upsets highlighted the Class 1A boys race in the state cross country meet yesterday.
Jim Clarius, a Francis Scott Key senior, scored the first by beating defending champ Mike Mamo of Milford Mill. Joppatowne pulled the second by beating Francis Scott Key, the reigning boys champions, in a close finish that included a controversy over a traffic cone.
Clarius stayed with Mamo as the long-striding Milford Mill junior pulled away from the pack of 59 runners. With 300 yards to go, Clarius surged into the lead and won in 16:31.
"He beat me by 13 seconds in the regional meet," said Clarius. "But I saw I could run with him there. I just stayed on his heels today. Going up the [last] hill, I could feel he was dragging."
Clarius' teammates Mitch Jones and John Hjembo crossed the finish line in third and fifth places, respectively. But the two were disqualified for running to the inside of the orange cone that marked the last turn. Several other runners were disqualified for the infraction, including one from Joppatowne.
Joppatowne, fielding its first cross country team in 10 years, was the declared the winner by a score of 35-50. Key filed a protest, noting that the cones were improperly positioned and had not been in place when the course walk was conducted.