Last weekend at Western Maryland College, the Mariners sailed to the top of the Class 1A cross country pack, upsetting defending champion Francis Scott Key, 35-50.
The Joppatowne performance was the highlight of the day for county teams. No other county teams challenged for titles, though individuals made strong showings.
Joppatowne packed all five of its scoring runners in the top 17 inthe race to capture its first-ever state cross country crown.
Junior Todd Eckley placed fourth in 17 minutes, 22 seconds, while sophomore Bobby Simmons was fifth, two seconds later.
"If everything went well, I knew we had a chance," Thompson said.
At the start of the season, Thompson said he wanted to finish in the top three in the county. The squad wound up second to Class 3A C. Milton Wright in the county championships, then won the Class 1A Region III title in late October.
Still, the state title was a surprise.
Teams from Western Maryland, which usually train on hilly courses, have dominated the Class 1A team championships in recent years.
Joppatowne got a little help in the state meet, too. A pair of Francis Scott Key runners, both headed for finishes in the top 10, were disqualified for running several inches to the wrong side of one of the orange cones marking the final turn on the course. Key's coach made several appeals and protests, but to no avail.
"We don't have one superstar," Thompsonsaid. "It was a whole-team effort. My captains, Dan Brewer and Todd Eckley, worked just as hard as I did in energizing the team."
Fallston's girls, meanwhile, placed third in the 1A competition, as Laurie Cicero placed ninth.
Wright had individuals score well in both the boys and girls Class 3A meets, but neither squad was in the team title chase. The boys finished fourth in their meet, paced by the third-place finish of sophomore Brian Harris.
Harris had defeated Balazs Koranyi of Walter Johnson High in Montgomery County, who finished second in the state meet. (He defeated Koranyi by three seconds in the first competition of the season.)
"I twisted my ankle and that slowed me down a little," Harris said of last weekend's rematch.
But only one teammate, junior Greg Stephen, managed to finish in the top 20. Walt Whitman of Montgomery County, one of the top-ranked teams in the country, waltzed to the title with just 37 points as its five scoring runners all finished among the top 15.
Walter Johnson was a distant second with 95, Atholton of Howard County was third with 100 and the Mustangs totaled 112.
Stacy Servia's seventh-place finished paced the girls, who were eighth in the team chase. The squad should be more competitive next year, though, because none of the top six runners will be lost to graduation.
A pair of North Harford runners had strong showings in the Class 2A events. Lucy Howard placed seventh for the girls, while Matt Piotrowshi was 11th in the boys competition.
Harford County results:
Team results: 4. C. Milton Wright 112, 7. Bel Air 208
Individual results: 3. Brian Harris, C. Milton Wright, 16:09; 18. Greg Stephen, C. Milton Wright, 16:59; 21. Bryan Fitzpatrick, Bel Air, 17:01; 22. Troy Morse, C. Milton Wright, 17:02; 28. K. Koffenberger, C. Milton Wright, 17:18;35. Jared LeClair, Bel Air, 17:29; 40. Eric Bell, Bel Air, 17:39; 50. Tim Hall, C. Milton Wright, 17:56; 65. Clint Apland, Bel Air, 18:15; 67. Chris Parkinson, C. Milton Wright, 18:27; 75. Glenn Durfee, BelAir, 18:39; 107. Chris Korpela, C. Milton Wright, 19:31; 115. Jeff Kuck, Bel Air, 20:24
Team results: 8. C. Milton Wright 178
Individual results: 7. Stacy Servia, C. Milton Wright, 20:24; 26.Amy Altman, C. Milton Wright, 21:18; 31. Julie Foster, Bel Air, 21:39; 51. Erin Bralich, C. Milton Wright, 22:17; 62. Theresa Molnar, C. Milton Wright, 22:56; 74. Michelle Pilske, C. Milton Wright, 23:29; 75. Caroline Barthel, C. Milton Wright, 22:34; 89. Katie Newhart, C. Milton Wright, 24:19
Team results: 14. North Harford 326, 15. Edgewood 428
Individual results: 11. Matt Piotrowshi, North Harford, 16:59; 69. Sam Kerfoot, North Harford, 18:37; 73. Dan Marcum,
North Harford, 18:48; 85. James Morrison, Edgewood, 19 22; 89. James Fortier, Edgewood, 19:50; 105. Day Dove, Edgewood, 21:14; 107. Eric Nelson, Edgewood, 21:20; 108. Tim Andrews, Edgewood, 21:21; 109: Matt Bochniak, North Harford, 21:23; 111. Ryan McCallum, North Harford, 22:13; 112. Randy Garner, North Harford, 22:15; 114. Willia Parrish, Edgewood, 22:18; 115. Matt Brock, Edgewood, 22:20
Individual results: 7. Lucy Howard, North Harford, 20:15; 65. Rachael Bair, Edgewood, 24:52; 67. Heather Gosler, North Harford, 25:07; 75. Dorothy Strater, Edgewood, 28:05
Team results: 1. Joppatowne 35.
Individual results: 4. Todd Eckley, Joppatowne, 17:22; 5. Bobby Simmons, Joppatowne, 17:24; 11. Dan Brewer, Joppatowne, 17:53; 12. Kenyo Henry, Harford Vo-Tech, 18:02; 13. Keith Phillips, Joppatowne, 18:02; 17. Scott Fitzgerald, Joppatowne, 18:17; 28. Ben Hall, Fallston, 18:40; 29. David Williams, Harford Vo-Tech, 18:41; 42. Matt Winkler, Joppatowne, 19:41
Team results: 3. Fallston 74
Individual results: 9. Laurie Cicero, Fallston, 21:20; 19. Kim Szager, Fallston, 22:13; 22. Danielle Dinan, Fallston, 22:19; 5. Sarah Moore, Fallston, 22:55; 26. Jessica Wolf, Fallston, 23:04; 27. Monica Beall, Fallston, 23:11; 33. Erin Fitzgerald, Harford Vo-Tech, 24:15; Janine Cronk, Fallston, 25:14