Owls girls are running to be first In Westminster, 20 join cross country

September 09, 1992|By Bill Free | Bill Free,Staff Writer

There are some interesting conversations around Jim Bullock's dinner table in Westminster these days.

Daughter Joy keeps telling her dad Jim that the Westminster High girls cross country team is going to run all over his Francis Scott Key team this season.

Joy, a junior, is one of the top runners for the always-powerful Owls, and Jim is beginning his fourth season as coach of the much smaller 1A FSK girls' cross country program.

"Joy says they are going to kick our butts," said Jim Bullock. "But I think this is the year we could get Westminster. The scuttlebutt around the county is that Westminster could be beaten."

The 4A Owls continued to dominate girls cross country in Carroll county last year and they won the Central Maryland Conference championship.

Their top runner, Stephanie Morningstar, who is now running for the University of Virginia, finished second in the state championships to Dulaney's Amanda White, who took second in the national high school meet.

Twenty girls come out for Westminster's team this year. FSK has seven girls out for its squad, up six from four years ago when Sherry Woodson completed a four-year run as a one-girl team for the Eagles.

It doesn't sound too promising for the Eagles or the other three county schools (South Carroll, Liberty and North Carroll), which almost always wind up chasing the Owls.

Westminster coach Jim Gilford agrees, but Gilford has also heard the talk about the Owls being vulnerable this season.

"I've heard that Westminster is weak, and this is the year to get them," said Gilford, who is in his 13th season. "We won't be as strong as last year. It hurts to lose your top three runners (Morningstar, Bonnie Bullock and Liz Vanderslice), but we'll be OK as the season goes on. We have eight girls returning who have run on the varsity and we picked up five girls from the soccer team."

The leading newcomers are junior Adrian McGwire and sophomore Brooke Hammel.

At Francis Scott Key, Jim Bullock is confident because he has his top runner from last year, junior Shannon Hugg, back.

Hugg ran fifth in the state 1A meet last year and fifth in the Carroll County meet.

Challenging Hugg for No. 1 this year is ninth grader Ali Jones. Sophomore Jennifer Jones is expected to be No. 3.

At Liberty, first-year coaches Dan Jones and Amy Filsinger are counting on juniors Katie Sweemer and Jen Myers to lead the 2A Lions in a bid to unseat Westminster.

Sweemer will run No. 1 and Myers No. 2 on what Filsinger calls a "good, strong team."

"We pull each other around the course," said Filsinger. "We don't have the numbers [eight girls on squad] that Westminster has, but I believe we will have a chance to beat them."

Senior Katie Hill and junior Debbie Ward are the other top Liberty runners.

At North Carroll, third-year coach Stu Krise continues to rebuild a program that had just four girls on the team in 1990.

Krise has raised that number to 12 this season and is hoping to surprise some county teams.

Krise has even received some conditioning help from the Army this season, as his No. 1 runner Carrie Seigman is coming off a summer of basic training under the delayed enlistment program.

Seigman, a senior, will be followed in the Panthers' 2A lineup by senior Teri Shroyer, junior Jenny Williams and promising freshman Cindy Hollway.

Krise said that Hollway is a natural runner with enough talent to be No. 1 by the end of the season.

At South Carroll, ninth-year coach Rick Cook is spending more time reading medical books than clocking his runners.

"This is a rehabilitation season for us," said Cook. "I'm learning a lot about sports medicine."

Cook has four runners, including last year's No. 1 Kerri Murphy, trying to overcome injuries in an attempt to help the 3A Cavaliers have a successful season.

Murphy, a senior, is battling a stress fracture of the hip; last season's No. 2 runner Karen Hammel, a junior, is coming off a stress fracture of the knee; junior Stacy Livesay is trying to run for her first season after being sidelined by medical problems the past two years, and junior Robin Saunders has a bad left knee.

That leaves juniors Heather Young, Molly Cage and Andrea Morris and ninth grader Stephanie Linton as the only completely healthy Cavs.


At Western Maryland College, the Green Terrors women's team will be led by junior Kendra Weible, who finished fourth in the Middle Atlantic Conference championships last year and ran No. 1 for the Green Terrors all season.

Western Maryland coach Doug Renner, starting his eighth season, said his team will be pointing toward the MAC championships after a 15th place finish out of 24 teams last season.

"I don't put much stock in dual meets," said Renner. "I concentrate on the invitationals, the MAC, and then take my best team to the NCAAs."

Weible, sophomores Erin Jenkins and Mary Vellupato, senior Shannon Franklin and junior Kirsten Stockel are the top returnees from last season.

Renner said a good recruiting year has landed him three top freshmen, including Sarah Ensor from Francis Scott Key, Melanie Phipps from South Carroll and Julie Kuerner from New York.

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