Mustangs favored to trample field, win 6th straight boys title HARFORD COUNTY CROSS COUNTRY PREVIEW

September 20, 1992|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,Staff Writer

C. Milton Wright's boys team is such a tremendous favorite to win its sixth consecutive county cross country championship that the Mustangs might even sweep the top five spots.

The Mustangs return five runners who placed in the top seven in the county last fall. Nobody appears able to catch defending champ Brian Harris, also third in the state Class 3A title race. The junior is running comfortably ahead of his best competition -- his own teammates.

Sophomore Chris Parkinson runs second behind Harris followed by seniors Chad Boyle (third in the county last year), Kevin Koffenberger (second), Troy Morse and Greg Stephen (seventh). Junior transfer Steve Donohue could break into that top seven.

Only three runners appear to have a chance of preventing a Mustang title sweep. Joppatowne senior Todd Eckley is the only returnee who finished ahead of any one of the Mustangs in last year's championships. Eckley finished sixth.

Bel Air senior Jared LeClair (10th) and Joppatowne junior Keith Phillips (11th) are the only others returning from among last year's top 12 finishers.

In the team competition, there isn't any squad that can come close to the Mustangs.

After a solid victory over Joppatowne Monday, Bel Air looks like the No. 2 team. Last year the Bobcats upset the Mustangs by one point in the Class 3A regional competition when two Mustangs collided and fell on the Harford Glen course.

The Bobcats return a pretty solid group, but they just can't contend with C. Milton Wright's depth. In addition to LeClair, seniors Craig Dubas (13th) and Glenn Durfee (15th) return. Juniors Mike Anderson, Jeff Kuch and French exchange student Frederick Branger fill out the top six spots.

Joppatowne finished second in the county last year and went on to win the state Class 1A title, but the Mariners graduated two of their top three runners. Although the newcomers have potential, they may not be quite as strong this year.

Returning along with Eckley and Phillips are junior Harry Davis, senior Matt Winkler and sophomore Jay Lawhorn. Freshman

Steve Morgan also has worked his way into the top six.

The rest of the teams will be running for a spot at the middle of the pack.

North Harford returns juniors Dan Marcum and Ryan McCallum and sophomores Matt Bochniak and Randy Garner. Sophomores Mark Ledebur, Matt Moon and Russ Sliger will vie for the fifth spot.

Senior Ben Hall leads Fallston, which also has returning sophomores Ben Bohl, Jason Sayers, Todd Weller and Matt Waldron and junior Brian Schroeder. Senior Brian Carlson or freshman Mike Martinek could break into the top six.

John Carroll has sophomore Brian Basener, senior Sean McCarthy, juniors Joe Thompson and Larry Noto, senior Chris Jaeger,freshman Sean Casey and sophomore Shawn Dempsey.

Returning sophomore Michael Hitchings and junior John Hawkins lead Havre de Grace. Juniors Alan Hitchings and Dennis Bohlen also are running in the top four while Coach Alex Spooner expects to add two or three more runners this week.

Edgewood returns seniors Jim Morrison, Philip Nolet and David Goodman. Juniors Mike Woodbury, James Fortier, John Fortier, Eric Nelson and Matt Brock will compete for the other two scoring positions.

Harford Tech has an entirely new squad. Junior Larry Belcher is the only non-freshman among the top six. Peter Surette, Mike Knefel, John Tillett, Chris Endress and Robert Belz round out the roster.

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