Challengers to nip at heels of Mustangs, Servia in girls cross country Wright runner looks to defend title Harford County Cross Country Preview

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

Defending cross country champion Stacy Servia of C. Milton Wright can look over her shoulder to find a handful of challengers out to snatch her county title this fall.

Fallston's Monica Beall, North Harford's Lucy Howard and Aberdeen newcomer Christy Moon have the potential to catch )) Servia by the time the county championships roll around in late October.

The challengers just make Servia, who finished seventh in the state Class 3A championships, more determined to keep her title.

"She's really motivated," said Mustangs coach Barb Johnson. "Having those other strong girls out there gives her something to shoot for."

Beall had beaten Servia in the county championships during their freshman and sophomore years, so Beall had a slight edge over Servia going into last year's title race.

But a sprained ankle forced Beall to watch from crutches. She also missed the state championships, where she had finished 10th in Class 1A in 1990.

In the last six weeks, the senior has sprained the same ankle twice. But if she can stay on her feet, Beall should be in the hunt.

Howard finished third, a minute behind Servia, in the county championships. The junior, seventh in the Class 2A states, ran well this summer and may have erased most of that deficit.

Moon transferred with her military family from Belgium this summer. A junior, Moon trailed Servia by only 36 seconds in the first meet of the season and could come on strong.

Another possible contender is Fallston junior Laurie Cicero, who ran second to Servia last year. But Cicero has been slowed by a late-summer bout with mononucleosis, and she won't start practicing until this week.

North Harford senior Joy Corson, fifth last year, also should battle for a spot in the top five.

The team race probably won't be as close as the individual battle.

C. Milton Wright returns three of last year's top eight runners, making the Mustangs a clear favorite to win a third straight title.

In addition to Servia, sophomores Amy Altmann (sixth in the county) and Erin Bralich (eighth) are back. Freshmen Jen Englehart and Sue Cuculis, sophomore Lori Strazisar and junior Kris Sprucebank should vie for the final two scoring spots.

Fallston lost to the Mustangs by only eight points in the county championships, but the Cougars return only Beall and Cicero.

"We should still be in contention," said coach Carol O'Donnell. "We were very fortunate to get three juniors from soccer, and all of them have run track. But it all depends on Monica's ankle."

Darlene Papier, Kelly Greer and Amanda Kahmer are the former soccer players while sophomore Jen Seifert and freshman Brigid Leaf round out the top seven.

Bel Air returns four of its top five -- senior Julie Foster (10th), juniors Tina Linz and Colleen Akehurst and sophomores Jessie Loberstein and Chrissie Anderson -- from a team that finished fifth in the county last year.

Two newcomers already have jumped into the team's top five.

Senior Kelly Kutchey is running second while sophomore Jennifer Lippincott is fifth. Junior Kristin Streilein also could break into the top five or six.

In addition to Moon, Aberdeen has sophomore Michelle Haulsey, Shaune Copeland and Tanya Lee and freshman Christine Beal.

Harford Tech returns sophomore Erin Fitzgerald and adds sophomores Felicia Murray and April Lester and freshmen Juliza Rivera and Kathy Leon.

John Carroll is led by senior Michelle McCarthy (seventh) and sophomore Katie Lannon (ninth). Sophomores Carrie Dannenfelser and Jennifer Williams also return while the Patriots have added senior Sarah Galbraith and sophomores Annie Donnelly and Lindsey Smith.

North Harford, Joppatowne and Edgewood will not field full squads.

Seniors Mary Weber and Donna Winkler return for North Harford. Joppatowne's lone runner is senior Kim Szager. Edgewood has two newcomers, junior Heather Beznoska and freshman Jennifer Sherman.

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