Old Mill figures to be leader of the pack Westminster, Glenelg face stiff competition in repeat bids Boys cross country preview

September 22, 1992|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,Staff Writer Staff writers Rick Belz, Bill Free, John Harris and Steve Kivinski contributed to this article.

In trying to defend their cross country state titles, Class 4A champion Westminster and 2A king Glenelg may have a difficult time staying ahead of the pack.

The same can be said of Loyola, as it tries to keep its Maryland Scholastic Association crown away from Gilman, McDonogh, Calvert Hall and Curley.

Carroll County's Westminster already has been tripped up by Anne Arundel County's Old Mill, and Glenelg will get stiff 2A challenges from Howard County rivals Oakland Mills and Centennial in the county race.

C. Milton Wright is a solid favorite to keep its Harford County crown, as is Perry Hall in Baltimore County.

The Baltimore Sun's 1992 preseason top 10:

1. Old Mill

The Patriots, who placed third in Anne Arundel County before finishing a respectable sixth in the state meet, will be led by Brad Boetig (sixth in the county) and Jason Reckner. In last week's 25-30 victory over defending 4A champ Westminster, Boetig (first) and Reckner (second) paced the Patriots, who demonstrated stronger pack running than last year with David Cavanaugh, Ron Pennington and newcomer Chris Lewin.

2. Westminster

The Owls of Jim Gilford, The Baltimore Sun's 1991 Coach of the Year, were state 4A champs last year and in 1989. The Owls, however, already have suffered a 25-30 setback to Old Mill, despite returning nine of their top 10 runners and having a school-record turnout of 70. Top senior runner Jim Holford, a second-team All-Metro performer, has turned in times in the 16s at the Owls' home course. He is followed by senior honorable mention All-Metro picks Chris Zendgraf and Dion Stanton.

3. C. Milton Wright

Bob Johnson's Mustangs are primed to defend their county and regional crowns and to dethrone Montgomery County's Walt Whitman for the state 3A title. Their quest began with a victory in the Howard County Invitational on Friday, behind the championship finish of first-team All-Metro Brian Harris, a junior county and regional champion who placed third in the state meet. The Mustangs' No. 2 runner, sophomore Chris Parkinson, was the team's seventh-best runner last year.

4. Perry Hall

Although county and regional runner-up Chris Nance, a second-team All-Metro pick, has graduated, the Gators return five of their top six runners from a squad that captured the school's sixth straight Baltimore County title, finished as the Region I runner-up to Westminster and placed fourth in the state 4A meet. Seniors Chris Drumgoole, Aaron Ruth and Gary Gerard all finished among the top 10 runners in the county meet, and juniors Bret Lurz and Frank Trimble add depth.

5. Gilman

With a surprising fourth-place finish -- one point behind Perry Hall and with nine more than fifth-place Loyola -- in last weekend's Spiked Shoe Invitational, the Greyhounds should be a formidable group. Second-team All-Metro sophomore Ted Lord won the Spiked Shoe event, and Matt Buck (No. 2) and Josh Julius (No. 3) also finished well. Up from a junior varsity that placed third in the MSAs are Dave Linehan and David Jones.

6. Loyola

With two of its top five runners back, along with two other veterans and a host of others up from a two-time MSA champion JV squad, Loyola looks to win its third MSA crown in the past four years. The Dons' No. 1 runner is honorable mention All-Metro Matt Beliveau, followed by sophomore Jamon Parezo. Seniors Mike Hofs, Greg Smith and Mike Kelly add depth.

7. Centennial

The Eagles return all but one runner from last year's squad, which finished fourth in the county but ahead of Oakland Mills and Glenelg in the recent Howard County Invitational. Back is senior Mark James, who edged Glenelg's eventual state 2A runner-up Ed Hogan to take third place in the county. Juniors Bob Van Allen (sixth in the county) and Stephen Loenick (24th) are the next best threats.

8. Oakland Mills

Glenelg ended Oakland Mills' string of seven straight county titles, but coach Steve Carnahan says his county runners-up appear ready to rebound. The Scorpions finished ahead of Glenelg in last Friday's Howard County Invitational. Senior Jay Herdson (18th in the county) won the B race, sophomore Greg Curtis was 19th in the county meet and a vastly improved Josh Tripp was 33rd. Sophomore Bryan Drake was the B race runner-up.

9. Glenelg

Coach Roger Volrath lost All-Metro and state 2A champ Gerard Hogan, but his defending county and state champion Gladiators should get stronger as the county season wears on. Senior second-team All-Metro Ed Hogan was a state runner-up after placing fourth in the county, and junior Kris Edwards was eighth in the county.

10. McDonogh

In winning Friday's North County Invitational, coach Andy Gill's Eagles surprised defending Anne Arundel County and regional champ Severna Park. The runner-up Falcons, who ended last year ranked No. 5 by The Baltimore Sun, fell short of the Eagles, 48-60. Nos. 1 and 2 runners Eric Bind and Donte Evans ran 16:03 and 16:17, respectively, and lead a promising group.

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