Oh, sister! They have Loch Raven cross country up and running

October 25, 1992|By Tara Finnegan | Tara Finnegan,Contributing Writer

The top girls cross country team in the state and most likely the next Class 4A-3A state champions can be found at Dulaney High School.

But one team with an outside shot to win the Class 2A-1A state title after a second-place finish last year can be found at Loch Raven High.

Go past the soccer and field hockey practice grounds and walk across the deserted baseball diamond until the football team can be heard counting its jumping jacks.

From the top of the hill, one can spot 11 girls, including three sister duos, preparing for the county meet on Thursday at Oregon Ridge.

The Raiders quietly have recorded a successful season, with their only local losses to Dulaney and on one occasion to Mount de Sales and Hereford.

They have won two invitationals, Arundel and at the University of Maryland, in the small-schools division. It was the first time since 1980 that the girls team had won back-to-back invitationals in one season.

"Maybe it's better for us that nobody knows how good we are," said senior Alexa Brooks, whose sister, Colleen, is also on the team. Alexa, who trained all summer with No. 2 runner Jennifer Bush, moved up to the 4/5 position this year.

"We weren't expected to do well this year," said senior Mary Vance, whose sister Kate is also on the team. Mary, a four-year runner, said she picked up running in middle school and enjoys the competition.

"It's not like other sports where half the team sits on the bench," she said. "Everyone that comes out to practices runs in the races."

The young Raiders have only two seniors and are led by sophomore Mary Todd. Her best time this season had been 21 minutes, 45 seconds on a three-mile course for a second-place finish against Hereford until Friday, when she finished 10th in 21:18 at the Southwest Area Invitational at Lansdowne High.

The Raiders finished third in the meet behind Dulaney (24) and Towson (73). Hereford was fourth with 88.

"We were trying to do well against Towson and Hereford, and we didn't do nearly as well as I thought we would," Raiders coach Allen Krum said. "People were screaming around that course, there were some really flat times. The county course is more to our liking because it has more hills."

Krum hopes his team can finish second in the county meet as Dulaney is expected to win. The Raiders will expect tough competition from both Towson and Hereford.

But looking the state meet, Krum realizes that all must be in sync for his team to come out on top.

In 12 years, the Raiders have finished second in the state tournament five times and never have won a state championship. Krum, who is in his 13th year coaching the Raiders, is hoping this year will be his team's turn to bring home the title from Western Maryland College on Nov. 14.

"We haven't grabbed that brass ring yet," Krum told his team in a pre-practice huddle on Thursday. "Maybe this year is our chance."

After his team went off and running into the woods that surround the practice fields, Krum realized that his team will need to have a near-perfect day to finish first.

"In order to do it, everyone has to have their best race of the season," Krum said. "But, at least we have a chance. All I want is a chance."

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