Harris leads pack as Runner of Year Wright junior finishes season in near-perfect fashion

November 15, 1992|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,Staff Writer

C. Milton Wright junior Brian Harris nearly had a perfect season.

The No. 1 athlete on the Baltimore area's No. 1 team, Harris runs away with The Baltimore Sun's Harford County Cross Country Runner of the Year honors.

Harris was unbeaten against the area's best cross country competition going into yesterday's state 3A championship meet.

An All-Metro pick last fall, his 1992 season included wins at the Anne Arundel, Howard, Harford and Westminster invitationals.

On Nov. 5, he led the Mustangs to the Class 3A, Region III championship on a muddy 3-mile Harford Community College course. His winning time of 17 minutes, 8 seconds was 50 seconds ahead of the second finisher, teammate Greg Stephen.

On Oct. 30, Harris set a course record of 16:11 at Harford Glen to win his second straight Harford County championship.

He was leading the pack in the state title race until a fall about a half-mile from the finish line slowed him down.

"He understands the sport," said coach Bob Johnson. "It's not like he's just doing it this season. He runs all year-round. He likes to watch it on TV, he reads about it and educates himself about running."

Last summer, Harris worked hard to improve the psychological side of his running.

"A lot of running is mental," said Harris. "Last year, I got all worked up and nervous, and I think it showed. This year, I feel like a machine. I'm not nervous. I don't really think about the race at the beginning. I just run it."

Harris' next challenge comes Thanksgiving weekend at the East Coast qualifying meet for the Kinney National High School Cross Country Championships. He must finish in the top eight to advance to the national meet Dec. 12 in San Diego.

Boys first team

* Chad Boyle, sr., C. Milton Wright . . . high-scoring No. 5 runner for Mustangs . . . sixth at Harford County championship . . . fifth in Class 3A regional meet . . . workaholic, says coach Bob Johnson . . . team co-captain.

*

* Steve Donohue, jr., C. Milton Wright . . . transfer from Virginia . . third at county championship and Class 3A, Region II championship . . . 13th in seeded race at Harford Invitational . . . began season as team's No. 7 runner, but improved to battle for No. 2 spot.

* Todd Eckley, sr., Joppatowne . . . missed late-season meets with inflammation of Achilles' tendon . . . recovered to run eighth in Class 1A, Region III meet on flat Kent County course . . . 11th in small schools' race at Harford Invitational.

* Brian Harris, jr., C. Milton Wright . . . area's No. 1 runner . . . unbeaten against area's best competition . . . county champ . . . set course record at Harford Glen in county meet . . . three-time Class 3A, Region II champi

on . . . impressive season resume includes wins at Anne Arundel, Howard, Harford and Westminster invitationals.

* Troy Morse, sr., C. Milton Wright . . . veteran of Mustangs team the only four-year runner . . . fifth in county championship . . . sixth in Class 3A, Region II meet . . . team captain . . . another workaholic according to Johnson . . . consistent runner who improved times every year.

* Bobby Simmons, jr., Joppatowne . . . ran best race ever to finish second in county meet . . . Class 1A, Region III champ . . . also came in under old course record at Harford Glen in county title race . . . better strategic runner after overcoming tendency to go out too fast.

* Greg Stephen, sr., C. Milton Wright . . . fourth in county title race . . . second in Class 3A, Region III championship . . . fifth in seeded race at Harford Invitational . . . battled Donohue for No. 2 spot on team . . . also three-time county mile champ in track.

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