Give small schools a fair run in regionals


November 15, 1992|By PAT O'MALLEY

Talking to cross country coaches can be confusing, and at the same time enlightening.

After listening to Old Mill coach Gary Bater this week, I have a lot of questions without answers.

Remember, if you have any answers, an opinion or question of your own, please give me a buzz on the 24-hour Sportsline, (410) 647-2499.

What am I to think about cross country when Bater says this about a regional meet?

"The regional as far as we are concerned is just a qualifier, not a major race like the county and states, and that's what we are geared to," said Bater.

"We don't always put in our top finishers or runners in the regionals. We don't always run as competitive a run in the regional.

"Stressing running all season long for the county and states, we look at the regional as being a discriminator."

That doesn't sit well with North County coach Ed Harte, who says, "That kind of attitude bothers me. They think they are so much better than everyone else.

"We have to do well in the regional to qualify for the states because we don't have the numbers they do at Old Mill.

"You qualify as a team, and they have so many runners at Old Mill they can put down any 10 they want, which means some kids don't have to run the regional and can rest for the states. We don't have such a luxury."

Do you think maybe the county race ought to be run earlier, like two weeks before the regional, and that any runner who doesn't run in the region can not run in the state meet?

Wouldn't that take the obvious advantage away from the bigger programs and give the little guys a chance?

Should Bater have felt so despondent after the Region IV meet in which Arundel's Geoff Warren nosed out Old Mill's Jason Reckner? Both came in at 16 minutes, 37 seconds, but Warren leaned forward to win the title after bumping Reckner about 30 yards from the finish.

"It was probably my fault because I did not protest because according to the federation rules, any runner who interferes with another should be disqualified," said Bater.

* Does being an outstanding swimmer coincide with being an outstanding cross country runner?

That question came from a caller who pointed out that highly touted Amanda White of Dulaney, county and Region IV champion Kristen Nicolini of Annapolis and Glen Burnie sophomore Becky McDivitt, who finished fourth in the county and fifth in the region, are all top-notch swimmers.

* Why didn't the county girls soccer coaches who named 25 players as All-County go ahead and name everybody All-County this year?

* Does Severna Park girls soccer coach Joyce Stefancik have a right to feel slighted because she accepted the Region IV championship plaque last week at Chesapeake from an opposing coach, Marianne Shultz, who is region chairman, instead of a Severna Park official?

Stefancik was miffed that neither athletic director Andy Borland nor principal Ollie Wittig attended the championship boys and girls doubleheader.

As for the other schools involved, North County principal Bill Wentworth, and athletic directors Ken Kazmarek of Broadneck and Jim Dillon of Old Mill were all on hand.

* Did you know that coach Jim Barry's nationally ranked Navy ice hockey club team opened with an 11-3 victory over the University of Pennsylvania last week with Jeff Fogarty scoring four goals?

* Are Chesapeake's Tom Kraning (3-7) and Meade's Hayse Henderson (2-8) returning as head football coaches in 1993?

* Did you know that Arundel two-way lineman Rich Abrams, who is 6 feet 5 and 265 pounds, is highly sought after by the University of Maryland at College Park?

* Should this comment from Del. Michael Busch, a Rec and Parks administrator, worry local youth coaches?

"The tax caps could hurt our recreation program severely," said Busch while taking in the St. Mary's at Severn football game last week.

* Did you hear that right-handed pitcher Brendan Sullivan, who attends St. Alban's School in the D.C. area but has an Annapolis summer home and plays for the Cap City Legion team, has signed to play at Stanford?

And did you know that Arundel coach Bernie Walter assisted the 6-3, 175-pound Sullivan in signing with Stanford?

"Mr. Walter made the contact for me," said Sullivan, who beat Walter's Mayo Post 226 team this summer.

* Are you baseball nuts aware that Sullivan was one of two pitchers and an infielder who played with the Oriolelanders to sign a college letter of intent this week?

Paint Branch left-hander Ryan Lambert and shortstop Jeff Cisar of Gaithersburg, who played at Joe Cannon Stadium against the Arundel Suns in the 13th annual all-star game sponsored by The Baltimore Sun, and also against the Little Orioles in the Mid-Atlantic Tournament, spent the fall with Orioles scouting supervisor Jim Gilbert's Oriolelanders team.

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