Westminster's Gilford keeps the titles coming 1992 ALL-CARROLL COUNTY CROSS COUNTRY TEAMS BOYS COACH OF THE YEAR

November 16, 1992|By Bill Free | Bill Free,Staff Writer

They gathered at "Gil's" house last Friday night for lasagna and to mark the end of another outstanding era in Westminster High School cross country history.

"Gil" is Jim Gilford, who has built a cross country dynasty over 13 seasons as coach of the Owls' boys and girls teams.

Packing their way into his home were the top 10 boys and top 10 girls of the latest edition of Westminster cross country team.

They came primarily to say goodbye to seven top seniors, six boys and girls standout Jen Binford, who ran their last race for the Owls in the state Class 4A meet Saturday.

And they showed up to "cut up a little with Gil."

Gilford, 35, has been chosen as The Baltimore Sun's 1992 Boys cross country Coach of the Year in Carroll County.

He guided the Owls boys to their ninth straight county championship this season and a second-place finish in the state Class 4A boys championship meet Saturday. He had racked up four boys state titles.

Not bad for a man who never envisioned himself as a biology teacher or a cross country coach when he was a wide receiver for Western Maryland College.

Gilford has developed an incredible amount of pride in cross country at Westminster, enough to have 90 runners come out for the boys and girls teams at the school this season.

That pride and a long line of titles have made the Owls the envy of other schools.

"I feel like everybody roots against us because we're No. 1," Gilford said. "I like being No. 1 and I try to do it with class and my runners try to conduct themselves with class."

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