Calvert Hall and Mervo are the teams to beat Cardinals set for run at 2nd straight title MSA Cross country

September 13, 1993|By Jeff Seidel | Jeff Seidel,Contributing Writer

Picking the winners in the Maryland Scholastic Association cross country races does not appear too difficult this season. As for the place and show positions, that's another story.

Calvert Hall is a strong favorite to take its second consecutive MSA A Conference title this season. Mervo, which lost to Carver in a run-off for the B Conference title, looks to be the big threat in that conference.

At Calvert Hall, the Cardinals are loaded with proven talent, including four runners who finished in the top 11 at the MSA championship meet last fall. The Cardinals won that meet in addition to the regular-season title.

The top runners for the Cardinals this year are junior Jonathan Dietrich, seniors Kyle and Kurt Martin and Chad Hardy, junior Dave Maxwell and sophomores Doug Stewart and Cory Smith.

Kyle Martin took fourth in the MSA meet last fall, and Dietrich finished in fifth, just ahead of sixth-place finisher Kurt Martin. Maxwell ended up 11th.

"We're all ready to go," said Kyle Martin. "We're all happy with our team this year because it's stronger than last year."

Coach Jim McCoach's team made an impressive showing Saturday at the Jack Griffin Invitational in Frederick. Dietrich took second in a time of 16 minutes, 53 seconds over the 5-kilometer course, and Kyle Martin finished fourth, about 15 seconds behind.

Kurt Martin missed the race due to a foot injury, and Maxwell was sick. Still, the Cardinals finished second, four points behind Centennial. Martin and Maxwell are expected back soon.

Archbishop Curley, Gilman and McDonogh should battle for the next spots in the A Conference.

Curley's top gun will be Will Kuhl, a senior who has come a long way since last fall. Kuhl finished eighth at the Griffin Invitational.

Coach Gene Hoffman said sophomore Gordon Topper looks like the No. 2 runner and classmate Steve Moxey appears to be third and junior Marty Ciarpella fourth. Topper was the novice champion last year, Moxey was the top JV runner and Ciarpella is improving.

Hoffman said several runners could be fifth. The Friars lost several top runners over the past two years but have hung in.

Gilman should be strong once again. The injury bug bit the Greyhounds badly last fall, but they stayed undefeated until losing to Calvert Hall late in the season.

The biggest injury came when Ted Lord suffered a stress fracture while winning the Spiked Shoe meet and missed the rest of the season. Dan Pollard missed much of the season with an injury, and David Linehan also was sidelined for part of the season.

All are back, however, and ready to go. Lord, a junior, should be one of the conference's top runners.

Pollard, a senior, will be No. 2 and Linehan looks like the third runner. Senior David Jones, a steady runner, keeps improving and will be fourth. Several are battling for the fifth spot, but sophomore Andy Chang looked good in early work.

Coach Jack Thompson said he likes Gilman's experience, but the few questionable spots concern him.

"I'm very happy up until this point," said Thompson. "I'm looking for [a] good year, but I don't know if we're good enough to beat Calvert Hall at this point."

McDonogh also boasts several proven runners, but has some question marks.

The Eagles have three runners battling for the top spot. Senior Eric Beauvois, junior Eric Bind and sophomore Anders Fristedt all could be McDonogh's top runner.

Beauvois ended up as the No. 4 runner last year while Bind finished No. 1. Fristedt ran as the No. 5 man as a freshman and beat everyone with a top-10 finish at the MSAs.

Junior Brendan Flynn could be fourth. Last year, he topped the JV. Sophomore Nick Colvin has looked good in preseason workouts for coach Andy Gill.

Loyola also should make some noise in the A Conference. A new member of the group will be Carver, which won the B Conference last year. The Bears, however, could find the going difficult.

In the B Conference, Mervo appears to have the edge. The Mustangs have several strong runners and could ride over the rest of the conference.

Senior Mahlon Thomas is expected to be the team's top runner, with sophomore Michael Curtis close behind. Thomas was No. 2 last year and should battle Curtis for the top slot.

Curtis had a big spring in track and field, finishing third in the 3,200 meters at the state Class 4A meet. Coach Ronald Neal said he was one of the top 3,000-meter runners nationally this summer.

Freshman Garfield Thompson stands third now. The nationally-ranked 800-meter runner successfully made the transition to distance and looks good.

Next comes senior Trillane Hill, a mainstay for three years. Senior Michael Clanton comes after Hill. Clanton ran third last year and Neal looks for another strong year from him.

Neal hopes for success in the MSA and in the MPSSAA. Mervo is in a region with Class 4A Baltimore City and County schools and could do well there.

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