Without White and Friz, Dulaney may step down Transfer Jost gives Perry Hall girls edge Baltimore County cross country

September 13, 1993|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,Contributing Writer

The face of Baltimore County cross country will be changing this season.

Or, more accurately, the faces.

Graduations and transfers have boosted the prospects of some teams, while putting a severe dent into others. By and large, however, when the spiked shoe hits the dirt, you can expect the traditional powers to be near the finish line.

The most noticeable personnel change is on the Dulaney girls team. Graduated are two-time Baltimore Sun Female Athlete of the Year Amanda White (Stanford) and All-Metro teammate Kristen Friz (Jacksonville).

While White was regarded as the best runner and all-around athlete in the county, Friz consistently finished among the top three in most races.

But in their absence, the new team to beat is Perry Hall.

Not only do the Gators return their No. 1 runner from last year, junior Megan Makowski, but they also feature a top transfer and a host of young talent resulting from the largest turnout in school history.

Makowski, fifth in both the county and state 4A meets last season, will challenge for both titles this year. But to do that, she first might have to beat out her own teammate.

Senior Chrissy Jost, a transfer from Queen Anne's, earned a reputation as one of the best runners in the state last year after defeating White in the half mile at last year's state indoor track championships.

Senior Kathy Richardson will round out the top three for the Gators.

"We look strong at the top," said Perry Hall coach Jerry Martin, "but we're looking for our younger runners to fill out the four through seven spots."

Dulaney, though not nearly as dominating as last year, will be in the hunt.

The Lions return their Nos. 3, 4 and 5 runners in seniors Dishina Davis, Ashley Door and Patricia Zahner. All finished among the top 10 in the county and the top 26 in last year's Class 4A state meet.

"We have a very solid top three, and the next three are very close," said Lions coach Bob Dean. "The success we have will be determined by just how close they are."

Juniors Erin Cecil and Stacy Simpson, sophomore Bridget Cecil and freshman Megan White, the younger sister of Amanda, will )) round out the first seven.

The elder White's likely successor, however, can be found at Catonsville.

Junior Bridget Olp, a first-team All-Metro selection last fall, and second to White in most races, will be favored to win the county championship.

Last year, Olp finished second to White at the county meet, won the regionals and took fifth at the Class 3A state championships.

Her coach, Jeff McDaniel, said she has gotten stronger since then.

The Comets have other talent, as well, in senior Laura Jahnigen, the No. 2 runner on last year's team; junior Julie Shimko, a transfer from Mount de Sales; and senior Jamie Amirault, an All-County selection as a sophomore.

Another strong team will be Towson. Sophomore Becky Foster, regional champion and second in the state as a freshman, and Julie Caler, fifth in the state as a sophomore, return after leading the Generals to a regional championship and third-place finish in the states.

Complementing them will be sophomore Mindy Bathurst and freshman Erin Gardner.

Rounding out the top five on the girls side will be Hereford, which last year took fifth in Class 2A and lost just one runner to graduation. Sophomore Julie McCann, senior Meredith Allen and freshman Kelly McGarvey will lead the way.

On the boys side, many of the same teams will challenge.

Seven-time defending county champion Perry Hall leads the way. After finishing fourth at the Class 4A meet last season, the Gators return seniors Frank Trimble and Bret Lurz and junior Joe Leilich.

According to Martin, Trimble has taken a step toward the next level, and should be the team's No. 1 runner.

Just as on the girls side, however, Dulaney should be there to challenge.

The Lions have five of their top-seven runners from last season returning, including junior Dave Carpenter, seniors Aaron Wade and Bill Beschorner and junior Alex Leanos. A sleeper could be sophomore Mark Murdcak, a transfer from Calvert Hall.

Despite losing All-County runner Keon Littrell to graduation, coach Phil Lieske says he has his strongest team in recent years.

"It's probably the strongest I've ever had," said Lieske, "and [Dulaney's] strongest in five or six years."

Also just as in girls, the runner to beat this year comes from Catonsville. Senior Jamie Davies took seventh in the state last year, and has posted stellar times in practice.

"He's picking up right where he left off," said Comets coach Bill Mouser.

Joining Davies will be junior John Jahnigen and Milford Mill transfer Edwin Garrett, who spent the past three years in the footsteps of All-Metro runner Mike Mamo.

Hereford also could contend, returning three of five scorers from last year's Class 1A state meet, including senior Jarrod Gillam, who took second in the counties, regionals and states.

He'll be joined by two other strong runners in junior Ed Vachino and senior Aaron Thomas.

Parkville, Towson, Dundalk and Loch Raven also could contend.

Parkville features the brother combination of sophomore Joe and senior Pete Smith. Junior Jeff Jenkins and sophomores Paul Swenson and Scott Chmielewski, a transfer from Stephen Decatur, will complete the top five.

For Towson, this likely would be a thin year if it wasn't for junior Ryan Haden, who's expected to be among the top finishers at the county meet.

Dundalk's top runner, Chris Menno, also should be in that group. He took third in the county last year.

Over at Loch Raven, the problem isn't the athletes on the team, but rather who will coach them. The Raiders remain without a coach, and may not compete.

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