Reckner, Nicolini race to 4A titles Cross country

November 14, 1993|By Pat Overton | Pat Overton,Contributing Writer

Anne Arundel County athletes spent a productive afternoon at the state cross country championship meet yesterday at Hereford High School.

Anne Arundel runners claimed two individual state champions in Class 4A, one runner-up in 2A, a third-place finish by Arundel's boys in 4A and a fourth-place finish by South River's boys in 2A.

Jason Reckner of Old Mill got things going by winning the 4A boys state title in 16 minutes, 8 seconds, which was 22 seconds ahead of his closest competitor. Reckner had placed third at both the county and regional meets, but yesterday was a different story.

Anne Arundel got its other state champion in the girls Class 4A race as Annapolis' Kristen Nicolini scorched the course in 18:26 to give her a sweep of the county, region and state races.

Reckner was running in a three-man pack with county champion Geoff Warren of Arundel and region champion Nick Gramsky of Northern (Calvert). At the 2-mile mark of the 3-mile course, Reckner began to pull away.

Warren developed fatigue in his legs, and Gramsky fell on the slick course.

Add that to Reckner's superior downhill running ability, and you had the makings of a win.

"I knew that if I got to the downhill parts of the course, I might be able to pull away," Reckner said. "I did have one slip, but basically the course didn't affect me. I wasn't a favorite to win this race but I visualized myself winning in the days before the meet. Everything just fell together for me today."

Nicolini's race plan has been to take the lead early and keep it. It was no different yesterday as she led the race almost wire to wire. Her closest competitor, Krissy Jost of Perry Hall, was right behind her at the 1-mile mark, but Nicolini opened up a 14-second lead with a mile to go.

Nicolini left everything she had on the course and was exhausted at the end. "It's seems that I finish more and more races feeling bad," she said. "But in a race like this you have to push yourself harder, and when you do that you're going to hurt. I knew Yost was close for most of the race but when I run strong and confident, I know I can win."

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