Gilman, Western take lead among pack of city teams CITY CROSS COUNTRY PREVIEW

September 16, 1994|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,Sun Staff Writer

At season's end last year, eight teams from the Baltimore City/County area were ranked among the metro area's top 10 boys and girls cross country squads.

Four girls contingents were ranked, with Perry Hall, Catonsville and Dulaney being 1-2-3. On the boys side, Calvert Hall was No. 1.

Several of last year's runners were underclassmen, so the power again returns to the city/county area. Yet city teams have a Herculean task in trying to overcome their county rivals.

Gilman again shapes up as the strongest representative from the city to oppose two-time champ Calvert Hall in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association (formerly the Maryland Scholastic Association) title chase.

Roland Park represents the city's best team in what should be a close race among the Association of Independent Schools.

"The competition should be pretty tight," said Roland Park coach Mary Beth Dyer, whose team was third behind champion Mount de Sales and Notre Dame Prep.

Among the city's public schools, Western's girls stand virtually unopposed, while the boys race boils down Mervo and Carver.

Jack Thompson-coached Gilman, ranked No. 8 at season's end, returns last year's MSA runner-up and All-Metro Ted Lord. Teammates David Chalmers and Ted Wasserman each were second-team All-City/County picks last year.

Reed Townsend, the Greyhounds' No. 6 runner last year, moves up to the fourth spot this season. Sophomore Tom Hale placed among the top four at the junior varsity MSA meet.

"I think our top three are very close with Calvert Hall's," said Thompson. "But McDonogh beat us once in three tries last year, so you have to call them a sleeper."

Curley coach Gene Hoffman, in his 18th season, won't challenge the upper echelon, but he is encouraged by his team's sixth-place finish in a recent 15-team meet at Frederick High.

Curley veteran John Supsic was fifth in the races, and the Friars were just one point behind Centennial, which finished as the area's No. 2 team last year.

"We have a few runners who can contend with anyone," Hoffman said. "We may be a step behind, but we're not to be taken lightly."

Mount St. Joseph, which boasts just one senior in Dan Klein, combines six runners from last year's varsity with four strong competitors from a 6-1 junior varsity.

Klein, last year's No. 2 runner, is joined by veterans Marcus DeVere and Jemmel Green. Add Jeremy Burke and Tim Loveland -- the Nos. 1 and 2 junior varsity runners -- and coach George Andrews hopes to have a sleeper.

"Our strength is that we run well as a pack," said Andrews. "That's where most of our points will scored."

Boys' Latin, Friends and Gibbons will have a tough time in the MIAA B Division, where Park returns the best runner in second-team All-City/County senior Mike Friedberg.

In the AIS, Roland Park, which went 8-3 and finished third last year, returns three of its top five runners. Second-team All-City/County pick Kelly Sloan and four-year veteran Jenny Plitt lead the way.

Mount de Sales is defending AIS dual-meet and title-meet champ, and returns All-Metro senior Teresa Love. Notre Dame Prep finished second in each category led by sophomore Carrie Kroll (second-team All-City/County).

Though his Western squad finished third in its 4A region behind area powers Perry Hall and Dulaney, last season ended bitterly for the Doves and coach Jerry Molyneaux.

"There's a state rule that says only half of the regional field, up to five teams, can qualify for the state meet," said Molyneaux.

"Since Western, Perry Hall and Dulaney were the only people who brought along full teams, and they couldn't send 1 1/2 teams, Perry Hall and Dulaney went on to the states and we got bumped."

Perry Hall won the 4A state title, with Dulaney taking second. "I think we would have been up there somewhere," said Molyneaux. "I can't wait to see what happens this year, because we're not going to be the one who gets bumped."

With his entire team returning, in addition to two top-notch freshmen, Molyneaux again expects to dominate in the Baltimore City League.

The Doves return Kimya McCoy (second-team All-City/County), but Molyneaux says freshmen Lolita Manning -- younger sister of former All-Metro Anita Manning -- and Elizabeth Johnson are better.

Veterans Tamara Clark, Samari Taru and Gabriel Butler add depth.

Western will run in tough meets such as this weekend's Spiked Shoe Invitational at Johns Hopkins to help it improve beyond the local level.

Among the city's boys teams, Mervo and Carver appear to be way out in front.

Mervo has four solid runners in Mike Curtis, James Carter, Garfield Thompson and Darrell Jones, and Carver has Dayvian Johnson, Clarence Lee and Lee Reliford.

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