Oakland Mills boys, Atholton girls are front-runners in title races CROSS COUNTRY PREVIEW

September 16, 1994|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,Sun Staff Writer

Oakland Mills is favored to win the county boys cross country championship, but faces challenges from Atholton and Centennial.

Atholton is favored to win the girls title with Centennial and Oakland Mills considered the chief competition.

Atholton Raiders

The girls team finished third in the county, first in the region and third in the state and returns five of its top seven runners.

All-Metro first-team junior Dana Strickland is expected to be the county's top runner now that Glenelg's Alicia Adams has graduated. Strickland finished second in the county (19 minutes, 42 seconds), first in the region and third in the state (19:36). Strickland won the outdoor Class 2A state mile title last spring (5:13.4).

Joining Strickland are sophomore Amanda Lipscomb (16th in the county, 32nd state), sophomore Chelsea Hartz (31st state), senior Ammera El Sawi (19th county, 58th state) and Jessica Henry (28th county, 61st state). Sophomore Laura Smith is also promising.

The Atholton boys finished third in the county, second in the region and fifth in the state.

Junior Zack Tropf, (11th county, 24th state) is the top returnee, but junior Anthony Fleg (21st county, 29th state) won Atholton's first time trial this season. Senior Chad Boothe (35th county) and senior Brandon Hartz (25th county) give the Raiders four of their top seven from last season. Sophomore Travis Bradshaw has impressed so far.

Centennial Eagles

The Eagles return three of their top seven runners from the girls team that won county and region titles and finished third in the state.

All-Metro first-team junior Kari Meyer hopes to challenge Strickland at the county championship. Meyer finished third in the county (19:49), seven seconds behind Strickland, and was seventh in the state (19:48).

Joining Meyer are junior Meredith Brisco (15th county) and sophomore Allison Pople (10th county). Junior Jessica Tatania, senior Susannah Cox, sophomore Allison Tripp and junior Stephanie Hepburn round out the top seven. Junior Emily Winings also is expected to help.

The boys team won its first state title since 1980 and returns three of its top seven runners but none of its top four. County champion Kevin Hill graduated.

Junior Mike French (18th county) finished first in Centennial's time trial. Sophomore Eric Meyers (21st state) was second and senior Doug Jones was third. Sophomore Steve Gluck (29th county) and junior Matt Augustin are among the top seven. Others competing for spots are junior Brian Higgens, freshmen Erik Forni and Garick Hill (Kevin's brother).

Others who will help are junior Adam Gaydosh and senior Luke Thomas.

"We have a lot of competition on the boys team," coach Al Dodds said.

Glenelg Gladiators

The Gladiators girls team returns only sophomore Meggan Brown. The remaining seven girls are freshmen among whom the most promising are Beth Santelli and Elizabeth Dodmead.

The boys team returns four of its top seven from a team that finished seventh in the county.

Sophomore Chris Selmer (20th county) and junior Chris Seymour (34th county) are the two best. Sophomore Jason Habert (45th county) and sophomore Sam Bettien (53rd county) give the Gladiators experience. Senior Alex Sarau also adds experience.

Glenelg Country

The Dragons went 6-0 in dual meets last season and have another strong team of 23 runners.

Junior John Lamont finished among the top 20 at the Washington Independent Schools Cross Country Conference championship race.

Senior Nathanial Mack is another strong returning runner, as is junior Jack Keene.

Other runners include junior Mike Bullock, sophomore Jay Gordon and freshmen Dawn Vetal, Eric Greenberg and Patrick Dennison.

"We're hoping to join a Baltimore league next season," coach Trey Cassidy said. "We have some excellent runners in our eighth grade."

Glenelg finished seventh as a team in the WISCC championship last season.

Glenelg has only two girls on the team, sophomore Liz Kocourek and junior Ashley Baugh.

Hammond Bears

The Bears have only three girls on the team, sophomores Kim Loysel and Jill Feldstein and freshman Stacie Dayhoff. All three are new.

Hammond has 18 boys, The top two runners are seniors Peter Laanisto (41st county) and Jay Bussiere (49th county). Sophomore John Wallace shows lots of promise. Others are senior Steve Baldwin (32nd county), junior Andrew Stockham ( 54th county), senior Joe Filteau, senior Josh Sommers and junior Mike Loula.

Howard Lions

The Lions girls team has 16 runners but is young and still learning how to compete.

Top runners are sophomore Chau Lam, senior Dana Smith, sophomore Mindy Louri, sophomore Karen Hill, junior Sarah Brown (42nd county), sophomore Jen Walsh (35th county) and sophomore Haley Wicklein.

The boys team, sixth in the county last year, hopes to move up a few notches. The size of the team has nearly doubled to 36.

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