Wright girls, Fallston boys collect Harford titles

October 29, 1994|By John W. Stewart | John W. Stewart,Sun Staff Writer

Individually, it is still C. Milton Wright against the rest of Harford County, but while the Mustangs girls continued their winning ways as a team, the boys' winning streak was halted at the Harford County championships at Harford Glen yesterday.

Wright runners placed 1-2 in the girls and boys divisions with Amy Altmann and defending champion Jen Englehart, plus Eric Benjamin and Dave Warnick. Altmann is the only senior, and she came through in a blaze of glory.

Her time of 19 minutes 16 seconds set a record for the hilly 3.1-mile course, lowering the previous standard of 19.21 by two-time titlist Jenny Howard (1989, 1990) of Fallston. It was also a full minute under her runner-up time of a year ago.

Englehart, a junior, was 35 yards behind after waging a spirited duel with her teammate, and her time of 19:22 is the third-fastest on record.

Freshman Kelly Coogan gave Wright a 1-2-3 finish in the girls race, and Stina Fangmark and Pam Hipchen were in the top 10, as coach Barb Johnson's team won its fourth straight title with 23 points. Runner-up Fallston had 66.

Fallston ended Wright's seven-year reign among the boys, as coach Donnie Mickey's balanced crew had five of the next six spots behind Benjamin and Warnick, good for 26 points. The Mustangs' remaining scorers were 9-10-13 for 35 points.

"The addition of Chris gives me a front-runner -- one who's in the top five every time," said Fallston coach Donnie Mickey. "He was right there, and we got a big lift from our fifth man, Jason Sayers. He knew he had to gut it out because our next man was having an off-day."

Both races were three-runner affairs early, before evolving into two.

Fallston senior Chris Parkinson, who had run for Wright the past three years before a family move during the summer, stayed with his former teammates through the first mile, but on the first big hill, the two leaders pushed each other and pulled away.

Benjamin, a 6-foot-2 sophomore, took charge on the second hill, about a half-mile from home. He said, "I felt in control the rest of the way." He looked strong over the last 300 yards, finishing in 16:20. The time equaled the third fastest for the course.

Among the girls, Michelle Apland of Bel Air was rated a pre-race contender, but after running with Altmann, whom she had not lost to in three previous races, for a while, dropped back and did not finish. Altmann, who will defend a regional title next week, had 10 yards on Englehart with a quarter-mile to go, and maintained the margin.

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