South River's Longley patiently runs to title

October 29, 1994|By Steven Kivinski | Steven Kivinski,Contributing Writer

South River coach Scott Baker has been trying to convince Jack Longley all season that cross country races aren't won in the first mile.

After all, it's who's where at the finish line that counts the most.

That message finally sank in at yesterday's Anne Arundel County Championships.

Longley, who has been known to set some grueling paces early on, took the lead with a little over a half-mile left and went on to win the county title in 16 minutes, 44 seconds.

"I haven't had the patience all year and my coach kept telling me not to wear myself out too early and to wait before making my move and today I was patient and it paid off," said Longley.

"Once I took the lead, I was going for it and if someone caught up and beat me then they deserved to win."

Annapolis' Kristen Nicolini didn't have to incorporate nearly as much strategy into her race.

"I just went out and ran," said Nicolini, shortly after winning her third consecutive county title in a course record time of 18:11. "I had a bad race last week at the Georgetown Prep Invitational, so I just wanted to get back on my feet and run a good race."

Nicolini's nearest competitor, teammate Alison Ross, finished in 19:43 -- 1:32 behind the champion.

Old Mill's girls team, which last fall broke Severna Park's string of

10 consecutive country championships, could not stop the Falcons from starting a new streak.

Behind a fifth-place finish by Kim Chawn and ninth by Leslie Tate, the Falcons nipped the host Panthers, 58-59.

Rounding out Severna Park's champion squad were Erica Krajnik (12th), Julie Flaherty (15th), Ann Crespo (17th), Katrina Lee (19th) and Jen Band (23rd).

Old Mill took third in the girls competition with 70, followed by Broadneck (116) and South River (124).

Arundel's boys team successfully defended its county title by holding off a similarly deep and talented Broadneck team, 57-60.

Chad Webber and Blair Morse finished 4-5 for the Wildcats and Tim Kelley took 11th but it was Jon Porter and Adam Sayani who made the difference by breaking up a pack of Bruins runners and finishing 14th and 21st, respectively.

"We won it with a bunch of no-names," said Arundel coach Ralph Luce, who won last year's title while possessing the county's No. 1 runner in Geoff Warren. "I've been saying all along that we have a stronger team this year than we had last. We just don't have a No. 1 runner."

Paul Mathicu of Severna Park took second place in the boys race and Ian Ross took third in an identical time of 16:57. Old Mill's Chris Long set the pace early, before settling for fourth.

Chesapeake's Ryan Stevens, who was favored to win the boys race, collapsed at the finish line after finishing 29th in 18:30.

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