1994 All-anne Arundel County Cross Country Teams

November 21, 1994|By Steven Kivinski

GIRLS RUNNER OF THE YEAR

* Kristen Nicolini, Annapolis, Sr. -- Severna Park coach Ed Purpura was speaking on behalf of the rest of the Anne Arundel cross country coaches when he said, "The highlight of my year is knowing that I don't have to watch Nicolini run cross country anymore. "She beat everyone. She's on another planet." Nicolini took first in county and region before settling for third at states behind longtime rival and 4A state champion Krissy Jost of Perry Hall. She won the Knights Invite, as well as the Anne Arundel, Jack Griffin, Frederick and Spiked Shoe invitationals. "She is very coachable," said Panthers coach Brian Funk. "If you tell her to do something, she bends over backward to do it. She's always asking questions and trying to understand more about the sport. She's the type of runner I have to hold back because she wants to go hard every single day of her life."

GIRLS COACH OF THE YEAR

* Ed Purpura, Severna Park -- Purpura's runners, who had their 10-year streak of county titles snapped last year by Old Mill, held off Annapolis, 58-59. The Falcons went on to win their ninth consecutive region crown and finished the season with a sixth-place finish at the Class 4A state meet. Purpura is a physical education teacher at Richard Henry Elementary School.

THE GIRLS TEAM AT GLANCE

* Kim Chwan, Severna Park, Soph. -- This underclassman helped the Fal

cons win the county crown by finishing fifth at Annapolis in 20:50. She took fifth at regions in 20:01, before falling down at states and placing 27th in 23:13. "I talked her into running cross county and she worked her way up from No. 8 until she was our No. 1 girl the last four meets," said Purpura.

* Jessica Davis, Old Mill, Sr. -- Running with asthma wraps on both ankles, Davis took fourth in the county and region and 25th at states. "Jessica has a very positive outlook as far as training goes," said coach Gary Bater. "She was in excruciating pain sometimes, but she blocked it out. For her to achieve what she did under the conditions is something else."

* Susan deWolff, Annapolis, Jr. -- deWolff was the "3" in the Panthers' 1-2-3 punch. She finished seventh in the county meet (20:59), 12th at regions (20:50) and 45th at states (23:45). She was a dark horse and no one really gave her much credit but she deserves it," said Brian Funk.

* Stephanie Hooper, Broadneck, Fr. -- When things didn't work out on the soccer field, Hooper joined the cross country team and experienced immediate success. She finished 13th in the county at 21:35, third in the region at 21:31 and was 15th at states with the third best county time of 22:49. "She came out and fell in love with the sport," said Gerald Kiple. "I think now she realizes she has a bright future in cross country."

* Becky McDivitt, Glen Burnie, Sr. -- McDivitt, an avid swimmer, helped the Gophers to a lot of firsts this season. She helped Glen Burnie to its first win over Old Mill at the state meet, where, running with a 104-degree temperature, she finished 23rd. It was the first time Glen Burnie had qualified a team for states. She also took third in the county and region. "She was the spark plug of the team," said Glen Burnie coach Tony Benicewicz.

* Colleen McLaughlin, South River, Jr. -- Despite running with a nagging hip injury, McLaughlin managed to finish 11th in the county (21:20), second in the region (19:49) and 14th at states (23:42). "She's one of the best racers I have," said coach Scott Baker. "She's aggressive. She's never afraid to go after it."

* Alison Ross, Annapolis, Soph. -- Ross established herself as the second best runner in the county behind teammate Nicolini. She finished second in the county meet (19:43), second in the 4A East regional (19:16) and ninth in states (21:51). "I wish everyone on the team could have Alison's attitude," said coach Brian Funk. "By this time next year, she could be as good or better than jTC Nicolini.

* Stephanie Stevens, Chesapeake, Jr. -- Stevens, younger sister of fellow first-teamer Ryan, took 10th at the county meet (21:15), 14th at regions (20:54) and 33rd at states (23:24). "She has the same work ethic as her brother," said John Maguire. "She never misses a practice and she never has anything negative to say. "

* Jamie Tabak, Old Mill, Fr. -- "Every once in awhile, you get a nice surprise," said Gary Bater, "and Jamie was a nice surprise." She broke into the spotlight by finishing eighth at the county meet in 21:01. She finished 10th at regions (20:33) and 57th at states.

* Leslie Tate, Severna Park, Jr. -- After playing soccer last fall, Tate rejoined the Falcons' cross country team and gave it the depth it needed to overcome Annapolis. She placed ninth at the county meet (21:05), 16th at regions (20:59) and 24th at states (23:07). "She didn't train for cross country over the summer so she started a little behind ," said Purpura.

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