Eagles sweep team titles at 3A East regional meet French and Strickland rate as top individuals

November 03, 1995|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,SUN STAFF

Centennial swept the team titles at the Class 3A East Region championships yesterday at Centennial.

Centennial's Mike French won the boys race and Atholton's Dana Strickland won the girls.

French and the Centennial boys team both repeated as regional champs.

The Eagles won easily over runner-up Atholton, 42-60.

"Our primary goal was to qualify for states," Centennial coach Al Dodds said. "The past few years the regional race has been weaker than the county race."

Centennial finished second to Wilde Lake at the Howard County championships.

French covered the muddy course in 17 minutes, 16 seconds, a time he considered slow. He won the region in 17:05 last season.

"Times were slow because of the mud," French said.

French, second in the state Class 3A race last season, should contend again. He finished third at the Howard County Championships.

French's teammates Jeff Olenick (17:31) finished second, Tom Schappeler (18:14) 12th, Brian Higgins (18:41) 14th and Steve Gluck (18:48) 16th.

Olenick's effort was a surprise because he wasn't on varsity last season and yesterday's finish was his highest of the season.

County champion Strickland won her third regional title. She ran in Class 2A last season where she was also the state champ.

Her time of 20:20 gave her a comfortable margin of victory over runner-up Kari Meyer (21:32) of Centennial. Meyer won last season's regional race in 20:17.

Neha Amin (21:43) finished third, Sarah Ordaz (22:08) eighth, Rebecca Kulak (22:49) 11th and Correne Palazzo (23:15) 14th for the victorious Eagles.

The most disappointed team at the meet was Mount Hebron's girls. The Vikings finished fourth but will not go to states, because only six complete teams entered and started the race and only the top 50 percent qualify.

Dunbar had entered the race but its team did not show up.

"I don't mind getting beat but it's aggravating to lose out because someone doesn't show up," said Mount Hebron Craig Chasse. "We're already in a region that has only nine teams."

Only six of those nine schools fielded complete teams yesterday with Carver, Dunbar and Edmondson failing to meet requirements.

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