Runner of the Year
Bridget Quenzer, Mount de Sales, Sr.: Quenzer's first cross country season couldn't have turned out much better as she set 14 school records and seven course records. After finishing fourth in her first race -- the Jack Griffen Invitational -- she came back and won the Spiked Shoe meet a week later. She made a "freshman mistake" and finished third at the Westminster Invitational before winning the Association of Independent Schools Group Meet and the Anne Arundel Invitational. She was third in the seeded race at the Harford Invitational and was third ++ behind two Virginia runners at the Georgetown Prep Invitational. Quenzer closed out her illustrious senior campaign by claiming second at the state Catholic League championships and winning the AIS championships. "It would have been nice to have her on the team for four years, but I'm certainly not complaining," said Sailors coach Sean Moran.
Coach of the Year
Bob Dean, who started Dulaney's running program in 1964, saw his girls team repeat as state champions for the first time in school history. The Lions, who now own four state girls titles, finished 1-2-3 at both the Baltimore County and Class 4A East region meets, which they won for the sixth consecutive year. "From my No. 1 to No. 7 runners, this is the strongest team I have ever had," said Dean. "All of the girls have a good work ethic and they know what it takes to be successful. We have great tradition, great depth and great parental support. They all bring out the best in each other."
First team at a glance
Kristy Klima, Burnie, Soph.: Klima, the Runner of the Year in Anne Arundel County, opened the season with a victory at the Queen Anne's Invitational and just kept on winning. Before she was finished, the 5-foot-2, 92-pounder won four major invitationals and county and region titles. She won both the North County Invitational and Knights Invite and took first in a strong field at the Meade Autumn Classic. At states, her legs tightened up in the cold weather and she still managed to finish fourth. "I didn't expect her to be No. 1 in the county but she worked hard over the summer and it paid off," said Glen Burnie coach Tony Benicewicz.
Bridget O'Connell, Catonsville, Jr.: O'Connell claimed second in her region, fourth in the Baltimore County championships and battled through stomach problems at states and finished third. She also took fifth at the Anne Arundel Invitational and eighth at the Spiked Shoe meet at Hopkins.
Mary Beth Rollins, C. Milton Wright, Jr.: Rollins, who was selected Runner of the Year in Harford County, was the county and 3A regional champion in this, her first season of cross country. A tenacious competitor with a strong finish, she won six out of 12 races to lead the Mustangs girls team to its best season ever.
Alison Ross, Annapolis, Jr.: Ross closed out an otherwise "frustrating" junior campaign by claiming a county-best fourth place at the state meet at Hereford. She finished second in the county meet behind Klima and was fifth at regionals. "For Alison, it was a horrible season and the worst she did was seventh in the first meet of the year," said coach Brian Funk. "It was nice to see her run close to her potential at states."
Suzanne Sclafani, Dulaney, Sr.: Sclafani, the only senior on Dulaney's county, region and state champion girls team, was the Lions' most consistent runner. She finished first in the region, second in Baltimore County and third in the state. She also claimed second in the Meade and Lake Forest invitationals.
Dana Strickland, Atholton, Sr.: Strickland, a four-time first-team All-Metro selection and a two-time Howard County Runner of the Year, repeated as county champ, running 31 seconds faster than in 1994. She won her third regional title (Class 3A East) in 20:20 and the defending state 2A champ finished third at the Class 3A state meet (20:50).
Meghan White, Dulaney, Jr.: White took first in the county, second in the region and 13th in the state. She also won the Lake Forest Invitational in Delaware and the Westminster Invitational. "She is a real good competitor and team leader," said coach Dean. "She gives you everything she's got."
Girls final poll
2. Severna Park
7. Mount de Sales
8. C. Milton Wright
9. Oakland Mills
Other teams considered: Notre Dame Prep, Fallston, Broadneck, Francis Scott Key, Atholton.
How the polls are conducted: The Baltimore Sun polls are compiled each week by the local sports staff of the Baltimore Sun through event observations and consultation with area coaches.
Picking the teams
The Baltimore Sun 1995 All-Metro boys and girls cross country teams were selected by Steven Kivinski through meet observations and after consultation with area coaches.