A small get-together was just fine with the South Carroll cross country team yesterday morning.
After a number of schools backed out of the South Carroll Invitational, the Cavaliers ran past the four schools that did show up -- sweeping the individual and team titles in the girls and boys races.
South Carroll coach Rob Pennington said he'd received verbal commitments from 12 schools, but a number of the teams opted to run at the Hereford Invitational -- the same course where the state title meet will be run in November. Last year, 10 teams competed in the Cavaliers' race.
"It was disappointing the amount of teams that came, but it was a good day," Pennington said. "A lot of teams wanted to get a look at the Hereford course. We like to run it blind and will wait until Nov. 9. A bad race now at Hereford could ruin a season. We got enough hills to climb right here."
South Carroll juniors Jill Krebs and Steve McClearn had no problems with the hills in Winfield. Both led their respective races from start to finish to lead a solid outing by the Cavaliers.
Krebs, who finished the 3.1-mile course in a time of 21 minutes, 2 seconds, got help from teammates Carrie Braun (third) and Becky Alvarez (fifth) as the Cavaliers won by a 35-65 margin over second-place Francis Scott Key -- the only other Carroll school competing. Great Mills was third with 72 points.
On the boys' side, South Carroll finished with 32 points, well in front of runner-up Great Mills (61) and third-place Key (67).
McClearn, a transfer from Illinois, completed the course in a time of 17: 15 to win going away. He had teammates Adam McCready and Sean Rayford running right with him for the first half of the race before the two dropped to fourth and fifth places, respectively. Dan Tompkins gave the Cavaliers four runners finishing in the top eight.
Francis Scott Key got a sixth-place showing from Josh Hollman with teammate Colin Russell finishing ninth.
After finishing third last season, Krebs dominated the field to take top honors this year with Key's Dawn Harnes finishing second ahead of Braun.
"I felt great. I worked on my form [Friday] in practice and visualized the course before I ran it, which helped a lot," Krebs said.
"I was surprised I ran so well. I seem to run better in the rain and cold -- I don't know why. Knowing the course also helps a lot because I know when to surge."
For Key, Liz Kurrie placed sixth with Colleen Nicholson coming across in 10th place.
Pub Date: 9/29/96