1996 All-Anne Arundel County cross country teams

November 19, 1996|By Steven Kivinski

Runner of the Year

Jennifer Ng, Arundel, Sr.: Ng, who developed tremendous foot speed participating in speed jump roping in Alaska, won county and region titles this fall before finishing second in the states behind Katy Orifici of Springbrook. She won every non-invitational meet she raced in and was the main reasons why the Wildcats were able to pull off the unexpected sweep of the team titles at the county meet. "Since the beginning of the year I told her that she would be county champ and maybe even state champ," said Arundel coach Ralph Luce. "She may have been state champ if she hadn't put the team before herself. She didn't want to push herself to hard. She is really a team person." Ng won both the Knights' and Queen Anne's invitationals and was fourth at the Meade Autumn Classic. "She lived up to every expectation I had and probably will the rest of her life," said Luce. Ng will learn this week whether or not she will be accepted into the Coast Guard Academy.

The Team

Heather Bartsch, Arundel, Sr.: Bartsch, a three-year runner, struggled early in the season but rebounded in time to claim 12th at the county meet, 15th at regions and 31st at states. "She tried to go out too fast and that was her problem early on but toward the end of the year she paced herself and was able to finish the race strong," said Luce.

Misha Bilyeu, Annapolis, Soph.: Bilyeu was third in the county (20: 26) and 14th in the region. At states, she was the 13th girl to cross the finish line in the 4A race but she and her teammates were disqualified for wearing illegal pants. "She always got a good start and she seemed to know her limits," said Panthers coach Tom Neiles. "She was very mature for a 10th-grade runner."

Becky Chwan, Severna Park, Soph.: Becky Chwan, the only freshman on last year's All-County cross country team, enjoyed another fine season as she finished fifth in the county (20: 30), ninth in the region (20: 21) and 41st at states.

Kim Chwan, Severna Park, Sr.: Kim Chwan, Becky's sister and last year's varsity "B" champion, was second to Ng at both the county and region meets. She won the girls race at the inaugural Hereford Bull Run in 20: 52. Her second-place finish at the Class 4A East regionals at Baybrook Park helped the Falcons to a one-point victory over upstart Arundel.

Kristy Klima, Glen Burnie, Jr.: Klima, last year's county Runner of Year, was bothered all season by a muscle pull near her rib cage. She fought through the pain to finish sixth in the county meet, third at regionals and 32nd at states. "It's tough running with your hand on your side but she did it," said Gophers coach Tony Benicewicz. "She was hurting and still is but she has a lot of guts and is determined to do well even when she is hurt."

Zandi Marinzel, South River, Fr.: Marinzel, whom Coach Keith Bigalo refers to as "South River's rising star," was runner-up at the Class 2A regionals and was seventh in the county in 20: 40. She closed out the season with a 23rd-place finish at states. "She had a real good introductory season," said Bigalo. "She's got a swimming background, so she's strong but she'll be even better once she gets more stamina."

Valerie McDowell, Arundel, Soph.: A fine all-around athlete who also excels in volleyball, golf and softball, McDowell finished eighth in the county in 20: 56, sixth in the region and 21st at states. She finished a step behind teammate Amanda Rahorn at the Meade Autumn Classic where she finished 20th. "She was considerably better this year and she is going to be much better next year," said Luce. "There's nothing like having a good athlete."

Sarah Ouslander, Old Mill, Sr.: Ouslander discovered she was hypoglycemic after passing out at the Hereford Bull Run. She came back from that and finished ninth in the county (20: 59), seventh in the region and 18th in the state. "She's a very hard-working girl and a real dedicated leader," said coach Gary Bater.

Amanda Rahorn, Arundel, Fr.: Rahorn, who comes from a family of runners, finished fourth in county (20: 26) and region (19: 56) and slipped into the top 15 at the state meet at Hereford, where her team finished third. Her fourth-place effort at the county meet helped the Wildcats sweep the team titles. "She a real find a coach's dream," said Luce. "She never backed off."

Amanda Schmidt, Broadneck, Jr.: Nagged by various injuries all season, Schmidt still managed to finish fifth in the region, 10th in the county and 27th in the state's 3A meet. "She needed rest but she wouldn't because she wanted to be there for her teammates," said Bruins coach Jerry Kiple. "She will give you the proverbial 110 percent."

Bonnie Sowa, Severna Park, Soph.: After finishing 11th in the county meet in 21: 03, Sowa helped the Falcons exact revenge on Arundel and win the Class 4A East regional title with her eighth-place finish at Baybrook Park. She closed out the season by collecting a 14th-place medal at states.

Team selection

The Baltimore Sun 1996 All-Anne Arundel County cross country teams were selected by Steven Kivinski after consulting with The Sun staff and area coaches.

Pub Date: 11/19/96

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