1996 All-Carroll County cross country teams

November 19, 1996|By Jeff Seidel

Runner of the Year

Greg Fisher, Westminster: The junior rebounded from an injury-hindered season last year to be a dominant runner in the county and the Central Maryland Conference. He won the county championship and outran defending champion Jonathan Hayes of Linganore and teammate Dave Barnes for the CMC title. Fisher also took ninth in the region and fifth in the state. A very competitive runner, he was the Owls' No. 1 runner for most of the season. "He's always been competitive," said coach Jim Gilford. "I knew he had the potential."

Coach of the Year

Jim Gilford, Westminster : The longtime Westminster coach ended his career with a bang, sweeping the county, CMC and state titles. The Owls rebounded from a 40-point loss to Walt Whitman in the region meet to score a storybook victory at the state meet. Westminster had many questions before the season began, but Gilford brought the team along slowly and it hit its stride at the right time. Gilford's final numbers are staggering. He won five state titles (four boys, one girls); 11 region championships (seven boys, four girls), 13 CMC crowns (10 boys, three girls) and 24 county titles (16 boys, eight girls). His Westminster boys never finished worse than fourth in the past 13 state meets. But Gilford said this final team will always be special for him. "I had 17 years, and I would not trade this team for any team in the state," he said. "You can't wish for a better group of guys. I told these guys that whether they were first or last [at the state meet], they were my team."

The team

Ross Bair, Westminster, Jr. : The first-year varsity runner worked hard all season and ran well most times before running into injury trouble at season's end. He finished fifth in the county and ninth in the CMC before hip problems forced him down to 53rd in the region and 40th in the state. But the state finish was very helpful as he beat Whitman's No. 5 runner and boosted the Owls' winning cushion.

Dave Barnes, Westminster, Sr. : He was a solid No. 2 runner for the Owls, pushing Fisher hard all season. Barnes beat Fisher three times -- by one second each time. Barnes took second in the county and CMC meets plus fourth in the region and state races. He always seemed to come up big in the big races for Westminster.

Jeremy Cuno, North Carroll, Jr. : The Panthers' top runner had a better overall season this fall. He took sixth in the county and region, and seventh in the CMC and eighth in the state. Cuno is a very consistent runner who drew closer to some of the state's higher runners as the season went on. Up next is the Foot FTC Locker national race in New York, another test of how far he's come.

Josh Davis, Westminster, Fr. : Gilford said, before the season, that he thought Davis would have a good first season. In fact, Davis did better than Gilford hoped. Davis took third in the county, sixth in the CMC and eighth in the region and state races. Davis and Fisher will give the Owls a strong 1-2 punch for next fall.

Neil Lagatare, North Carroll, Sr. : The team's No. 2 runner, Lagatare improved over last year thanks to some hard work. He gained a bit on Cuno as the season progressed. Lagatare ran well in the big races. He finished seventh in the county, 13th in the region, 12th in CMC and 25th in the state.

Steve McClearn, South Carroll, Jr. : He came in from Illinois and immediately took over as the Cavaliers' No. 1 runner. McClearn ran strong all season and came up big in the key races. He finished fourth in the county, 10th in the CMC, seventh in the region and 19th at the state meet. He should serve as a strong anchor for South Carroll next year and will be one of the county's top runners once again.

Team selection

The Baltimore Sun 1996 All-Carroll County cross country teams were selected by Jeff Seidel after consulting with The Sun staff and area coaches.

Pub Date: 11/19/96

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