Late, just off bus, Western runs off with team crown Boys title to Poly

Lewis, Johnson win the races

Cross country

October 24, 1997|By Derek Toney | Derek Toney,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

The Western girls cross country squad gave new meaning to the term "off and running" yesterday.

Arriving just minutes before the start of the City championships at Herring Run, the Doves didn't have time to stretch or warm up.

But it didn't make a difference. Western dominated the field for its second consecutive championship.

The boys' championship went to Poly, which accumulated 38 points to hold off defending champion City (62) and Mervo (104).

The Doves (26 points overall), who have won 11 of the last 12 city championships, placed in six runners in the top seven to outdistanced Lake Clifton (83) and Northwestern (96).

"The times were improved from the previous meets, but unfortunately we got here late, and I wish we had more time," said Western coach Jerry Molyneaux. "Winning the city championship is always nice, but the goal is to run fast times."

Elizabeth Johnson led the Doves' charge, winning the individual title in 21: 08 on the hilly, 3.1-mile course. Southwestern's Yvonne Brown was second, before a brigade of Western runners started crossing the finish line.

"When started off, I laid back the first mile, then picked it up as I went," said Johnson, a senior. "It was hard on some of those hills, but on the last one, I knew if I ran hard, then it would be downhill and I'd be fine."

Johnson, one of the area's best cross country and track performers, just started running again a couple of weeks ago after being slowed by tendinitis. Though still not 100 percent, Johnson and the Doves are hoping for a strong showing at the state Class 4A North regional meet at Dulaney next week.

After finishing sixth in last year's individual championship, City senior Rooti Lewis claimed the boys' race in 18: 17. Poly's James Sciarini (19: 01) was second.

"The hills here are always tough," said Lewis. "Being able to practice and run on this course actually makes it a little easier."

In winning the boys' title, Poly placed five runners in the top 15, including top five finishes by Alex Scally (fourth) and Eric Lee (five).

"This is our fifth race here this year, so we have a lot experience," said Poly's second-year coach Stan Smith. "We also been doing a lot of hill work, which has helped us a lot."

Pub Date: 10/24/97

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