The top-ranked Westminster boys and the No. 3-ranked Owls girls were fortunate that yesterday's Carroll County championship proved much the same as last Saturday's Central Maryland Conference race.
South Carroll's Jill Krebs was just as fortunate that it didn't.
The Owls pulled off their third straight sweep of the Carroll County championship five days after completing the same task at the CMC meet. Krebs won the county title in the Western Maryland College meet after a controversial rule interpretation disqualified her second-place CMC finish.
The Westminster boys needed to fight off a tough challenge from No. 5-ranked South Carroll. Even though the Owls put five runners in the top 11, they could just pull out an 18-point victory (24-42).
"We've been looking to hold off some of the injuries, and we're happy to take a nice path to the [region and] state meet," said Westminster boys coach Dave Cox of his defending Class 4A state champions. "They tried their hardest today. That's what they needed to do."
They also benefited once more from several strong efforts. Jason Santucci won the race in 16: 41, 14 seconds ahead of teammate Greg Fisher. Josh Davis (fourth, 17: 22), Ross Bair (sixth, 17: 30) and Jesse O'Connell (11th, 17: 51) rounded out the Owls' top five.
Next for the Owls is the Class 4A East region meet on Thursday at North County. South Carroll, Liberty and North Carroll go to the Class 3A West region meet Thursday at Watkins Mill, and Francis Scott Key heads to the Class 2A West region race Thursday at Middletown.
South Carroll was led yesterday by top-10 finishes from Steve McClearn (third, 17: 01), Matt Adami (fifth, 17: 26) and Steve Hammel (ninth, 17: 41). Robert Mead (12th, 17: 58) and Doug Harmer (13th, 18: 07) also turned in strong races.
The Westminster girls also came up with a close victory. The Owls, who edged Linganore by one point to take the CMC title, didn't have to sweat as much here. The Owls landed five runners in the top 10 to score 27 points and beat Liberty (48).
Just like at the CMC meet, Holly Thompson again led the Owls. Thompson's time of 20: 21 let her take second place, 29 seconds behind Krebs. Kate Henshaw then finished third (20: 59), followed by Beth Vigliotti (fourth, 21: 07), Angie Baer (eighth, 21: 54) and Sarah Buckhaus (10th, 22: 19).
For a little more help, sophomore Amanda Carter finished 11th in 22: 26, a marked improvement of nearly three minutes over the Westminster Invitational, which was run only a month ago.
"We figured Liberty would be fairly close," said Westminster Jim Shank.
Gwen Gilmore, Diane Pandolfini and Pam Maldis led the Lions with top-10 finishes. Gilmore was sixth in 21: 08, just six seconds ahead of Pandolfini. Maldis took ninth in 22: 06.
But Krebs may have turned in the meet's most spectacular performance. Five days after her disqualification in the CMC meet at Linganore, Krebs blitzed the field in her fastest time ever (19: 52).
The senior turned in an amazing 5: 55 first mile, but Thompson stayed close.
"I just tried to put all of it out of my mind," said Krebs after yesterday's win. "It's been very stressful. I'm just glad that it's over."
Krebs had finished second in the CMC race as eventual victor Jennifer Ford of Thomas Johnson won her third straight championship. Ford passed Krebs with 300 meters to go and narrowly won.
Race officials then disqualified Krebs when they saw her pink sports-bra strap showing, citing a rule that if anything is seen under an athlete's uniform, everyone in a regular race or on a relay team must wear the same color.
The disqualification infuriated Krebs and South Carroll, and both are seeking avenues of appeal.
Pub Date: 10/24/97