1997 All Baltimore City-County cross country teams

November 18, 1997|By STEVEN KIVINSKI

Boys

Runner of the Year

Greg Vincent, Dulaney, Junior: Vincent started the season by winning the Lancer, Westminster, Barnhart and Bull Run invitationals and closed it by repeating as county and regional champion and finishing second at the state meet. He set a course record at Hereford during the Bull Run (16 minutes, 21 seconds) but ran 17: 03 on the same, albeit muddier course at states. Vincent was also undefeated in all the Lions' dual meets. "He had little nagging injuries, but he didn't let it get to him and he managed to stay consistent all year long," said Dulaney coach Bob Dean. "He's a real team person, not the rah-rah type, but other kids on the team learned a lot by watching his work ethic and how he handles himself in competition."

Coach of the Year

Jim McCoach, Calvert Hall: Calvert Hall showcased its entire program at the Anne Arundel Invitational, and it was a sight to behold. The Cardinals won all four boys races that day and placed six runners in the top 20 in the A1 race. As deep and talented as they were, the Cardinals would have been even stronger had they not lost their No. 2 runner, Jed McCormick, to a stress fracture. Even without McCormick, Calvert Hall went 5-1 in dual meets and shared the title with Loyola and Gilman. It was the sixth straight year the Cardinals had won the title but only the first year they had to share it. Calvert Hall unofficially broke the three-way tie by winning the team title at the MIAA Individual Championships, where the Cardinals put three runners in the top seven. "We had 12 guys and we never had the same order of finish," said McCoach, in his eighth season. "If anyone slipped, there was another guy right there to hold them up. I don't think there's another team in town that has as many good runners as we do. I would like to run anybody and score 10."

The team

Kirk Bouffard, Perry Hall, Senior: Bouffard's fourth-place finish helped the Gators win their 12th straight county championship, and he guided his team to the regional title by finishing third. The three-year varsity runner led the Gators to the team title at the Knights Invite by finishing sixth, and his top-10 effort helped Perry Hall finish second at the Harford Invitational. He also finished eighth at the Georgetown Prep Invitational and was in the top 25 at the Hereford Bull Run. "His track speed in the mile and 800 served him well on the cross country course," said Perry Hall coach Jerry Martin.

Joe Bryson, Calvert Hall, Senior: Bryson was Calvert Hall's captain and No. 1 runner the entire season. The repeat All-City/County performer won three dual meets and was third at the MIAA Championships, as well as the Arundel and Jack Griffin invitationals. "Joe was our team leader," McCoach said. "He was a grinder. He hung in there and ran some good times. You could always count on him."

Brandon Cole, McDonogh, Junior: Cole, a repeat All-City/County performer, crossed the finish line first in the small-school race at the Harford Invitational at C. Milton Wright, then battled back from bronchitis and finished sixth at the MIAA Championships at Western Maryland College. "Brandon is a track runner who uses cross country to further his track success," said Eagles coach Jeff Sanborn. "He was first for us in every meet and took over the leadership role."

Mark Coyle, Perry Hall, Senior: Coyle, who had a hernia operation last summer, grew stronger as the season progressed. He finished sixth at Georgetown Prep Invitational and was 18th for runner-up Perry Hall at the Harford Invitational. "He's been a key member of our last two county championship teams," Martin said. "He's been a steadily improved runner over his four years in the program."

Aaron Johnson, Calvert Hall, Junior: When the Cardinals' No. 1 man, Jed McCormick, went down with a stress fracture in his leg, Johnson stepped in and picked up the slack. Johnson won a dual meet at Archbishop Curley and finished in the top 10 at the Arundel Invitational. The junior also placed in the top 30 at the highly competitive Spiked Shoe Invitational at Penn State and ran a personal-best 16: 48 in a dual meet at Calvert Hall. "He will be outrageous next year," McCoach said.

Chris Knott, Loyola, Junior: Knott won the Hereford Bull Run, North County Knights Invite and the Catholic Championships at Georgetown Prep before finishing as runner-up behind Seamus Whelton of Gilman at the MIAA Championships. "Chris and Seamus went head-to-head, and they were far and away the best in the MIAA," Loyola coach Jose Albernoz said. "Chris puts in 80 miles a week and runs a 15-miler just for fun."

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