Experience gives River Hill, Hebron the edge

Top five boys return for Hawks

seven back for girls' champ Vikings

Cross country preview

September 06, 1998|By RICK BELZ | By RICK BELZ,SUN STAFF

River Hill is favored to win this season's county boys' cross country championship, with Wilde Lake its chief competitor.

Mount Hebron is the prohibitive favorite to repeat as county girls' champs, with River Hill and Wilde Lake battling for second.

Atholton: The Raiders graduated their top six boys from a team that finished second in the county and state and won its Class 2A region a year ago. The Raiders have 29 runners.

Ed Lopez (37th county) is a senior captain along with Keith McMullen. Junior Steve Miller, sophomore Matt Barresi and senior Steve Gluth give coach Pat Saunderson hopes for a third- or fourth-place county finish.

The girls finished seventh in the county but return several runners, among them Allison Mann (28th county) and Nicole McMorrin (40th county). The Raiders hope to finish in the top half of the county and make the playoffs.

Other team members are seniors Becky Peterson, Stephanie Hankin, Caroline Kennedy and Jackie Cook.

Centennial: From a team that finished third in the county, second in the region and fifth in the state, the Eagles return three of their top seven boys, including sophomore Shawn Spencer (10th county) and seniors Tom McAfee (16th county) and Sean Munjal (22nd county).

Add a much-improved sophomore, Sayer French, and senior Matt Tinnirella, who ran for the B team last season, and coach Al Dodds' Eagles can hope to finish among the top five at the county championship.

The girls' squad has lost five of its top seven from a team that was second in the county, first in the region and third in the state.

Veteran runner Neha Amin (eighth county) returns along with another of last season's top seven, senior Renika French.

Seniors Stephanie Martin and Jane Zhang, along with juniors Elizabeth Parker and Lori Fritz, hope to keep alive Centennial's proud tradition of strong teams.

Chapelgate: The Flames' top three boys' runners for coach Jeremy Alder are sophomores Matt Bryan, Jeremy Holroyd and Andy Young. The team has just six runners, however. "We're still building the boys' team," Alder said.

He expects better team results from the 12-member girls' squad. Leading the way will be sophomores Kristin Zang and Tessa Ring and senior Sarah Jahng. Alder thinks they have a chance to win the Washington Independent Schools Cross Country championship after finishing sixth last fall.

Glenelg: Veteran coach Roger Volrath believes his boys' team could be near the top if it can produce a strong fifth runner to go with the top four.

From a team that finished sixth in the county, second in the region and third in the state, four of his top five runners return, including Brian Selmer (14th county, third state), who won the Class 1A region title.

Other returnees are senior Sean Wright (47th county) and sophomores Jonathan Goldsmith (40th county) and Philip Selmer (42nd county).

The girls' team also shows potential but is nagged by injuries.

Senior Blair Heinke (51st county) had knee surgery in the spring. Senior Kirsten Hogan (20th county) has had a sore foot. Freshman Carrie Selmer is coming off a stress fracture last spring.

Junior Lauren Koutrolakos and sophomore Erika Morgan finish out the top five.

Glenelg Country School: Although the Dragons were the top B Division boys team at the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association championships last season, and return the top B Division runner, Hunter Eden, they've lost three of their top five runners and expect to struggle early.

Senior Jon Bullock returns, and freshman Mike Raybourne and sophomore Paul Turner show promise for coach Trey Cassidy.

In just its second year, the girls' team should be competitive in the Association of Independent Schools B Division. It includes sophomore Maria Pecklo, senior captain Laura Kolosvary, sophomore Mia Kelly and junior Katherine Cape.

Hammond: The Bears have a turnout of 21 boys and enough experience to raise their hopes for a top-five county finish in this, coach Larry Roberts' 25th season.

Junior Steve Rivas (29th county)is running No. 1, pressed by juniors Joe Blasi (33rd county) and Jeremy Miller. Seniors Sam Katz and Greg Burnett and sophomore Julius Chang fill out the top five.

The girls' team is led by senior Amanda Harrison (39th county). Senior Patti Shelton, juniors Caroline Baker and Sarah Mulhull and sophomore Sarah Haack complete the top five.

Howard: The Lions have 18 boys, led by three returnees, sophomore Andy Rosebrough (45th county) and seniors Richie Grantham (55th county) and Todd Goldfinger (61st county).

The girls' team features fourth-year runner Kristin Stickles (49th county), sophomore Bridgit Baker (35th county) and senior Jen Pribble (41st county).

Long Reach: Chuck Bragg, a successful baseball coach at Centennial before he became a school administrator, has returned to teaching and coaching and will guide the boys.

He'll try to build a program with junior Josh Siegert (52nd county), sophomore Philllp Harley, junior Keith Loudermill and five others.

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