River Hill boys shock S. Carroll Soph McDuff wins again in girls competition

September 19, 1998|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,SUN STAFF

River Hill's boys upset defending champion South Carroll by five points, and River Hill's sophomore sensation Lee McDuff continued her undefeated season at the Howard County Invitational yesterday.

River Hill's Mike Prada (16: 26) finished second and Mike Styczynski (16: 33) was third to lead the Hawks past the defending Class 3A state champion Cavaliers at Howard Community College, 55-60.

Walter Johnson's David Glynn, defending Class 3A state individual champion, won the 3.1-mile boys race in 16: 09.

River Hill coach Earl Lauer thought his team lost until the official results were released.

"I like these pleasant surprises," he said. "I don't think anyone in Class 3A will beat South Carroll this year. They're tough."

River Hill has its sights set on a Class 2A state title. "We knew we could run with anyone in the state," Prada said.

South Carroll coach Ron Pennington said he expected River Hill to be the best team in Howard County. But he pointed out that his team was running on one day's rest after a close second-place finish Wednesday at the Westminster Invitational.

Styczynski's third-place finish was the biggest reason for River Hill's win. The former soccer player finished 45th in this race a year ago.

Zach Heidepriem (eighth), Steve Chu (11th) and sophomore Michael Fleg (31st) completed River Hill's top five.

South Carroll's top five were Bobby Mead (fifth), Steve Hammel (seventh), Dan Tompkins (13th), Doug Harmer (16th), Matt Adami (19th).

Walter Johnson won the girls team title over runner-up Mount Hebron, 40-82.

The Vikings were missing their No. 4 runner, who was on a band trip, and three other runners were weakened by a virus.

"We were very happy with our performance, considering all that," second-place Vikings finisher Kate Frande said.

Frande took an early lead against McDuff, but at 1.5-mile mark couldn't keep pace when McDuff made a surge.

McDuff, running her first season of cross country, added yesterday's title to previous wins at the Interstate and Spiked Shoe Invitationals.

She credited Prada for teaching her the best way to run yesterday's 3.1-mile course. "We walked the course and he told me all his secrets and showed me the best place to surge," she said.

Pub Date: 9/19/98

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