New coach, same Dulaney powerhouse Boyle points girls toward fifth-straight state title

Baltimore County cross country

September 22, 1998|By Jeff Seidel | Jeff Seidel,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Even though Dulaney has a new coach, the Lions' girls still have plenty of talent and are hoping to win a fifth-straight Class 4A state title this season.

Chad Boyle took over from long-time coach Bob Dean, who retired, and his Lions give the word "depth" some new meaning. Boyle's Lions can go up to 11 deep, and they showed their balance Wednesday while routing a good field to defend their title at the Westminster Invitational.

Dulaney placed three runners in the top 10 and five in the top 23 to score 51 points, easily topping a good C. M. Wright team. The Mustangs had 103 points for second, but they came nowhere close to the Lions, who've won five of the last six state titles.

Kerrie Haacke won that race at Western Maryland College and should lead Dulaney this year. Shin splints hampered her last year, and a stress fracture of the tibia wiped out her postseason, but the senior's back at 100 percent.

Chrissy Duchille (fourth), Katie Lavezza (seventh), Jessica George (16th) and Sarah Hooper (23rd) rounded out the Lions' top five in that race.

"I had butterflies at that meet," said Boyle. "It felt good to get a win for the girls."

Several other Baltimore County public school teams should have talent, including Perry Hall, Catonsville and Parkville. For Parkville and coach Jesse Hannon, sophomore Kristy Geroux, freshman Christine Myers, seniors Erica Santa Cruz and Megan Burke plus juniors Amy Bollinger and Karen Hahn.

The Knights took fourth in the county last year, and Hannon said his group is "a good, solid team that's not flashy."

Catonsville coach Jeff McDaniel has a very strong top six but some questions after that. Senior Rachel Hayes took sixth in the Spiked Shoe meet at Johns Hopkins earlier this month. Freshman Tricia O'Connell, sophomore Katie Pfeifer, senior Sandra Gallagher, freshman Lauren Armstrong and senior Amanda Hockstein give the Comets a solid group.

On the boys side, the question is if someone can end Perry Hall's 12-year hold on the county title. Coach Jerry Martin again has plenty of depth -- the Gators can field a tough top seven -- but they're without a real superstar.

Junior Andy Hart has been a nice surprise so far at No. 1, along with classmates Curtis Crass, Cooper Henry and Chris Edwards. Seniors Jon Kapps, James Fowler and Matt Kramer also will do well. There's no real order here yet, except for Hart at No. 1.

"We've got a hard-working group of kids," said Martin. "We've had real good practices so far."

Dulaney will be the team with the best shot at Perry Hall, as usual. The Lions field a strong lineup for Boyle, led by senior Greg Vincent. He's been second in the state the past two years, taking the runner-up spot last season behind Jason Santucci of state champion Westminster.

The two hooked up again last week at the Westminster Invitational and Santucci edged him again, by five seconds. The Lions have depth with seniors Andy Gell and Geoff Langham (four-year veteran), plus sophomore Chris Streyle and junior Andy DeFucso.

Dulaney already went against Perry Hall once and lost by just five points. The Lions' strong pack will help them do some damage this year. Towson, along with Jason Mitchell and others, could make some noise.

A strong pack also will help Calvert Hall in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association. The Cardinals have won or shared the conference crown six straight years and should be in the running again.

Calvert Hall has a strong group of 10 runners that coach Jim McCoach likes. Senior Aaron Johnson plus juniors Tim Briggs and Sean King and senior Lance Byrd help the Cardinals bring plenty to the table. The other spots remain up for grabs, and Calvert Hall will have to fight off a tough Mount St. Joe squad, plus Loyola.

The Cardinals shared the regular-season title with Loyola and Gilman last year before winning the conference meet. Gilman has slipped this season, but coach Jose Albornoz's team should be tough.

Three of the Dons' top five return, and Loyola can go 10 deep. Senior Chris Knott will be at No. 1, followed by sophomore Matt Schelberg, seniors Eric Lichtenberg and Billy Severn and junior Jeff Hasenauer.

"If we run to form, we could be tough to beat," said Albornoz.

Mount de Sales will be another tough team this season. Kate Horman comes back to the school she once ran for -- she captained a team earlier this decade -- to replace long-time coach Sean Moran, who moved to Loyola College.

Horman has a good group awaiting her. Seniors Amy Miller and Colleen McGarvey, plus sophomores Jaime Malarkey and Lara Wittstadt are interchangeable in the top four spots, and Horman said most of her runners could compete for spots in the top seven.

"I ran for Sean for four years in high school, and I know how he worked things," said Horman. "I'm just trying to pick up where he left off."

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