Santucci, Lawson roll to CMC titles Westminster slips past S. Carroll in boys race

girls win third straight

Cross country

October 25, 1998|By John W. Stewart | John W. Stewart,SUN STAFF

KEMPTOWN -- It was business as usual for senior Jason Santucci of Westminster and sophomore Colleen Lawson of North Carroll, and Westminster showed again how this is a team sport, as the annual Central Maryland Conference championships unfolded at Kemptown Park.

Santucci's time of 16 minutes, 11.5 seconds was nearly 20 seconds under his winning time in this race a year ago, and 4.5 seconds better than his first-place time in the recent Lancer Invitational over the same three-mile Frederick County course.

Lawson, in her first year of cross country after having played soccer as a freshman, continued to dominate the area girls races as Santucci has the boys. She wasted no time in going to the front, then beat Urbana senior Liz Lowrie by 200 yards, winning in 19: 36.9.

Westminster continued its hold on the boys division, having won all 12 team championships. The Owls continued to frustrate South Carroll, especially with both teams putting their five scorers in the top 13. Westminster (1-5-6-9-13) totaled 34, to 41 for South Carroll (4-7-8-10-12).

Thomas Johnson was third at 77, Liberty sixth at 159, and North Carroll seventh at 180 in the eight-school field.

The girls title, achieved with a total of 49, was the third straight for Westminster, as it turned back Urbana (54) and Linganore (68).

The Owls put three finishers in the top 10, led by senior Holly Thompson (third), and had their last two scorers hold off the last two Urbana scorers to clinch the title. Liberty was fourth (110), trailed by South Carroll (sixth with 141) and North Carroll (seventh, 155).

"We had some tough practices this week, and I know they helped," said Lawson, whose time was four seconds off her Lancer victory, but whose margin was 30 yards more. "I have a cold, and that bothered my breathing, but I got through it OK."

Lowrie, the state Class 1A champion as a freshman and sophomore, stayed with Lawson for more than half the race, before the latter took charge.

Characteristic of his race tactics, Santucci let the early leaders go, first Justus Getty of North Carroll, and later Scott Herrick of Linganore. Westminster's Josh Davis was right with his teammate, moved in front briefly around the two-mile mark, then surrendered the lead to Santucci.

"Scott Herrick proved to be useful, because he took it out for the tough part of the course race," Santucci said. "That helped set it up, and I was able to take over in the woods before getting into the open." The winner had 25 yards on Shawn Day of Thomas Johnson, with Herrick third and Bobby Mead of South Carroll fourth.

Davis and Jesse O'Connell were five-six for Westminster, Kevin Pool ninth and Tristan Gilbert 13th. For South Carroll, Mead was backed by Steve Hammel, Doug Harmer, Matt Adami, and Peter Hamlington. Accounting for 10 of the race's first 13 finishers, the two teams had their scorers home in a span of one minute, 30 seconds.

"We had some changes," Westminster boys coach Dave Cox said of his team's finish. "Josh was strong, but I don't think he ran as well as he wanted to, and Jesse really ran well. He's just so consistent. Kevin Pool ran a strong race and this time Tristan Gilbert was our fifth man." In the past, Pool and Dominique Cook claimed the spot.

Jim Shank, Westminster's girls coach, was equally pleased with his winners. "We ran much better this time than when we were here before. This is the one we point for. By this time you know what the others have, and it is an indicator of where we are."

Behind Holly Thompson, Kate Thompson was sixth; Tara Callegary ninth; Beth Vigliotti 13th, and Jessica Price 18th.

Pub Date: 10/25/98

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