MIDDLETOWN -- North Carroll's Colleen Lawson and the defending Class 3A state champion South Carroll boys team both used yesterday's Class 3A West region meet to show how good they are.
Lawson, a first-year runner, scored a 27-second victory in the girls race, and the No. 3-ranked Cavaliers, despite running without top gun Bobby Mead, were impressive, as well, on a cold afternoon at Middletown High School in Frederick County.
This was the South Carroll boys' second straight region title.
Lawson quickly found her stride after coming out for the team about a week late, having dropped another sport. Coming off a win at last week's Carroll County meet, she made it two in a row yesterday in 18 minutes, 42 seconds -- easily besting Jenny Bodine of Walter Johnson, the champion girls team.
Despite her triumph, Lawson was happier that the whole North Carroll team qualified for next Saturday's state meet at Hereford for the first time in several years. The Panthers, fifth, were the final team to qualify as a group.
"That's really good, having everybody go," said Lawson. "It was cold, but I guess that's better to run in."
In 40-degree weather with a stiff wind, the Panthers girls ran well. Sarah Foor-Hogue (29th), Jen Bundra (34th), Sandy Wentzel (35th) and Jame Shrader (43rd) all gave credit to Lawson for helping the team qualify.
"It's just like a dream," said Bundra, who is making her way back from an injury that sidelined her for a good part of the season. "We had to go out in a big way, and here it is."
For South Carroll's boys, "team" also was the key word.
Mead aggravated a pulled groin muscle in gym class Wednesday and decided to sit out the race, especially when cold weather made it impossible for him to loosen up.
"It really hurt," said the sophomore, who hopes to run in the state meet. "But I know [sitting out yesterday] was best for me."
Both Mead and South Carroll coach Rob Pennington still felt the Cavs boys had a shot to win, though.
They needn't have worried, because South Carroll's vaunted pack attack showed up once more. Matt Adami (fifth, 16: 23), Steve Hammel (sixth, 16: 26) and Doug Harmer (ninth, 16: 38) finished in the top 10 to lead the Cavaliers, who finished with 44 points, good enough for a surprisingly easy victory over Walter Johnson (70).
Race winner David Glynn led Walter Johnson, edging Shawn Day of Thomas Johnson by one second with a time of 15: 47.
Dan Tompkins was steady for the Cavaliers in 11th place, and senior Chris McDonald ran a personal record of 17: 02, his best time by about a minute.
Liberty's girls were the other county team to qualify, finishing fourth with 111 points, 23 ahead of North Carroll. Gwen Gilmore (eighth, 19: 49) and Pam Maldeis (18th) led the Lions.
In Class 4A East's races at Baybrook Park yesterday, XTC Westminster swept boys and girls team titles. The top-ranked boys had an easy victory over No. 7-ranked Severna Park, led by another win from defending state champion Jason Santucci. The Owls put four in the top 10 to roll over the Falcons.
The fourth-ranked girls edged No. 3 Severna Park, 40-43, led by a second-place finish from Holly Thompson.
Katie Henshaw finished fifth and Beth Vigliotti ninth. This is the girls' first region victory in several years, but it's the second straight for the boys. Katie Sloan of Glen Burnie was the individual winner.
Pub Date: 11/06/98