Sev. Park rebounds, wins girls 4A crown Falcons end Dulaney's title streak at four

Cross country

November 15, 1998|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

Who says losing doesn't have its benefits?

A week after the Severna Park girls lost the regional championship, the Falcons rebounded to capture the state Class 4A crown, 82 to 107, over second-place Dulaney.

With the win, Severna Park, which hadn't lost a regional in 14 years, ended the Lions' streak of four consecutive state titles.

"This is a lot sweeter," Falcons coach Ed Purpura said of his squad's accomplishment. "We had been running into a brick wall in Dulaney. This is just great."

Although senior Bonnie Sowa led the team with a time of 20 minutes, 49 seconds and an 11th-place finish, her four teammates finished no worse than 25th.

"Our big goal was to win states, especially me as a senior," Sowa said. "I wanted to end the year with a big boom."

Added freshman Liz Funk (14th, 20: 58): "After that big loss at the regionals, everyone did their best. We knew we had to come in here and make up for it."

Purpura was philosophical about the regional loss.

XTC "I think it shook the girls and hardened their resolve," he said. "That was one of several poor performances that we had."

Purpura said he cried as he watched his squad near the finish line.

"We weren't even thinking about this," he said of the win. "This is wonderful."

Glen Burnie senior Katie Sloan was the county's highest finisher, as she clocked a time of 20: 20 and a third-place finish in Class 4A.

Sloan said her effort was surprising considering her run.

"I went out too fast and was out of breath," she said. "When I got to the end, I knew that this was my last chance and tried to push it all the way."

Annapolis sophomore Erin Masterson finished 10th with a time of 20: 48 to pull the Panthers to an 11th-place finish in Class 4A.

Masterson improved 45 spots from last year's disappointing 55th-place finish.

"Last year, I didn't have much of a drive," she said. "Right now, I get out in front and work hard until the end."

In the boys Class 4A, Severna Park (172 points) finished three spots behind state champ Westminster (41), which placed all five of its runners in the top 16.

Arundel senior Todd Warner finished third overall with a time of 16: 51, but the Wildcats slipped to seventh.

Warner said he tried to pace himself with two-time champ Jason Santucci of Westminster.

"When he pulled away, I would try to keep up with him," Warner said of Santucci. "But he surged during the second mile, and I couldn't keep up."

Annapolis finished 11th with 261 points, and Meade was 16th with 420 points.

In the Class 3A division, Broadneck scored two top 10 finishes. The girls placed second with 103 apoints behind state champ Walter Johnson (62). The boys finished sixth with 162 points.

Bruins coach Dana Dobbs said he gave the boys and girls a pep talk before the meet.

"We talked about the hard work that we had put into this season," Dobbs said. "We didn't want any unfinished business."

Pub Date: 11/15/98

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