Title victory comes with price for Hawks Boys win state crown, see girls leader McDuff pass out on course

Cross country

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

River Hill coach Earl Lauer should've been ecstatic after watching his boys cross country team win the state Class 2A championship yesterday with a record-low 28 points.

Instead, his expression was one of concern as he watched an ambulance pull away from Hereford High School with his star runner on the girls squad, Lee McDuff, who passed out halfway through the three-mile course.

"Mixed emotions," Lauer said of his thoughts on the strange day. "I've seen a lot of things happen, but this. "

McDuff, a sophomore sensation who had been unbeaten this season, reportedly passed out a little bit more than a mile from the finish line. McDuff, who had been leading a pack of runners by at least 40 yards, was transported by an ambulance from the Hereford Volunteer Rescue Co. to the emergency room at Greater Baltimore Medical Center where her father, David McDuff, said her condition had improved.

"After 20 minutes, she was feeling a lot better," McDuff said of his daughter. "She started feeling better during the ambulance ride."

Lauer said McDuff was lethargic and did not respond well to questions posed to her by him and medical staff in a makeshift emergency tent at the high school.

"You ask the kids to push that envelope, and when they get to the states, they push a little too far," Lauer said. "That happens unfortunately."

Neha Amin, a senior at Centennial who finished fourth with a time of 20 minutes, 23 seconds in the Class 2A meet, said McDuff passed out Oct. 17 at a meet at Georgetown Prep in Rockville.

"It looked like she was grabbing her stomach and crying," Amin said. "I think she went out too fast."

Kate Frande, a junior at Mount Hebron who finished second with a time of 20: 14, agreed, saying, "I think she's inexperienced because this is her first time running this race."

River Hill senior Kelli Bloch also dropped out of the race, but did not require medical assistance.

The scare cast a pall over the boys team, which gained five top-11 finishes from senior Michael Prada (fourth, 17: 15), junior Mike Styczynski (fifth, 17: 17), freshman Shane Stroup (sixth, 17: 18), senior Zach Heidepriem (eighth, 17: 33), and junior Steve Chu (11th, 17: 46).

Styczynski said he expected the Hawks to win the state title.

"I just imagined ourselves in that gym getting the state trophy," he said. "I just visualized it."

In the same division, Atholton finished fifth with 170 points, Centennial sixth with 179, and Mt. Hebron 10th with 273.

In the girls Class 2A, Mount Hebron (92 points) was runner-up to state champ Middletown (42). River Hill still finished fifth with 163 points, while Centennial was ninth with 215 points, and Atholton was 13th with 289 points.

In the girls 1A, sophomore Alice Marsh (seventh) and senior Blair Heinke (10th) led Glenelg (84 points) to second place behind champ Allegany (35). Hammond finished seventh with 163 points.

In the boys 1A, Oakland Mills secured third with 106 points. Glenelg fell to fifth (115) despite a third-place finish by sophomore Jonathan Goldsmith (17: 39) and a sixth-place finish by junior Brian Selmer (18: 06).

Wilde Lake boys and girls squads finished eighth and 10th, respectively, in Class 3A.

Pub Date: 11/15/98

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