State meet at Hereford place to be

1,000 stride for titles

Westminster 4A boys pick

Cross country

High Schools

November 12, 1999|By FROM STAFF REPORTS

The big show at Hereford High tomorrow -- the state cross country championships -- has a grand menu of what figures to be tight races for team honors, promising head-to-head matchups for individual prizes and, most of all, numbers.

About a hundred schools, from Garrett and Allegany counties in the west to Kent Island and Easton on the other side of the bridge will be represented by about 1,000 runners in eight races beginning at 10 a.m.

As everyone knows, there are no sure things when the gun goes off. But, if there were, two teams each from the boys and girls fields would qualify.

At the top of the heap, Westminster goes for its fourth straight Class 4A title, and it's difficult imagining the Owls not getting it. They lost All-Metro Jason Santucci to graduation, but the loss has barely been noticeable the way Josh Davis, Jesse O'Connell, Kevin Pool, Tristan Gilbert and Dom Cook have performed.

Almost as solid in 3A, despite the fact it is moving up from 2A, is River Hill. It has just a bit less depth than Westminster behind Mike Styczynski, Steve Chu and Shane Stroup.

South Carroll is the defending champion in 3A, but drops off quickly after Bobby Mead and Matt Adami.

In the girls' 4A race, Severna Park pulled a surprise last year and has a veteran cast, but C. Milton Wright moves up from 3A and, in a regional confrontation with Severna Park last week, cruised, 24-59. Dulaney and Whitman could contend.

The other almost-shoo-in are the Middletown girls in Class 2A. They breezed by 50 points last year and they're better this time around with freshmen Emily Buzzell and Rocky Morgan in the cast.

Buzzell has been beaten just once this fall, by Tenke Zoltani of Dulaney, and her 19-minute, 16-second effort on the Hereford course is about 30 seconds faster than any other girl has run.

Individually, the duel of the day figures to be between Zoltani and Kacie Remeto in girls' 4A. Both go out hard, don't allow a dawdling pace and have been spoiling for this showdown since the Bull Run Invitational Sept. 25, when Zoltani had to pull out with leg problems while ahead and Remeto finished third behind Buzzell and a Pennsylvania runner.

Other top individuals are defending 3A champ Colleen Lawson of North Carroll and Montgomery County champion Karen Pulliam of Quince Orchard.

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