Last year the Class 4A state champions in boys and girls cross country, Westminster and C. Milton Wright, respectively, came out of the East regional. Those two are back at Baybrook Park tomorrow in the 10-team East regional that will qualify five teams in each of the two classifications for the states to be held Nov. 11 at Hereford.
Hosted by North County coach and East Region meet director Ed Harte, the competition is loaded with quality runners. On the boys side, which starts at 2 p.m., No. 4 Westminster is joined by No. 3 Broadneck, No. 5 Severna Park and No. 7 C.Milton Wright. The girls meet, set to follow at 2:45 p.m., features top-ranked C. Milton Wright, No. 4 Severna Park, No. 6 Broadneck and No. 10 Westminster.
Filling out the competition are boys and girls teams from Arundel, Chesapeake, Glen Burnie, Meade, North County and Old Mill.
"Basically there are six of us in each class competing for one spot in the states," said Harte, conceding berths for the four ranked teams in each.
Broadneck's Stephen Waller, the county boys champion with a time of 16 minutes, 24 seconds last week at Arundel, and Severna Park's Rebecca Funk, who nosed out teammate Shannon McMurray to win the county girls division at 19:38, will be running.
It is looking more and more like No. 6 Annapolis (7-1), second in 3A East football by a mere playoff point, and No. 10 Old Mill (7-1) in 4A will have to win out to qualify for postseason play. No. 8 Broadneck (8-0) leads the 4A East Region and can more than likely clinch a berth with one more win either at home tomorrow against Glen Burnie (1-7) or at Annapolis in its final game Nov.10.
Annapolis, which trails Douglass of Prince George's, 71-70, in playoff points, needs to defeat Broadneck, which will likely be 9-0. Beating Broadneck would be worth 17 points (eight for 4A, nine bonus points) before the other bonus points are counted. It's conceivable that Annapolis finishing at 9-1 would win its region and a 10-0 Douglass could get left out as an at-large team because of its final playoff points total.
The four region champions (East, West, North, South) receive automatic berths with the next four teams holding the highest playoff points averages qualifying as at-large teams, making it a total of eight teams in each of the four classes - 4A, 3A, 2A and 1A. The at-large teams can come from one region. The final playoff points are all that matters and bonus points (one point every time a team you beat wins) are crucial.
Old Mill is currently second to Broadneck in the 4A East, trailing the Bruins, 90-76, and ranks seventh overall among the top eight teams. A 7-3 record will not do this year and an 8-2 might not get it either for the Patriots, who close with home games against Meade (4-4) and Severna Park (3-5).
"I've been looking back at the points as to who plays who in PG and Montgomery County, and I think where the squeaker is going to come in if we lose one will be in the Baltimore region," said Old Mill coach Mike Marcus. "It could come down to the bonus points Lake Clifton and Patterson get."
Lake Clifton leads the 4A North with 78 points followed by Patterson (73.3) and Woodlawn(62).
The entire Severna Park football team, in their blue jerseys, turned out Monday at Barranco & Sons Funeral Home to pay tribute to their equipment manager, Jerry Parker Hines Sr., who died suddenly on Oct. 26 at the age of 65. Hines was the father of Falcons coach J.P. Hines Jr., who in an emotional talk in front of a large crowd of family and friends, called his dad "his best friend," and thanked everyone for their concerns and the tribute.
Old Mill grad Mike Ziegler, a right-handed pitcher at Florida State last spring who was drafted in the 14th round and signed by the Oakland Athletics in June, was rated with two teammates as putting up the "Best Pro Debut" in the Oakland minor-league system, in the Nov.13-26 issue of Baseball America. Ziegler was 3-0 with a 1.27 ERA at Vancouver in the short-season Northwest League.
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