Zoltani eases past Koch in an early-season test

Powers Dulaney, Towson treat meet more as tuneup

Cross country

September 05, 2001|By Jeff Zrebiec | Jeff Zrebiec,SUN STAFF

The individual battle between two of the top cross country performers in the state was all but over before either runner toed the line yesterday.

While the six-team meet at Dulaney did feature Towson's Cori Koch and the host Lions' Tenke Zoltani - the last two Sun Metro Runners of the Year, it also provided coaches with the perfect opportunity to practice and experiment before some of the major meets begin later this month.

Both sixth-ranked Towson and top-ranked Dulaney did just that yesterday, with the Generals opting to work on their pack running, and the Lions concentrating more on tempo training, which includes some stretches of sprinting and others of jogging.

"We were running at about 90 percent," Dulaney coach Chad Boyle said.

"You need to know when to put the hammer and when to lay off a little. It's still early and we are preparing ourselves for the rest of the season."

Zoltani, who had surgery on both shins last year, appeared to be in midseason form, winning the three-mile race with a time of 19:52.

Koch crossed the line second in 20:17, followed closely by teammates Anastasia Mukhina (20:41) and Annie Mitsak and a pack of five Dulaney runners.

While both leading runners said that the results were largely inconclusive in a meet used more as a practice session, they did admit that they were both anxious before what could be the first of many showdowns this year.

"I didn't know if we'd both be racing, but I was excited either way," said Zoltani. "I know how she races and she knows how I run. I just run my own race and not worry about anything else."

"I was really nervous and then I found out we were doing this pack-running, so I knew I really had no chance to beat her," said Koch, a Class 2A champion last year. "I always get more nervous when I know she is going to be in the meet."

In the team scoring, Dulaney edged Towson, 26-30, and Perry Hall finished third. The Dulaney boys squad, ranked second, also was victorious. Tenth-ranked Towson and Owings Mills finished second and third, respectively.

The Lions, led by Will Knox and Bill Duffy, who both ran 18:02, claimed the top four spots in the boys race.

"This was a good workout for us. We weren't worried about winning, but it still is nice to win," Knox said.

Dulaney's Andy Carner and Emil Bojanov were third and fourth, followed by Perry Hall's Sean Knight and Paul Lane. Towson followed with a three-man pack that registered a 20:06.

Duffy said that yesterday's race was a perfect precursor to major upcoming meets, including Barnhart and Bull Run.

"We are all real excited and hope to win states," Duffy said. "We have a solid four; we are just looking for a fifth."

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