The shocker wasn't that Dulaney senior Tenke Zoltani captured the 3.1-mile Barnhardt Memorial Invitational yesterday. A win for Zoltani is practically a given these days.
No, the surprise was that Lions senior Christine Myers and three teammates all registered top-11 finishes to help top-ranked and host Dulaney best a field of eight schools that included No. 4 Mount de Sales and No. 10 Catonsville in winning the girls title.
On the boys side, the second-ranked Lions easily passed No. 9 Loch Raven and up-and-coming Hereford to take the crown.
Zoltani, the 1999 state champion and All-Metro Runner of the Year that season, led a field of 50 from start to finish in clocking 18:17.0.
In second place was Myers (19:06.0), who outraced sophomore Laura Garrett (19:20.0) of Mount de Sales over the last mile.
"I knew that I was stronger than her," Myers said. "Last year, I would've gone out mentally at that point. This year, I don't have any negative thoughts."
Strong finishes from senior Dusty Aeiker (fifth place in 20:09.0), sophomore Christy Vincent (10th, 20:43.0) and sophomore Kim Cook (11th, 20:49.0) led Dulaney to a 10-point margin over the second-place Sailors (39 points).
Mount de Sales coach Liz Williams said she wasn't disappointed by her squad's effort, which included top-15 finishes from senior Kristen Aversa (sixth, 20:25.0), junior Megan Adams (seventh, 20:29.0), junior Molly Grace (ninth, 20:33.0) and junior Martha Raver (15th, 21:10.1).
"Going into the season, we didn't know where we'd stand in comparison to other teams in the area," said Williams, whose team placed second in the Peter Geraghty Invitational last week. "I'm really pleased to be as close to Dulaney as we are."
The boys race was a little tighter as Eastern Tech senior Ryan Cartwright, Loch Raven senior Paul Hugus and Dulaney seniors Billy Duffy and Will Knox led a field of 53 from the start.
But Cartwright, who won the Mid-Atlantic Classic last week, could not keep up after the 2-mile marker, and Duffy and Knox held off Hugus to finish 1-2.
"When I saw Cartwright and Hugus behind me, I got a little scared," said Duffy, who finished in 15:57.0. "I picked it up on every hill."
Knox (16:11.0) finished 13 seconds ahead of Hugus.
Efforts from junior Andy Carmer (fifth, 16:56.0), junior Emil Bojanov (seventh, 17:02.0) and sophomore Travis Knox (14th, 17:40.0) propelled the Lions to a convincing, 26-point cushion over Loch Raven, which had 55 points.