Zoltani, Dulaney run show at Bull Run

Senior's victory paces girls to 29-point triumph

No. 1 Wright boys win

High Schools

Cross country

September 23, 2001|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

No doubt.

If there were any whispers regarding the legitimacy of the C. Milton Wright boys' and the Dulaney girls' claim to the No. 1 rankings in cross country, they were silenced yesterday as those teams captured the elite races in their respective divisions at the sixth annual Bull Run Invitational at Hereford.

Senior Tenke Zoltani's first-place finish in the 3-mile elite race powered the Lions to a team total of 110 points -- 29 points better than runner-up and second-ranked North Carroll.

No. 3 Mount de Sales was third with 157 points, No. 8 Notre Dame Prep fourth with 163 and No. 4 Towson fifth with 168.

"I told them from the first day that we have the potential to be one of the best teams in the state, if not the nation," Dulaney coach Chad Boyle said. "The sky's the limit with this group."

That feeling of invincibility is embodied by Zoltani, whose winning time of 18:53 was just one second off the course record set by Karen Pulliam of Quince Orchard at last season's Class 4A state championship meet.

After the first mile, Zoltani was third, trailing Bryn Mawr junior Nyam Kagwima and Towson senior Cori Koch. But after the 2 1/2 -mile mark, Zoltani had opened up such a lead on the rest of the 126-runner field that she finished 61 seconds faster than runner-up Kagwima (19:54).

"I let them go out ahead," Zoltani said. "I knew I could catch them on the hills because I could hear them breathing pretty hard."

Led by Zoltani, the Lions earned top-50 finishes from senior Christine Myers (seventh, 20:25), senior Dusty Aeiker (15th, 21:13), sophomore Natalie Bond (37th, 22:23) and sophomore Christy Vincent (50th, 22:51) to win the division.

Perhaps the biggest surprise of the day occurred in the boys elite race, where junior Pat Bailey of C. Milton Wright could not prevent Ryan Blood of East Pennsboro, Pa., from winning the race in 16:14.

Bailey, who trailed Blood by 10 yards after the 2 1/2 -mile mark, emerged from some woods at the 2.9-mile mark with a 3-yard lead. But Blood outsprinted Bailey, who finished one second behind.

"I think I made my move too late," said Bailey, who would've preferred using his surge after the 2-mile mark. "I didn't know how good that kid was."

Still, Bailey, junior Jesse Slowikowski (seventh, 16:46), senior Will Murdoch (11th, 17:18), senior Aaron Smith (15th, 17:25) and junior Brian Eagan (39th, 18:19) ran so well that their combined 68 points were 68 (sic) points better than runner-up Woodbridge of Virginia.

"This is a win to cherish," said Mustangs coach Eric Clark. "I thought we had won the race, but I thought it was going to be close."

No. 4 Mount Hebron was third with 144 points, No. 2 Dulaney fourth with 152 and No. 3 River Hill sixth with 241.

In the medium-schools races, Catonsville senior Tricia O'Connell practically led from the start and clocked a winning time of 20:48.

O'Connell nearly was caught by Amie Shoemetta of Urbana at the 2.8-mile mark, but O'Connell outsprinted her opponent.

"I didn't think she'd be that close," O'Connell said. "I took a deep breath and figured that it didn't matter how much it hurt at that point because I was almost done."

Paced by O'Connell, the 10th-ranked Comets received top-26 finishes from Ema Gantcheva (13th, 22:30), Hannah Pfeifer (20th, 22:57), Lauren Land (24th, 23:10) and Chelsea Swimm (26th, 23:12) to win the team crown by four points over Urbana.

Eastern Tech senior Ryan Cartwright claimed the individual crown in the medium-schools race, clocking a time of 16:58. Centennial had the best showing among local teams, placing fourth with 142 points.

Oakland Mills senior Izudin Mehmedovic won the boys division of the small schools race in 16:45. McDonogh grabbed the team crown courtesy of strong outings from senior Josh Perry (seventh, 17:46), senior Bobby Singleton (ninth, 17:55), junior Luke Stewart (20th, 18:34), senior Jake Holt (23rd, 18:44) and senior Jamie Kaiser (25th, 18:48).

No. 8 Loch Raven finished second with 91 points. Archbishop Spalding was fourth with 134 and No. 5 Oakland Mills fifth with 151.

In the girls race, Century freshman Rachel Hawes had the best showing among area runners, finishing fifth in 21:25. Archbishop Spalding placed second with 136 points -- 43 more than first-place Fort Hill -- while McDonogh was third with 151 and Hereford fourth with 153.

In the large-schools races, senior Scott Koehler's 10th-place finish in 18:09 propelled Broadneck to fourth with 164 points -- 38 points more than first-place Damascus. On the girls side, Annapolis senior Rachel Dalby finished third in 21:17. River Hill was fifth in the team standings with 210 points -- 149 more than James Madison of Virginia.

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