Mehmedovic gets on roll, tops Bailey over hills again

2nd win over Wright boy in 5 days

course mark set

Cross country

October 16, 2001|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,SUN STAFF

Whatever the challenge, Izudin Mehmedovic somehow rises to meet it.

At Oakland Mills yesterday, the "Bosnian Flash" not only beat Class 4A state favorite Pat Bailey of C. Milton Wright for the second time in five days; he also broke Greg Curtis' course record by eight seconds.

Meanwhile, the C. Milton Wright boys and girls teams each won by comfortable margins over runner-up Oakland Mills in the four-team invitational races, 20-42 in the boys and 29-47 in the girls.

Morgan Little won the girls race in 20:30 over teammate Jessica Hepner (21:13).

"I wasn't sure that record was ever coming down," Oakland Mills coach Phil Lang said. "Curtis was a horse."

Mehmedovic (16:21) pulled away in the last half mile in a bank of zigzag hills that gave Bailey (16:45) some trouble.

"I never saw hills like that before," Bailey said. "The turns were tight and it was hard to keep your balance. I was feeling good, but those hills got me."

Bailey thought he should have pushed himself more on the flat parts of the course, especially approaching the final set of hills.

Said Mehmedovic: "I relaxed myself for the first two miles and had a lot of energy left no matter what move he made."

This was the third race the two have run together in 11 days. Bailey defeated Mehmedovic at the Harford Invitational on a flat course. Mehmedovic defeated Bailey at Westminster and Oakland Mills on hilly courses.

"Hills are my strength," said Mehmedovic, the defending 1A state champion. "I'm confident against anyone on hills. I decided I could make my move on the hills. I didn't expect a record. I can't be more happy than I am."

Mehmedovic now has won four invitationals and finished second in two. He was runner-up to Shane Stroup at the Howard County Invitational in his only other loss.

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