Mt. Hebron deposes River Hill as champs

Hawks' Stroup sets mark

Glenelg's Selmer top girl

3 Vikes among top 6 boys

Cross country

High Schools

October 26, 2001|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,SUN STAFF

Mount Hebron won its first Howard County championship in boys cross country at Centennial yesterday despite a course-record performance by River Hill's Shane Stroup, who was pushed by defending county champion Izudin Mehmedovic of Oakland Mills.

The Vikings also won their third girls team title despite first-year sensation Melissa McCarthy's loss to Glenelg's Carrie Selmer in the final 300 yards.

The Mount Hebron sweep of team titles ended River Hill's streak of having won the last three boys and girls team championships. The Hawks boys were runners-up yesterday, 55-59; the Hawks girls were third.

Glenelg's girls were second, 26-49, led by Selmer (20 minutes, 40 seconds), sixth-place Katie Pencek and ninth-place Erika Hogan.

The Mount Hebron boys captured three of the top six positions with Matt Sanders third, James Mullaly fourth and Seth Kampf sixth. Mike Alban finished 19th and Adam Forgione was 23rd.

Alban and Forgione each passed runners through the final 100 yards to gain crucial team points.

"When you run against River Hill, it's like playing the Yankees in the playoffs," said Vikings coach John Sunderdick. "You're going to take their best punch. It's tough to unseat the champ. It's a testament to runners like Forgione."

Forgione said: "I saw a lot of blue [River Hill jerseys] in front of me, and I was nervous because I knew every place counted."

Stroup won his first county title with a strong final mile.

"Shane was seven seconds [about 40 yards] behind Mehmedovic at the 2-mile mark," River Hill coach Earl Lauer said. "And he beat him by five seconds."

Stroup's time of 16:22 broke the 3.1-mile course record of 16:25 set by River Hill's Mike Styczynski at the 1999 regional championships.

"My coach told me to work the downhills, and at first I thought [Mehmedovic] had gotten too much of a lead," Stroup said. "I finally caught him the last part of the downhill, pulled next to him in the woods, and after he pulled ahead again on the uphill, I surged. It wasn't easy."

Mehmedovic said he wanted to save energy for the first mile and break Stroup at 1 1/2 miles. "It worked until the last half-mile. I couldn't relax. He's a great athlete."

Mount Hebron's girls captured five of the first nine places in a dominant performance. In addition to McCarthy's second place, Sarah Lancose was third, Darya Fakory fifth, Katrina McGowen eighth and Elise Lindemayer 10th. The spread between McCarthy and Lindemayer was two minutes.

"This makes a statement for Mount Hebron, that it's not just a lacrosse school," said McCarthy, captain of the state champion lacrosse team. "She [Selmer] is an incredible runner. I followed her lead and gave my all and am just honored to have stayed with her as long as I did. Our team won, and that's the important thing."

Selmer, defending Class 1A state champion, won her first county title and called McCarthy one of the toughest runners she's faced.

"I looked back, rounding the last cone before coming into the stadium, and saw she was 10 meters behind and knew that was too much for her to make up."

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