Severna Park runs away from competition

Eighth-ranked girls win 5th A. Arundel title in row

No. 5 boys also prevail

Cross country

High Schools

October 27, 2001|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

The Severna Park cross country team is arguably the most storied program in Anne Arundel County.

That tradition was further enhanced yesterday as both the Falcons' fifth-ranked boys squad and the eighth-ranked girls team captured the team crowns at the Anne Arundel County Championships at Arundel High School.

The Severna Park girls squad claimed its fifth straight county championship and 14 of the past 16 titles. The Falcons' boys team earned its sixth crown in 12 seasons.

Senior Mike Hall won the boys individual title in 16:43.0, and only a first-place performance from Broadneck sophomore Lauren Centrowitz in the girls race prevented Severna Park from completing the rare sweep.

"I asked the kids to believe in themselves, and that's what they did today," Falcons coach Ed Purpura said. "From the slowest person to our county champ, Mike Hall, everyone ran with determination."

Severna Park earned top-15 finishes from Hall; senior Padraic Murray (third, 16:55.8); Ryan Coughlin (13th, 17:39.8); sophomore Eric Hakos (14th, 17:45.5); and junior Sandy Ludington (15th, 17:45.7) to defeat Broadneck, 46-58, in the boys team standings.

Although Hall won easily, South River senior Chris Clarke produced the day's most exciting moment when he sprinted past Murray over the final 20 yards to capture second place in 16:54.7.

Senior Rebecca Funk (second place in 19:38.3); sophomore Stephanie Newton (fifth, 20:45.9); junior Ashley Heim (seventh, 21:03.1); sophomore Annie Winstanley (eighth, 21:06.5); and sophomore Katie Pumphrey (11th, 21:16.9) helped Severna Park overcome three previous losses to No. 6 Broadneck and outdistance the runner-up Bruins, 33-52, in the girls standings.

Centrowitz said she used her experience earlier this month in the Meade Autumn Classic to her advantage yesterday.

"I knew at Blob's Park, I was a little weak on the hills," said Centrowitz, who finished second at the Meade race. "I tried to be more aggressive. I didn't want to be beat on the hills again."

For Broadneck coach Dana Dobbs, following the Falcons in both the boys and girls divisions was somewhat bittersweet. Dobbs and Purpura are close friends, and Dobbs was a groomsman in Purpura's wedding.

"Not only did I lose to a good friend, but also to a good coach and an extremely well-coached team," Dobbs said.

Nominate athletes

The Sun accepts nominations for its Athletes of the Week on Sundays, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., at 410-332-6200 or 1-800-829-8000, ext. 6200. One boy and one girl will be selected each week and featured in Wednesday's editions. To be nominated, athletes must play for their high school team and be available the next Monday to have their pictures taken. Only coaches can nominate Athletes of the Week.

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