All-Baltimore City/County cross country

High Schools

November 21, 2001

Boys Runner of the Year

Chris Wright, Mt. St. Joseph: Another fine season and another MIAA championship give Wright The Sun's Runner of the Year honor for the third consecutive season. Although his team finished second in the MIAA championship at Oregon Ridge, Wright ran an impressive 16:55 in the 3.1-mile race to take the individual title. Perhaps his best race was the Bull Run at Hereford, where he finished sixth in the elite division in front of runners like Billy Duffy, Will Knox and Eugene McAuliffe. Wright took on more of a leadership role this year with the departure of No. 2 runner Ron Kirchner, and he made the Gaels an area power. "He had a great career," McDonogh coach Andy Gill said. "You knew that unless he ran a terrible race, he couldn't be beaten."

Boys Coach of the Year

David Kreller, Loch Raven: Kreller, now in his third year, knows how to get the most out of his runners. Despite injuries, Kreller guided the Raiders to a second-place finish and a narrow loss to state power Oakland Mills by one point in the Class 1A state meet. A 1988 graduate of Towson High, Kreller has turned the program around at Loch Raven. The Raiders, who finished second in Baltimore County, had several runners set personal records in the state meet. He has taken the Loch Raven program from an also-ran to a county power. "He built the program from the ground up," said Paul Hugus, the Raiders' No. 1 runner. "He's a great motivator who knows how to get us ready. He's all about cross country in the fall."

Boys team

Steve Beck, Towson: Beck, a senior this year, had a lot to prove this year after a terrible finish in the state championship last year. He responded by running 18:04 to finish sixth in the Class 2A state meet. He also posted a fifth-place finish in a loaded Baltimore County championship field. His best finish came at the Meade Invitational, where he finished third with a time of 18:46. His fourth-place finish in the Anne Arundel County Invitational was another highlight. "He improved a lot this season," said Towson coach Gil Stange. "He continued to work hard, and it paid off for him at the end of the season."

Ryan Cartwright, Eastern Tech: A third-place finish as an unattached runner in the state 3A championship tells you how good Cartwright is. He finished first in the medium schools division in the Bull Run at Hereford (16:58), and finished behind only Billy Duffy and Paul Hugus in the Baltimore County championship meet. The senior won the Mid-Atlantic Classic at Goucher College (16:59), where he beat a field of 155 of other runners. He also placed fourth in Dulaney's Barnhart Invitational. In spite of the fact that he did not come from a powerful running program at Eastern, he continued to improve throughout the season.

Billy Duffy, Dulaney: Like any good athlete, Duffy tended to run his best races when it mattered the most. He set a record on his home course early in the year, winning the Barnhart Invitational with a time of 15:57. He also finished sixth in the elite race at Georgetown Prep (16:17). Other highlights were a first-place finish in the county championship (16:50) and a second-place finish in the state meet (16:16). The senior, a varsity team member all four years, will be missed as much for his leadership skills as for his running. "He leads by example, and is not afraid to speak up when he feels he needs to," said Dulaney coach Chad Boyle. "This year was his best season by far."

Jake Holt, McDonogh: Holt, McDonogh's No. 2 runner, had a fine season in his own right. The senior saved his best for last, posting a time of 16:46 to finish fifth in the MIAA championship. His ability to consistently finish in the top five in meets gave McDonogh the points it needed to win its first MIAA cross country title. He also placed 11th at the Meade Invitational. "He doesn't know how good he could be," McDonogh coach Andy Gill said of Holt. "What we've seen this year could only be the tip of the iceberg for him."

Paul Hugus, Loch Raven: Hugus was a major reason why the Loch Raven program was so successful this season. The senior finished second in the state Class 1A meet, losing to state power Izudin Mehmedovic. He had his best race of the year at the Harford Invitational, where he finished fourth in a time of 15:51. He finished second in the small schools division of the Bull Run at Hereford. He also held his own in a tough field at the Baltimore County championships, posting a second-place finish. "He's a 4.0 student, and one of the best runners in the county," said David Kreller, his coach. "We'll miss his leadership next season."

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