At full strength, Wilde Lake takes third place at Lancer

Bensarghin leads way with 3rd for Wildecats

Urbana girls victorious

Cross country

High Schools

October 13, 2002|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

MONROVIA - Coach Charles Shoemaker wasn't overly concerned when his Wilde Lake boys cross country team dropped a tri-meet to then-No. 7 River Hill and unranked Centennial nearly two weeks ago.

After all, his top five runners missed the Oct. 1 meet to either heal some nagging injuries or preserve their energy for the Howard County and Class 3A state championships.

But when the Wildecats are at full strength, they can compete with some of the state's best teams as they proved with a third-place finish at the 3.1-mile Lancer Invitational at Kemptown Park yesterday.

"We're better than that," Shoemaker said of what amounted to his JV squad's 15-50 loss to River Hill and 16-47 setback to Centennial. The losses dropped Wilde Lake from its No. 6 ranking out of the area poll.

"We'll be there," he said. "I don't think anybody will look past us for the county championship or the 3A championship."

The Wildecats compiled 101 points. Linganore captured the crown with 79 points, while Urbana - winner of Tuesday's Westminster Invitational - was second with 85 points.

Wilde Lake junior Mehdi Bensarghin was the area's best runner as he placed third in 16 minutes, 41.10 seconds. But Bensarghin, who is participating in his first season of cross country, was upset that he had allowed Linganore's C.R. Thomas - the individual titlist - and Urbana's Kurt Kuehne to pass him with a quarter-mile left in the race.

"I used a lot of energy in the beginning, but I didn't have much in the end," Bensarghin said. "Next time, I'll pace myself better."

Still, the Wildecats combined Bensarghin's effort and those of senior David Schnorf (fifth in 16:59.08), sophomore Scott Gayer (23rd, 17:49.69), sophomore Josh Adams (18:20.84) and senior David Daddio (18:33.76) to finish a spot ahead of No. 9 Glenelg (131 points) and three ahead of No. 5 Westminster (173).

In the girls division, Urbana won its second consecutive invitational in a week as the Hawks' 49 points added the Lancer trophy to their win at the Westminster Invitational.

Like that event, Westminster placed second, amassing 88 points. The 39-point deficit was an improvement over Tuesday's 47-point deficit.

"After a team beats you by that much, you can hardly expect to be close to them five days later," coach John Schubring said. "But the girls came out to compete. They wanted to close the gap with Urbana, and they did."

Top 30 performances by sophomore Maggie Rager (seventh, 21:01.34), freshman Lindsay Southworth (10th, 21:20.86), freshman Caitlin Pyle (17th, 21:49.64), junior Ally Waranowski (25th, 22:15.70) and sophomore Jessica Snyder (29th, 22:22.68) helped Westminster finish two places ahead of North Carroll (106 points) and three ahead of Glenelg (161 points).

The Gladiators did have the area's highest finisher, as sophomore Mallory Heinke crossed the line in 20:51.80, which was good for sixth place.

Heinke, who bettered her personal record by 12 seconds, called yesterday her best race of the season despite winning the Brunswick Invitational and a few tri-meets.

"Everybody started out real fast," said Heinke, who made the transition from soccer. "I did a good job of catching up, but I kind of [wore down] at the end. ... I did pretty good in relation to the competition."

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