Bolton, Sanders first at last

Seniors win their first county crowns

River Hill, Mt. Hebron capture titles

Cross country

High Schools

October 25, 2002|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

Finally.

That was all Meghan Bolton of Atholton and Matt Sanders of Mount Hebron had to say after the seniors overcame obstacles to capture their first Howard County cross country titles at yesterday's championships at Centennial High.

The No. 4 River Hill boys won their fourth team title in five seasons while the No. 3 Mount Hebron girls claimed their second straight championship.

Bolton grabbed her first title after finishing 27th at last year's championships and 32nd at last month's Howard County Striders Invitational.

Bolton, an asthma sufferer, had plenty of energy yesterday to sprint past Glenelg junior Mallory Heinke over the final 100 yards and cross the finish line of the 3.1-mile course in 20 minutes, 25.39 seconds - more than eight seconds better than Heinke.

"I really wanted to win it this time," Bolton said. "All the other seasons, I thought I had a shot, but then something came along and screwed it up. This season, I was finally able to hold onto it."

Last year, Sanders usually played second fiddle behind Shane Stroup, formerly of River Hill, and Izudin Mehmedovic, formerly of Oakland Mills.

But with those two graduated, Sanders cemented his status as the county's top runner, winning in 16:31.24 - 31 seconds faster than Wilde Lake junior Mehdi Bensarghin.

"I've waited for my time," said Sanders, whose time was just nine seconds off the course record of 16:22 set by Stroup last season. "I wanted to set the pace and put my mark on my last county championship."

The boys crown figured to be crowded between River Hill, No. 3 Mount Hebron, No. 8 Wilde Lake and Glenelg.

But top-11 finishes from senior Alvin Yew (fifth in 17:31.66), senior Wes McCoy (seventh, 17:39.97), sophomore Nicholas Keane (eighth, 17:44.08), freshman Sergiy Zubko (10th, 17:44.83) and senior Karl Lauenstein (11th, 17:46.38) led the Hawks to 41 points.

"I think maybe people were looking past us a little bit," said River Hill coach Earl Lauer. "I think it's a perfect display of overcoming some of those odds people place on you and rising to the occasion."

By comparison, the girls race was a rout as the Vikings' top seven runners crossed the finish line before any other team's fifth runner.

Senior Katie Mason (third, 20:40.70), junior Elise Lindenmayer (fourth, 20:42.07), senior Jessica Loehe (11th, 21:47.25), sophomore Becca Collins (12th, 21:49.67) and senior Britt Faulkner (16th, 22:04.61) helped Mount Hebron to 46 points.

But Vikings coach Mark Reedy was not pleased with his team's effort and vowed to make changes before next Thursday's Class 3A East region championships at Centennial.

"The workouts between now and next week won't necessarily be harder, but the intensity will be hard to ignore," he said.

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