Westminster puts on balanced show in grabbing titles

Owls' boys, girls stick together in county meet

Cross country

High Schools

October 25, 2002|By Jeff Seidel | Jeff Seidel,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

The Westminster boys and girls used an old-fashioned method to sweep yesterday's Carroll County championship meet - they did it as a team.

Westminster didn't have anyone finish higher than third in the boys race, but put five runners in the top nine for an impressive victory.

Also, none of the Owls' girls could fare better than third overall, but they landed five in the top 10 to edge three-time defending champion North Carroll on a cold and rainy afternoon at McDaniel College.

For the boys, this maintained an amazing streak in which the Owls have won every year but one since the mid-1980s. Westminster finished with 31 points to easily defeat Liberty (62) and Francis Scott Key (65).

The Owls suffered some midseason injuries that slowed them for a while, but they rebounded. They posted an impressive second-place finish in last weekend's Central Maryland Conference meet, and coach Dave Cox is hoping to keep the momentum going.

"We're just looking to maintain the strength and build [on] the strength as a pack-running team," Cox said. "The group stayed solid today. We knew we needed to do that to ensure the win."

Patrick North was Westminster's top finisher among the boys, taking third in 17:17. Dann Simmons was fifth, Scott Elseroad sixth, Tommy Lueking eighth and Peter McKibben ninth.

South Carroll's Dan Reedy won his second straight county title in 17:16, holding off teammate Phil Diven (17:16) and North. Reedy, coming off his victory in the CMC meet last Saturday, ran well on a gray and drizzly afternoon and is hoping for more in the upcoming region and state meets.

"I took off at 1 1/2 miles, and I just tried to open it up as much as I could," Reedy said. "The cold didn't bother me too much."

Rachel Hawes also repeated as county champion. The Century junior won in 20:06, beating South Carroll's Elly Eaton (20:18) and Maggie Rager (20:34) of Westminster.

The Owls are a young team, and they delighted coach John Schubring with their continued ability to run well under pressure. The girls also took second in the CMC last Saturday at South Carroll meet and edged North Carroll (41-50) for the county title.

What especially impressed Schubring was how well his underclassmen ran. Rager (sophomore), Lindsay Southworth (fifth, freshman), Caitlyn Pyle (10th, freshman), Jess Snyder (11th, sophomore) and Ally Waranowski (12th, junior) helped the Owls to the title.

"The girls are ecstatic," Schubring said. "It's meets like this when you see how badly a team wants it, and they came out with fire in their eyes."

North Carroll came close to winning a fourth straight title. Laura Dukehart (sixth), Amy Watson (seventh), Heidi Meredith (ninth), Kim Daut (13th) and Jessica Dittman (15th) led the Panthers.

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