Broadneck to miss big Bull Run meet

Isabel throws a curve at top-ranked program

Cross country

High Schools

October 03, 2003|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

When boys and girls cross country teams from 90 high schools converge for tomorrow's eighth annual Bull Run Invitational at Hereford High in Parkton, the area's top-ranked program won't be there.

That's because Broadneck - which boasts the No. 1 boys and girls squads in The Sun's poll - will be honoring a prior obligation to compete in the Anne Arundel County Invitational at Annapolis High on the same day.

The Bruins had been scheduled to participate in the Bull Run, one of the most prestigious cross country events on the East Coast, but Hurricane Isabel forced meet directors to postpone the Sept. 20 invitational to tomorrow.

That would have been fine for Broadneck, except that the Bruins had already committed to competing in the Anne Arundel County Invitational.

Cross country teams in Anne Arundel are required to compete in two of three county-based meets - the Knights Invite on Sept. 12, the Anne Arundel County Invitational or the Meade Autumn Classic on Oct. 10.

Broadneck coach Dana Dobbs said he asked county coordinator of athletics Marlene Kelly for permission to enter his squads in the Meade Autumn Classic - an event the Bruins had not intended to participate in before the season began - so they could participate in the Bull Run.

"I am very upset by the stand that has been taken," said Dobbs, whose request was denied. "The elite programs can run against each other on one of the toughest courses on the East Coast.

"My girls are defending [Class] 4A state champions, and Lauren Centrowitz is a defending state champion and Bull Run Elite race champion. Not permitting them to race is a shame."

Centrowitz, a senior who owns the sixth-fastest time (19 minutes, 10 seconds) at Hereford's course, expressed disappointment at being unable to defend her crown.

"I think it's ludicrous," she said. "I don't understand how county meets take precedence over big invitationals. ... But it's out of our control."

Kelly said she turned down Dobbs' suggestion because Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association bylaws prohibit teams from changing their schedules once the season has begun.

"Coaches don't have the option to massage their schedules to fit their needs," Kelly said. "The rule is the rule."

The show will go on, however, for many area teams. Expected to compete in the Bull Run's boys elite division are No. 2 Dulaney, No. 3 Bel Air, No. 5 Centennial, No. 7 C. Milton Wright and No. 10 Loyola.

The girls elite competition will feature, among others, No. 3 C. Milton Wright, No. 4 Bryn Mawr, No. 5 Dulaney, No. 6 Hereford and No. 8 Mount Hebron.

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