Staub, Watson run off with Monocacy titles

Key, N. Carroll runners give old cast a new script

Cross country

High Schools

October 18, 2003|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

SMITHSBURG - This time for Steven Staub and Amy Watson, familiar foes meant unfamiliar results.

Staub, a Francis Scott Key junior, defeated South Carroll senior Phil Diven for the first time, and Watson, a North Carroll sophomore, posted a surprisingly comfortable victory over Thomas Johnson junior Chelsea Powell at the Monocacy Valley Athletic League cross country championships yesterday at Smithsburg High.

Staub's win came in the MVAL's Piedmont Conference. Watson prevailed in the Chesapeake Conference.

No local team took a crown home. Urbana swept the boys and girls crowns in the Chesapeake Conference, and Middletown captured both titles in the Piedmont Conference.

Staub's victory over Diven was his first in three attempts this season. Staub, who finished the 3-mile race in 16 minutes, 34.6 seconds, said his strategy was to stay ahead of Diven, who excels in middle- and long-distance races in track and field.

"I knew he had a real good kick at the end," said Staub, who was 9.5 seconds faster than Diven. "If he was ahead of me, I knew I couldn't catch him."

Staub's time was just 2.6 seconds off a personal-best 16:32 set last month at the Frank Keyser Invitational.

Watson had defeated Powell earlier this season by one second at a meet at South Carroll. During that race, Watson said she noticed Powell's race strategy.

"She had a very fast first mile and a very fast second mile," said Watson, who sprinted past Powell over the final 200 meters to finish in a personal-best 19:39.7. "She tends to lose it in the third mile. She got ahead of me, but I knew I could catch her."

Not only did Watson beat Powell by 4.2 seconds, but she also did it in her first race in three weeks - a layoff caused by tendinitis in her right knee.

The Westminster girls team was expected to repeat its first-place showing from last week's Lancer Invitational, where the Owls defeated Urbana and Linganore.

But they raced in the Chesapeake Conference without No. 1 runner and sophomore Tricia Repsher (personal reasons) and No. 2 runner and junior Maggie Rager (season-ending tendinitis in her right knee) and posted 75 points - behind Urbana (58) and Linganore (74).

The No. 10 Westminster boys team used senior Patrick North's third-place outing in 16:34.7 to pick up 51 points and second place.

Junior Carl Henn finished eighth in 17:03.9, leading No. 6 Liberty to third place with 76 points.

Francis Scott Key placed second in the Piedmont Conference with 57 points, which was four behind Middletown.

Freshman Katie Griffin's third-place showing (20:34.0) paced Winters Mill to 45 points and runner-up status behind Middletown (33).

Century junior Rachel Hawes did not compete because of an undisclosed abdomen injury. Knights coach Brian Tombs said it was unclear whether Hawes, the two-time Carroll County Runner of the Year, would be able to participate in the county championships Thursday at Winters Mill.

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