Westminster takes both team crowns

Girls individual title goes to Owls' Repsher

Diven tops boys field

Carroll County cross country championships

October 24, 2003|By Jeff Seidel | Jeff Seidel,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Officials at yesterday's Carroll County cross country championships handed out white gloves to the runners as they finished the 3.1-mile course. The gloves were needed as conditions were challenging, with temperatures in the high 40s and gusty winds at Winters Mill.

But the conditions may have had the least effect on ninth-ranked Westminster. The Owls' boys put four runners in the top 10 and won their 19th county title in 20 years. For the girls, Trish Repsher won the race in leading fifth-ranked Westminster to the victory.

Westminster's boys stuck with the formula they've employed for years - run in a pack as long as possible. Patrick North (second), Peter McKibben (fourth), Tommy Leuking (sixth), Dan Simmons (10th) and Chris Sachs (16th) combined to give the Owls 38 points, easily beating No. 10 Liberty (61).

"We talk about finding your guys and running as a pack," Westminster coach Ross Bair said. "We [want] to take that pack as far as we can take it."

Liberty ran nearly as well as the Owls, with the Lions' first five finishing in the top 17. But they could place just one runner (fifth-place Carl Henn) in the top 11.

"We knew it was going to be an uphill battle," Liberty coach Dan Jones said. "They're just clicking at the right time now."

South Carroll's Phil Diven clicked at the right time to win the boys individual race. Diven's time of 18:38.83 easily beat North (18:54.14) and Francis Scott Key's Steven Staub (19:04.92) and gave the senior his first county title.

Diven edged Staub in a recent meet at Liberty, but the Key runner came back and beat him in last weekend's Monocacy Valley Athletic League meet. That loss seemed to spark Diven to a dominating performance in this race.

"He surprised me [in] the last race," Diven said. "I was pretty confident that I could win, but I definitely had the doubt in my mind."

South Carroll coach Rob Pennington saw how focused Diven had been in practice this week and wasn't surprised by his performance. Diven stayed close early, made his move at the one-mile mark and took command from there.

"He was on a mission today," Pennington said. "[The loss] was probably the best thing that could have happened to him."

Repsher had an even easier time winning the girls race. The sophomore was timed in 21:35.56, beating South Carroll's Lindsay Warfield (22:07.91) and North Carroll's Amy Watson (22:52.08).

Repsher, who led from start to finish, hopes this effort will prove to be a strong tuneup for the region and state meets coming in the next two weeks.

This is only her first season in cross country, with her lone running experience coming last winter in indoor track. She finished second in the state in the Class 4A 3,200 meters as a freshman, and has become one of the area's top distance runners.

"I guess my goals are to place in the top five in the region and state meets," Repsher said. "That would make me very happy."

Winning the county team championship also made Repsher happy. Lindsay Southworth (fourth), Caitlyn Pyle (eighth), Ally Waranowski (ninth) and Maggie Rager (10th) helped the Owls finish with 32 points.

Century placed two runners - Ashlee Horst (sixth) and Elizabeth Hart (seventh) - in the top 10, but the Knights took second place with 68 points.

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