Nagle strides into Broadneck spotlight

Cross country: The Bruins are pinning their hopes on the senior as she steps in for two-time Runner of the Year Lauren Centrowitz.

High Schools

September 17, 2004|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

Emily Nagle's shoulders don't sag, her back is straight and her legs are fresh and strong.

That's somewhat remarkable considering the weight placed on the Broadneck senior.

Widely considered one of the state's best cross country runners the previous two seasons, Nagle understands that people expect her not only to win the Class 4A state crown, but also assume that she can pace the No. 3 Bruins to their third consecutive state championship.

Her first major test will come tomorrow in the Bull Run Invitational at Hereford High School.

Nagle also understands that the spotlight will be trained on her because Broadneck is competing this fall without Lauren Centrowitz, The Sun's two-time All-Metro Runner of the Year in cross country who now runs for Stanford.

But don't expect her to buckle under the pressure.

"I try to just take it with a smile, but it's what you do when you get out on the course," Nagle said. "If I think about it all at once, it is [stressful], but I just try to think about the next race."

Success is no stranger to Nagle, who made the All-Metro team the previous two years despite running behind Centrowitz. Nagle has also been named to the All-Arundel County team in indoor track twice and in outdoor track once.

But her accomplishments were sometimes overshadowed by Centrowitz, who won two straight Class 4A championships in cross country and enhanced the Bruins' tradition of producing quality runners. Nagle, to her credit, did not get discouraged or bitter, said Broadneck coach Dana Dobbs.

"One of the things I've been telling Emily over the past couple of years is that, anywhere else, she's somebody's No. 1 [runner]," he said. "It just so happened that having Lauren here kind of made her take a backseat role.

"It doesn't make that role any less important because cross country is a sport where it's not you're only as good as your No. 1. It's those supporting roles - Nos. 2, 3, 4, 5 - that play a vital role."

Nagle, who was one of the few Bruins who could keep up with Centrowitz during workouts, acknowledged that life after Centrowitz has been different.

"The first couple of workouts, I was like, `Who am I supposed to run with?'" she said. "It's been really different being the only girl with the boys during a workout."

The season began surprisingly for Nagle, who finished fourth behind winner Marissa McPhail of Arundel and Broadneck teammates Tait Woodward and Kasey Jamison at a county quad-meet at Arundel.

"I went in with one mindset, that this was going to be easy, and it definitely wasn't," Nagle recalled. "It's not going to be easy for me just because people think I'm going to be good."

She rebounded nicely by claiming the individual title at the Knights Invite last Friday. She has capped off team practices by running an extra mile or so.

Jamison, a junior who is a tri-captain along with Nagle and senior Jacquelin Sibears, said Nagle hasn't shied away from assuming the No. 1 mantle.

"I think she's excited about it because she's been wanting to be No. 1 forever," Jamison said. "It's finally her chance to shine and lead this team, hopefully, to victory."

Dobbs has not hid his faith in Nagle. When people ask him how he expects Broadneck to win another state title without Centrowitz, his response is usually, "Have you seen Emily Nagle?"

And he is constantly reminding Nagle that this season is hers to mold.

"When I was racing [at the Knights Invite], I could hear him say, `It's your year, it's your year,'" Nagle said. "I hope it is my year. We'll have to find out."

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.