Another year, another Centrowitz gets in first

Broadneck boys sweep

so do C.M. Wright girls

Cross country

High Schools

October 02, 2004|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

If the area cross country scene thought it would no longer have to compete with the name Centrowitz, guess again.

Matthew Centrowitz, a sophomore at Broadneck, claimed his first individual title in just his third career invitational yesterday, winning the boys race in the Harford Invitational at Tollgate Park in Bel Air in 15 minutes, 34.91 seconds.

Centrowitz's victory allowed the No. 3 Bruins to clip No. 2 Liberty for the team crown.

A similar sweep occurred in girls competition as C. Milton Wright sophomore Allison Barnes and the No. 1 Mustangs took the individual and team championships.

For Centrowitz, whose sister Lauren won back-to-back Class 4A state titles in cross country before leaving for Stanford this past summer, yesterday's performance served to validate his decision to switch from soccer to cross country this fall.

"After track, a lot of people were coming up to me and trying to persuade me to run cross country," said Centrowitz, a Class 4A East region champion in the 3,200-meter race last spring. "It's been great so far. No regrets."

Centrowitz, second at the Knights Invite and third in the elite race at the Bull Run Invitational, never trailed after the half-mile mark of the 3-mile course and coasted to a 31-second victory over runner-up and teammate Matt Llano.

"I felt really comfortable today," Centrowitz said. "At every quarter-mile, I decided to pick it up a little bit more. ... After a while, I just ran against the clock."

With Llano, a junior, placing second in 16:05.26, senior Kellen Hamill 19th in 16:50.26, senior Bryan Haglund 22nd in 16:54.19, senior Seth Woodward 31st in 16:58.89 and Centrowitz, Broadneck compiled 75 team points.

That was enough to skip past Liberty, which placed five runners in the top 28 for 86 team points.

"I told the guys at the beginning of the season that this was their year," Bruins coach Dana Dobbs said. "They're going to grab more attention, and as the year goes on and more people see them, they're going to realize that they will be a force to be reckoned with."

Walt Whitman from Montgomery County was third in the boys race with 145 points. Although No. 8 Centennial and Urbana from Frederick County both finished with 163 points, Centennial earned fourth place because the Eagles' No. 6 runner placed 58th and Urbana's finished 94th.

The girls race was more lopsided as C. Milton Wright put five runners in the top 12 to post just 27 points and grab its third straight Harford Invitational crown.

Efforts from Barnes (first place in 18:17.68), senior Kelli Buck (third, 18:40.08), freshman Sara Bailey (fifth, 18:50.57), junior Megan Ravenscraft (sixth, 19:10.51) and junior Danielle Burcham (12th, 19:31.65) helped the Mustangs outdistance runner-up Urbana by 75 points.

"We're extremely motivated now," Buck said, alluding to the team's stunning third-place showing in the elite race at the Bull Run Invitational two weeks ago. "We have a lot of talent on this team, we work hard, and we want to show what we can do."

Barnes collected her second invitational win in three attempts this fall. Barnes, the reigning Class 3A state champion who triumphed at the Spiked Shoe Invitational on Sept. 11, bested Atholton sophomore Alison Smith (second, 18:36.90), Buck and Towson junior Lauren Capone (fourth, 18:40.65) for the victory.

Yesterday's meet marked the return of Capone, who has battled blackouts and exhaustion for several weeks. Capone said possible causes include low blood sugar and low blood pressure but that no cause has been isolated.

Broadneck's No. 4-ranked girls placed third with 111 points, Walt Whitman fourth with 151, and Mount de Sales fifth with 202.

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