Annapolis' Eden wins in comeback

Cross country

High Schools

October 03, 2004|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

Hardly any training? Hardly a problem for Will Eden.

The Annapolis senior shook off a month's worth of rust to win the boys large schools race of the Doc Jones Anne Arundel County Invitational at Annapolis yesterday. Arundel junior Marissa McPhail claimed the individual title in the girls large schools division.

Mount Hebron senior Reed Ulrich and the Vikings captured the individual and team crowns in the boys small schools division, while No. 5 Bryn Mawr and sophomore Lauren Childs swept top honors in the small schools race.

Eden had been sidelined for most of September with a sore Achilles' tendon -- an injury that forced him to miss the Knights Invite and the Bull Run Invitational. He also turned his right ankle during an Anne Arundel County meet about 10 days ago.

But Eden looked fresh and strong yesterday as he led from the start and finished in a meet-best 16 minutes, 27.3 seconds, which was 29.1 seconds faster than the runner-up, Chesapeake-AA senior Shane Fraser.

"I just wanted to get my feet wet," said Eden, the reigning two-time county champion. "It just builds my confidence and strength. My speed needs to come around, but my confidence is there."

McPhail's morale also continues to rise. Considered to be the heir apparent to Broadneck alum Lauren Centrowitz -- who won three consecutive Anne Arundel County titles -- McPhail crossed the finish line in 20:03.0. Katlyn Dillow of Leonardtown was second in 20:25.3.

"Since Lauren's gone, I know I have to work hard to accomplish what I want to do," said McPhail, who also claimed the large schools race at the Bull Run Invitational. "My expectations are high."

Childs has had to rewrite her expectations already. Slated as Bryn Mawr's No. 4 runner before the season began, Childs has moved up the ladder with top-five showings at the Peter Geraghty (second place) and Bull Run (fourth) invitationals.

"My goal in the beginning of the year was to keep up with [teammate and junior] Laura Paulsen because she had always beaten me," said Childs, whose winning time of 19:31.9 was the fastest posted by a female runner. "So it's been surprising."

Thanks to Childs, junior Christy Johnson (third place in 20:33.8), Paulsen (fourth, 20:42.6), senior Sinead Nyhan (sixth, 21:20.2) and sophomore Jen Mitton (12th, 22:14.1), the Mawrtians outpaced runner-up Mount Hebron, 24-66.

"They ran with purpose today," said Bryn Mawr coach David Stephens, whose squad placed fifth at the Peter Geraghty Invitational and seventh at the Bull Run Invitational. "I think they want to make the statement that they can compete with anyone."

The closest race occurred in the boys small schools division, where Mount Hebron's Ulrich battled Kyle Gaffney of James H. Blake for the crown.

Gaffney could not make up the gap that Ulrich had built up after the first mile and Ulrich won in 16:45.7. Gaffney finished in 16:54.7.

"After the first mile, I had to dictate the pace," Ulrich said. "I actually prefer it because I don't have to be behind someone. It's mental."

With Ulrich, junior Ronnie Higgs (fifth, 17:39.3), senior Bennett Myers (seventh, 17:56.6), sophomore Lawrence Soto (ninth, 18:00.7) and freshman Mike Janesh (10th, 18:11.9), the Vikings ran past Linganore, 32-55.

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