Harman leads River Hill girls to Knights title

Cross country

High Schools

September 24, 2005|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,Sun reporter

For the past few years, the River Hill boys cross country team has dominated the headlines.

Yesterday, it was the girls squad's turn.

The No. 3 Hawks put five runners in the top 17 to capture the team crown, while freshman Katie Harman secured the individual title at the Knights Invite at Baybrook Park in Baltimore.

Not to be outdone, the No. 6 boys team also earned top honors. Sherwood junior Chris Barnard claimed the individual crown.

River Hill's girls team has been surprisingly solid this fall, shedding its unranked label by posting runner-up showings at the Howard County Striders Invitational and in the large schools division of the Bull Run Invitational this month.

Yesterday, the Hawks earned their first victory on the strength of 41 points from Harman (first place in 19 minutes, 26.84 seconds), senior Bess Seelaus (fourth, 19:52.68), sophomore Meghan Yi (seventh, 20:34.71), freshman Alicia Seelaus (12th, 21:05.24) and freshman Jamie Scott (17th, 21:22.37).

"We didn't have jack with the girls last year, but this year, they're complementing the boys," coach Earl Lauer said. "They're getting better, more confident."

One of those runners brimming with potential is Harman. Although she stopped briefly at one point during the race because of her unfamiliarity with the course, Harman outpaced runner-up and Anne Arundel County champion Tait Woodward of Broadneck by almost seven seconds.

"This course was fast," said Harman, who has placed third and sixth at the Bull Run and Striders invitationals. "I expected to do well in this race, but I didn't expect to win."

Woodward, a junior, did power the No. 6 Bruins to 52 points and second place. No. 2 Severna Park finished third with 100 despite resting its top five runners.

Rest seemed to be the theme on the boys side, too. No. 2 Broadneck did not have the services of defending Class 4A state champion and junior Matthew Centrowitz, No. 8 Severna Park rested its top five runners, and Sherwood - which collected the large schools crown at Bull Run - competed without its Nos. 2 and 4 runners, both of whom were ill.

River Hill continued its season without senior and reigning Howard County champion Sergiy Zubko, who is recovering from a knee injury and is expected to compete in his first invitational at the Meade Autumn Classic in two weeks.

But that didn't stop the Hawks from placing five runners in the top 14 yesterday.

Senior Andrew Bank (eighth, 16:54.37), freshman Alex Mahoney (ninth, 16:56.96), senior Andrew Sasser (10th, 16:57.27), senior Kevin McCoy (11th, 16:57.93) and sophomore Michael Feroe (14th, 17:10.37) lifted River Hill to 52 points and a 19-point margin over runner-up Sherwood.

The Bruins placed third with 75 points. South River - which boasted a second-place outing from junior Chris Moody (16:12.14), a transfer from Archbishop Spalding - was fourth with 122, while Archbishop Curley used junior Erik Anderson's third-place effort (16:24.65) to finish fifth with 130 points.

edward.lee@baltsun.com

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