It's sweet win for Donadio

Cross country

High schools


Michelle Donadio's poker face was nearly perfect.

But minutes after winning her first Baltimore County cross country championship yesterday, the Franklin senior allowed herself the slightest of smiles when she was asked what the title meant to her.

"A lot," she said. "It definitely gets my mind set for states [in two weeks], so I'm pretty excited."

Donadio's expression masked the relief that comes from vanishing memories of near-wins. She was fourth in the county championships in 2003 and again in 2004.

Yesterday at Dulaney, Donadio used her usual strategy of setting the early pace. Only Hereford freshman Kristen Malloy was able to keep up with her.

With a little more than a mile left, Donadio made a decision.

"I didn't want to lose it," she recalled. "I pretty much knew that if she beat me, I at least had second, so I thought, `If I at least have second, why don't I just go for it?'"

Donadio did just that, crossing the finish line in 18 minutes, 34.2 seconds, defeating a field that included 2004 county titlist and Dulaney sophomore Emma Larkin, who finished third, and 2003 champion and Towson senior Lauren Capone, who was fifth. Second-place Malloy was 16 seconds back.

On the boys side, Woodlawn junior Dwight Parker claimed his second straight county title. Parker, who never trailed, bettered his career-best time of 16:26 that he recorded in Dulaney's Barnhart Memorial Invitational last month by winning in 16:15.3.

"I didn't have much doubt," he said of defending the crown. "I knew that I've been getting some good training, and I've been practicing hard. I stayed positive and stayed confident."

Both team championships went to Dulaney, but not without stiff challenges.

The No. 1 girls team warded off No. 5 Hereford, 46-51.

Performances by Larkin (third in 18:58.6), sophomore Kelly Rush (fourth, 19:00.7), senior Sara Cimino (seventh, 19:24.6), junior Kate Askine (11th, 20:03.8) and senior Julie Karmer (22nd, 21:03.0) propelled the Lions to their 16th consecutive crown.

Perry Hall was third with 99 points, Franklin fourth with 114 and Towson fifth with 132.

The No. 5 Dulaney boys squad avoided an upset bid by Towson in winning its sixth straight title and seventh in the past eight years, 76-85.

The efforts of junior Vince Walsh (second, 16:40.5), senior Matthew Bond (fourth, 17:00.3), junior John Clasing (19th, 17:57.7), junior Ben Wolfe (21st, 17:58.8) and senior Alex Vasquez (34th, 18:23.1) paced the Lions.

Hereford (97), Perry Hall (127) and Catonsville (137) rounded out the top five.

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.