McCarter makes her move

With mid-race sprint, Mt. Hebron runner tops Hursey in 3A state championship

Cross Country

Varsity

November 12, 2006|By Jeff Seidel | Jeff Seidel,Special to the Sun

Liz McCarter and Katie Hursey will have plenty of time to talk about what happened in yesterday's Class 3A state championship race at Hereford.

Hursey had lost just one race in her two-year career with North Carroll and beat McCarter three times this year before the Mount Hebron senior turned things around yesterday. McCarter made a gutsy mid-race move to take the lead and survived trouble in the final 10 yards to beat the defending champion.

McCarter stumbled and fell about 10 yards from the finish and literally crawled and rolled over the line to win in 19 minutes, 49.11 seconds. Hursey tried to rally when McCarter fell but finished 1.65 seconds behind.

McCarter and coach Paul Ulrich decided that a mid-race sprint could help the senior take charge. She took a lead of up to about 25 yards and held on for the victory.

"I let it rip then," McCarter said. "That was the hardest last half of a race I'd ever run, hands down. My legs just gave out at [the end]."

Hursey hadn't lost a race this year, and her only other high school loss came at the 2005 Bull Run Invitational, also at Hereford. She agreed that McCarter's move changed the race.

"She took off ... and her being able to keep it like that was discouraging," Hursey said.

In an interesting twist, Hursey said she is scheduled to sign a national letter of intent with Syracuse tomorrow - the same school McCarter also is headed to next year. Top-ranked Severna Park repeated as team champion in this race. The Falcons placed three runners in the top 10 and finished with 80 points, easily topping River Hill (116) and No. 10 Bel Air (139). Liya Kasimova (fifth), Sadie Dempsey (ninth) and Kelsey Hill (10th) sparked Severna Park, the only team to put more than one runner in the top 10.

Matthew Centrowitz had an easier time in repeating as state champion in the Class 4A race. The Broadneck senior took such a large lead early that he just focused on trying to beat the state championship record time of 16:00, but the senior came up just short.

Centrowitz won his third straight state title in a time of 16:02.25. His biggest problem came when he slipped and fell for a moment in the final 100 yards. Centrowitz jumped back up but just missed the record, which frustrated the Oregon-bound runner, especially on a day with excellent weather conditions.

"There's no reason I shouldn't have gotten the record," he said. "I didn't really think about it [during the race], but you've just got to stay focused."

He was more hopeful that the Bruins could have a chance to repeat as Class 4A state champions, but they came up far short (11th place). Quince Orchard won the state title with 64 points.

Atholton's Alison Smith also won a third consecutive individual title, in the Class 2A race. She overcame a fall about halfway through the race and sped up to overcome about a 30-yard deficit and win in 19:29.90. Smith beat Howard's Elyse Barisko (19:56.77) and previously unbeaten Kristen Malloy (20:06.11) of Hereford.

Smith said she tried to stay focused after stumbling to the ground and watching Malloy jump ahead.

"All of a sudden, I'm on the ground," Smith said. "My legs gave out, [and] I was so worried."

But she quickly bounced back and took the lead with about a mile left in the three-mile course before pulling away. The team title belonged to No. 9 Howard, however, as the Lions placed five runners in the top 15 for 45 points, beating No. 6 Hereford (68), last year's champion.

Andrew Revelle of Atholton also won a third state title. The senior captured the Class 2A championship in 16:16.24, easily beating No. 4 Francis Scott Key's Arthur Lawrence (17:03.80) and Jared Welsh (17:05.93).

But the team title went to Key as the Eagles landed three runners in the top 10. In addition to Lawrence and Welsh, Zach Holz took ninth place to help Key score 51 points, beating Atholton (75) for the school's first state title.

The No. 2 Wilde Lake boys found the same success in repeating as the Class 3A champions. Wilde Lake put four runners in the top 10 and rolled to an easy victory.

Derek Lange of Wilde Lake pulled a mild surprise by finishing second (17:01.43) and beating teammate J.P. Allera (third, 17:13.84). Stephen Schnorf (seventh) and Evan Anderson (ninth) helped the Wildecats finish with 36 points and beat Bel Air (80) for a second consecutive championship.

No. 2 Dulaney finished second in the Class 4A girls race. Eleanor Roosevelt won its third straight state title with 77 points, beating out Dulaney (99). The Lions couldn't get anyone in the top 10, with Kelly Rush (14th) being their best runner.

The Smithsburg girls edged Williamsport for the Class 1A title. Clear Spring's boys had little trouble repeating as the boys champion in that class.

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