C.M. Wright girls don't overthink strategy

they just run

Notebook

November 18, 2007|By Jeff Seidel | Jeff Seidel,Special To The Sun

The top-ranked C. Milton Wright girls cross country team showed the rest of Class 4A how running as a pack can win a team the state championship.

All five Mustang runners finished within 80 seconds of each other, and C.M. Wright totaled 96 points to edge out longtime power Eleanor Roosevelt (97) at Hereford. Coach Donnie Mickey said they had no pre-race strategy and just kept things simple.

"The goal was to go out and run the best possible race we could," Mickey said. "We didn't want to worry about places."

Sara Bailey finished her consistent year in style, placing seventh in 19 minutes, 46 seconds. But Shannon Rafferty (17th), Lindsay Smith (20th), Erica Scripa (24th) and Whitney Hora (36th) helped by finishing within 54 seconds of each other to help the Mustangs beat out a tough field. The championship was the girls' fourth since 1999. The Mustangs needed a solid team effort because they were running against big schools with lots of depth.

The C.M. Wright boys took fourth in the state, with Pete Houlihan (eighth) being the only top 10 finisher.

Bel Air also ran well, taking third in the Class 3A girls and fourth in the boys.

Better than sharing

Fallston, which won the Class 3A state field hockey championship Monday night, was just moments away from being a co-champion.

Caitlin Dempsey's goal with 3:11 left in the second 10-minute overtime period gave Fallston the 1-0 victory over Bethesda-Chevy Chase. But there are no penalty stroke shootouts anymore, so the teams would have split the title if overtime ended in a scoreless tie.

These two teams are among the best in state field hockey history. The state title was Fallston's 10th in school history, while BCC has won 13, including nine in a row from 1994 to 2002.

The Cougars' last state title came in 2001. They lost in last year's state semifinals.

Getting noticed

The season hasn't started yet, but the John Carroll boys basketball team already is making news.

The first ESPN High Elite 25 poll has placed the Patriots at No. 21 in the country. The national ranking is a first for John Carroll, which is coming off a 28-win season.

"We are humbled by our inclusion," said John Carroll coach Tony Martin in a statement. "A tremendous amount of work has gone into receiving recognition like this, yet in many ways we have not earned it."

Meanwhile, two of the Patriots have announced college commitments. Senior forward-center Josh Wiegand made an oral commitment to Loyola College, and classmate Jakub Kusmieruk, a 7-foot-4 center, committed to the University of Central Florida. Kusmieruk is going to sign a National Letter of Intent during the early-signing period.

John Carroll will be moving up to the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference this winter after playing in the B Conference last season. The Patriots also will be traveling around the country to face tough competition.

A good run

The John Carroll girls cross country team ended its season on a good note, as Erika Stasakova (first), Nicole Clarke (fourth) and Elizabeth Tauber (fifth) took three of the top five spots at last weekend's state private schools cross country championships at Glenelg Country School.

The three runners paved the way for the Patriots to take fifth place overall. National Cathedral won the girls team title. John Carroll was coming off of a second-place performance at the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference championships three days earlier.

Soccer charity

There will be a soccer fundraiser Tuesday at Harford Community College to help the families of two high school players battling cancer. Both girls play for private schools in Baltimore City, and players from around the metro area - including Harford County - will compete to raise funds in the "Independently We Compete, United We Stand" event.

The John Carroll girls and Patriots boys will play a group of players from Upper Chesapeake Bay Athletic Conference, including every Harford County high school.

There will be a boys game at 6:30 p.m., followed by a girls match at 8 p.m. Tickets are $5 and can be purchased at the gate located behind the bleachers by the field.

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