River Hill wins boys and girls Howard County cross country titles

Oakland Mills' Lang wins girls individual championship

October 25, 2011|By Andrew Conrad, Columbia Flier

The Howard County cross country championship meet, held Tuesday at Centennial, was a day of tradition.

River Hill, which has now won six girls team titles (2003, 2005, 2008-2011) and four boys team titles (2002-2004, 2011) in the past decade, swept the team titles for the first time since 2003. River Hill also swept the boys and girls team titles each year from 1998 to 2000. Atholton crowned its fourth boys champion in the past seven years, junior Gary Smolyak, and Oakland Mills' Tiffany Lang, whose family name is synonymous with running in Columbia, won her first individual title.

Lang, who is coached at Oakland Mills by parents Phil and Vicki Lang, won in a time of 19 minutes, 43 seconds, almost 25 seconds faster than her closest competition, Glenelg freshman Julia Nardone (20:07). Mount Hebron junior Rachel Yep (20:33.49) rounded out the top three.

Lang, who finished fifth as a freshman, eighth as a sophomore and third as a junior, is Oakland Mills' first girls county champion.

"I'm very happy with my time — it's easily the fastest on this course that I've run before," said Lang, who beat her time from last year by more than 40 seconds. "I'm just really happy, and I couldn't have done it without my parents and my God."

Oakland Mills junior Sam Andrews led for much of the boys race, but Smolyak passed him with about a mile to go and ended up winning the race in 17:20.44. Andrews finished third (17:26.54), as Wilde Lake's Tim Virostek used a furious kick down the final straightaway to grab second place (17:22.50).

River Hill coach Earl Lauer's girls teams have won four titles in a row, but he was much more surprised by what his boys team was able to accomplish.

"I thought third, we'll take third," said Lauer, whose team was led by freshman Chris Heydrick, who finished fourth. "But we had a good plan the entire year, and we followed it through. They believed in the plan. They got off of the bus today, and I said, 'How do you feel?' and they said, 'We feel like we're going to win.' I said: 'I ain't saying nothing else. ... Who am I to argue?'

Girls volleyball

No. 1 Arundel 3, North County 0: Cassie Miller had six digs along with five aces, and Lindsay Tapley added seven digs and five aces to lead the Wildcats (13-0) over the Knights, 25-4, 25-8, 25-19 in the regular-season finale for both teams.

No. 2 Archbishop Spalding 3, Seton Keough 0: Jamie Rombach had 11 kills and 10 assists, and Kristen Seeba was 27-for-29 serving with 10 aces to lead the Cavaliers (18-0) past the Gators, 25-11, 25-11, 26-24. Spalding's Katie Graziano had 15 digs and was 12-for-12 serving with two aces.

No. 4 Broadneck 3, South River 0: Mimi Graf had 28 assists, three kills, five digs and a block to power the visiting Bruins (10-2) over the Seahawks, 28-26, 25-6, 25-20. Dinah Jones had 12 kills, three digs and a block, and Ali Graf was 25-for-25 serving with five aces along with 20 digs, three assists and a kill.

Baltimore Sun reporters contributed to this article.

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