Although Baltimore County was shut out of the team titles at the 30th annual Barnhart Invitational, they did get a couple of quality performances from county runners.
Dulaney junior Isabel Griffith started the meet by winning the girls race in a personal best time of 18:54.
Catonsville senior Luke Chetelat was the top Baltimore County public school boys runner as he placed fifth (16:48).
“I was so excited on my home course on a beautiful day, it was awesome,” Griffith said.
The junior, who finished second at Barnhart last year, cut five seconds off her previous best on the course and credited it to her blistering start.
“I’ve never done the first mile that fast in my life,” she said. “That was incredible. That was insane. I couldn’t believe I did it. For me, if I go out there to the lead I am not going to give it up. I had to redeem myself."
Her performance did not sneak up on Dulaney coach Chad Boyle.
“It was absolutely not a surprise that she came out like that,” Boyle said.
“She is a supper athlete and is stepping into a leadership role on this team. Today, she established herself as one of the top runners in the state.”
Griffith, junior Lily Klein (9th, 20:36), sophomore Christa Carey (14th, 21:14), senior Krissy Link (19th, 21:33) and junior Alison Schwartz (20th, 21:38) helped the Lion girls (60 points) to second behind front-running Centennial (31).
Dulaney freshman Brynn Jones (24th, 21:46) and sophomore Sarang Hentz (25th 21:48), who ran sixth and seventh for the team, were running in their first invitational, along with Schwartz and Carey.
“They did a great job,” Boyle said. “I’m sure they were nervous, but they know what it means to run for this program.”
Griffith, a captain in her junior year, also knows her role.
“This summer I felt like I knew the importance of summer training a lot more, and as an upperclassman and captain, it kind of gives you responsibility and I’m determined to get better,” Griffith said.
“She really works independently to make herself a better athlete,” Boyle said.
For three weeks over the summer, Griffith was in Costa Rica starting a training program with her mom.
“Our team donated used running shoes,” Boyle said. “It was a great cause and she did it, but that’s the kind of person she is. This (win) was a great statement for her and she is really deserving of it.”
The Dulaney boys finished fifth overall (76) in the team race won by Centennial (49).
The Lions were led by Daniel Fordyce (10th, 17:18).
Catonsville’s Chetelat ran six seconds faster than he did on the same Dulaney course, when he ran 19:54 and finished ninth at the 2011 Baltimore County championships.
His 5:20 split in the first mile of the 3.1-mile course gave him the confidence he needed the rest of the way.
“My goal at the beginning of the race was top 10,” said Chetelat, who followed coach Sandra Gallagher-Mohler’s advice to go out with the lead pack.
He stayed with the top runners from Centennial and Loyola Blakefield, while race winner Pat DuBoyce, of Linganore (15:47), ran to the lead and never gave it up.
“I didn’t care about my time,” Chetelat said. “The time comes with the place, so the whole race I was focusing on my breathing and my stride.”
Chetelat was eighth after the first mile and continued gaining.
“I was planning on moving up some more after that first hill, which is a real killer on you and I was still feeling great,” he said. “I wasn’t aiming for a PR, but that’s what happens when everything goes right.”
Although they finished second, a lot went right for runner-up Loyola-Blakefield.
They placed three runners in the top 10 led by junior Tyler Spear (2nd, 16:11), senior Ted Terpos (7th, 17:07) and freshman Frankie Legambi (8th, 17:10). Zach Nerenberg (28th, 17:43) and Sean Duffy (31st, 17:49) rounded out the top five for the Dons.
Baltimore County boys results (top 5 each school)
Catonsville (3rd, 100) 4. Luke Chetelat (15:48), 19. Kirubel Asfaw (17:32), 22. Brooks Ward (17:35), 25. Sam Besse (17:37), 29. Anthony Huynh (17:45).
Dulaney (5th, 112) 10. Daniel Fordyce (17:18), 14. Adolfo Carvalho (17:24), 15. Brian Witty (17:25), 33. Jon Anderson (18:01), 40. Ethan Griffin (18:10)
Towson (6th, 175) 20. Alex Negron (17:33), 24. Dylan Kirby (17:36), 39. Vaughn Parts (18:09), 45. James Kavanaugh (18:15), 47. Hudson Thomas (18:16).
Pikesville (10th, 298) 17. Max Sterling (17:30), 26. Solomon Menelik (17:39), 77. Ben Synder (19:18), 86. Jason Foland (19:42), 92. Needleman Luke (19:58).
Loch Raven (13th, 376) 54. Cliff Buxbaum (18:31), 68. William Kirsch (19:02), 80. Jacob Sapp (19:24), 84. Larry Preis (19:38), 90. Jeremy Sierakowski (19:49).
Franklin (14th, 422) 64. Jeff Claggett (18:56), 71. Darin Berry (19:08), 91. Oscar Mercham (19:55), 96. Nandu Rami (20:13), 103. Brent Adleman (20:53)
Baltimore County girls results (top 5)
Dulaney (2nd, 60) 1. Isabel Griffith (18:54), 9. Lily Klein (20:36), 14. Christa Carey (21:14), 19. Krissy Link (21:33), 20. Alison Schwartz (21:38).
Catonsville (4th, 150) 4. Tara Macdonald (19:51), 28. Sandy Brown (21:55), 38. Stephanie Norris (22:30), 39. Mara Lins (22:42), 45. Rosa Rada (22:59).
Towson (5th, 162) 8. Hannah Voelker (20:32), 23. Madeline Macechko (21:45), 42. Ana Burcham (22:55), 43. Katherine Beahn (22:56), 51. Sally Mercer (23:23).
Franklin (8th, 222) 34. Anna Parsons (22:17), 40. Rachel Doll (22:51), 41. Ashley Bogert (22:55), 53. Merritt Dermer (23:28) 62. Morgan Sacks (24:10).
Loch Raven (9th, 237) 17. Jocelyn Corey (21:22), 56. India Sok (23:41), 57. Emily Tourangeau (23:50), 59. Kelsie Williams (24:02), 61. Kenya Richardson (24:07).