The Bull Run Invitational, Maryland's largest cross-country meet, was the stage Saturday for a North Harford Hawks' demonstration of outstanding hill-running.
More than 100 high school teams convened in Parkton to race on Hereford High School's hilly 3-mile course. The North Harford girls captured the runner-up trophy in the Medium Schools Division by placing three runners in the top seven places.
Megan Tidey finished third in 21:29; Casey Welsh, fifth in 21:52; and Annie Scott, seventh in 22:03 in the field of 147 runners. Regan Davis, 16th in 22:46, and Ellen Shephard, 37th in 23:44, completed the scoring.
"We wanted the girls to focus on being in the top third throughout the first 800 meters to the 1 mile mark and then try to move up through the field," North Harford coach Eric Benjamin said. "Saturday was the first time in quite some time our top four girls were able to do that and continue to stay competitive."
Of the 87 girls' teams among all four divisions, the Hawks ranked 12th overall based on their finishing times.
Nick Fransham, North Harford sophomore, turned in one of the top boys' performances. He finished second in 16:48, just 1 second behind winner Nick Simpson of Albert Einstein. Fransham's time was the 10th best among all 700 boys in the varsity races of the meet. With one other runner in the top 50 - Chris Busiak, 35th in 18:51 - the Hawks placed ninth as a team.
Edgewood put two runners in the top 10 and finished 11th as a team in the Medium Schools division: Lenier Tucker was seventh in 17:34; Michael Dzambasow, 10th in 17:53; and Sam Verk, 46th in 19:05.
In the same division, Matt Hoerr finished 15th in 18:07 to lead C. Milton Wright to fifth place. Dan Fleming, 21st in 18:20, and Mike Capozzoli, 40th in 18:56, also registered top-50 finishes.
Kelley O'Neill led the Wright girls at 12th place in 22:28. Miriam Silton was 26th in 23:10, and Taylor Walker, 36th in 23:44. The Wright girls' team was incomplete and did not place in the scoring.
The Bel Air girls placed fourth in the Medium Schools Division with four runners in the top 50. Kelsea Hilditch was 13th in 22:30; Grayson Slencak, 15th in 22:38; Miranda Bushman, 40th in 23:55; and Megan Caudill, 42nd in 24:14.
Jordan Mensh led Bel Air's boys to 14th place with a 48th-place finish in 19:07. Aberdeen, led by Marquez Sloan, 21:36, placed 27th in the boys' race.
John Carroll girls third
Kristen Kohles finished seventh in the Small Schools Division race to lead the John Carroll girls' to a third place finish. Kohles, a junior, clocked 21:08. Amanda Spaeth finished 25th in 22:26; Holly Driver, 26th in 22:26; Alex Gromacki, 32nd in 22:49; and Ellie Marindin, 68th in 24:39 to score 150 points.
Dave Knaide led the John Carroll boys to a 10th-place finish. He ran 18:23 in 13th place. Will Horn, 18:54, was the Patriots' number-two runner at 29th place.
In the same race, Sam Burgess led Fallston with a 20th-place finish in a field of 235 runners in 18:35. Emily Scranton paced the Fallston girls with a 25:12 in 81st place.
Sam Caretti was the first finisher for Patterson Mill in the Small Schools boys' race. He placed 35th in 19:06. Samantha Herman led the Husky girls in 24:56.
Paige Englehart was the top finisher for Harford Christian School at 26:32.