The more things change, the more they stay the same is an often used cliche. It can certainly find relevance in regards to the Anne Arundel County cross country championships.
Despite roster turnover from year to year, the Severna Park boys and Broadneck girls have found consistency. The Falcons soared to their seventh consecutive team title and the Bruins to their third straight crown, while Annapolis’ Anna Coffin won the girls individual title, marking the fourth straight season a Panther named Coffin captured the crown.
Severna Park has been hungry from the outset this season to avenge its one-point loss to Dulaney at the state championships last year and took its first step toward redemption on Wednesday. The Falcons placed their entire top seven in the top nine positions, led by Garrison Clark, who won the race in 15:24.30, 14 seconds ahead of teammate Jonah Lane.
“ I wanted to get the motivation and the determination that we need for our team and I just wanted to our team to do extraordinarily well today,” Clark said. “I wanted to do it for the other six, do it for my teammates and not for myself.”
Samuel Martin, Hugh O’Connor, Nicholas Plummer and Sean Engelfried finished fourth through seventh for Severna Park, which has now won 10 of the last 11 county titles and aims to win its 10th straight region title next week at Arundel.
“I think they made a little bit of a statement today,” Severna Park coach Josh Alcombright said. “We are trying not to have a repeat of what happened last year, we are trying to take things a little smarter and they executed their race plan exactly the way we wanted them to.”
Sam Keeny of South River broke up the Falcon contingent by finishing third while Broadneck’s Spencer Tate finished eighth. The Bruins and the Seahawks finished second and third, respectively.
Broadneck coach Brianna Bostic knew her girls love running the fast and relatively flat course at Chesapeake and used that as motivation to help them prepare for the challenge that Severna Park and South River were going to throw at them.
“My girls love this course and I kind of took advantage of that,” Bostic said. “Our talk all this week was that one point makes a difference, every point matters, every person you can pass can make a difference and clearly it did today with just three points separating us.”
The individual race reflected that as Coffin, Broadneck’s Olivia Janke and Severna Park's Kamryn Eveleth battled back and forth throughout the race, with Coffin using a late kick to pull away for the win.
“I’m happy I had the competition because they really pushed me to a good time, but it was really stressful,” Coffin said. “I usually like to use the downhills to make my move, but Kamryn kind of surprised me. She's really good on the downhill so she pushed me, but then on this last straightaway I was really pushing as hard as I could. I was really, really hoping to win this race, and when she passed me I got nervous so it was good that she did that.”
Coffin and Eveleth were essentially in a dead heat coming into the final quarter mile before Coffin launched into a kick to leave Eveleth behind while Janke surged hard at the end to pass Eveleth, gaining what proved to be one of several crucial points for the Bruins.
Anna Janke finished fourth for Broadneck, while Hannah McGlynn and Bronwyn Patterson of South River were fifth and sixth, as the Seahawks finished a very close third, just 13 points behind the Bruins.
Catie Cambon and Kelsie O’Neill of Severna Park finished seventh and eighth while Rebecca Vavasseur of Annapolis was ninth and Kirstin Nichols of Arundel rounded out the top 10.
Next week's region meet at Arundel will provide a big test with it’s set of daunting hills, adding an element of uncertainty to what should be another very tight race for the girl’s crown, which the Bruins will look to defend.
“Any one of the three teams could completely switch up and Arundel is a completely different course,” Bostic said. “All those hills makes it for a totally different race.”
1, Clark (SP) 15:24.30; 2, Lane (SP) 15:38.70; 3, Keeny (SR) 15:46.80; 4, Martin (SP) 15:53.70; 5, O’Connor (SP) 15:54.30.
BOYS TEAM SCORES
1, Severna Park, 18; 2, Broadneck, 6; 3, South River, 91; 4, Arundel, 121; 5, Old Mill, 169; 6, Annapolis, 178; 7, Southern, 216; 8, Chesapeake, 235; 9, North County, 260; 10, Northeast, 269; 11, Glen Burnie, 298; 12, Meade, 316.
1, Coffin (AN) 17:56.60; 2, O. Janke (BN) 18:03.90; 3, Eveleth (SP) 18:07.40; 4, A. Janke (BN) 18:42.30; 5, McGlynn (SR) 18:58.00.
GIRLS TEAM SCORES
1, Broadneck, 47; 2, Severna Park, 50; 3, South River, 60; 4, Arundel, 118; 5, Annapolis, 122; 6, Old Mill, 168; 7, Chesapeake, 188; 8, Southern, 241.