Severna Park paces strong county performance

PARKTON — After winning three straight titles from 2012 to 2014, the agony of last year’s one-point defeat to Dulaney served as the perfect motivational tool for the Severna Park boys’ cross country team and coach Josh Alcombright.

The journey to win the program's fourth state title and stop Dulaney’s two-year title run started immediately after that race and the Falcons culminated that journey by usurping the Lions, 40-77, while the girls team continued its ascendancy with a second-place finish.

Severna Park’s success was the exclamation point on a strong statement for the county, as five boys and four girls placed in the top 10 in the 4A races and three of the top five girls teams came from the area.

“Last year was a little bit of a wake-up call for the team and for me to be honest,” Alcombright said. “I was a little lazy and maybe a little bit overconfident as a coach. It stung and I had to live with my mistakes the last 365 days, so to come back and do that against essentially two teams that, neither one of us lost anybody last year, it’s a little bit of redemption. Dulaney is still a great team and we expect to battle them in the coming years too, but it was our day today.”

Garrison Clark led the charge for the Falcons as he has throughout the playoff races. Clark sat just off the front pact biding his time before Hereford’s infamous dip. After the dip, he asserted himself, coming back up the dip in a battle for second with Howard’s Nicholas Deamer that he pulled away late to take second. Adam Nakasaka of Bethesda-Chevy Chase won the race in 15:50.63, now the fifth fastest time in the meet’s history.

“First mile we knew that we had to take it a little bit easier because obviously the dip was going to hurt and take the breath out of us,” Clark said. “We just wanted to get out and I guess after about the first mile we just wanted to race with everything we’ve got. It definitely means a lot, especially since me and my teammates have all worked so hard to accomplish what we did today. They are pushing me every single day and that’s what makes this possible, they are right on me, I am right on them, we just work together.”

Clark’s teammates Jonah Lane (fifth), Samuel Martin (eighth) and Nicholas Plummer (10th) all cracked the top 10, while South River’s Sam Keeny finished strong to earn sixth and Spencer Tate of Broadneck finished 12th. The Bruins and Seahawks finished seventh and ninth, respectively.

Last year’s runner up in the girls 4A race, Abigail Green of Walter Johnson, took control in the race’s opening moments and cruised to a victory in 18:17.40. Behind her, Annapolis’ Anna Coffin and Severna Park’s Kamryn Eveleth continued their work together, just as they have throughout the postseason, this time avenging a loss at the region meet to Leonardtown’s Nelle Ray by surging past her in the race’s last quarter mile.

Coffin used her strong kick to cut left past Eveleth and to a second-place finish, less than a second ahead of Eveleth.

“I knew that Kamryn was going to be there because she is always there next to me,” Coffin said. “It's awesome to have her because we were both kind of talking to each other because we were so close. She did kind of make a move and she had like three feet in front of me and I wasn't sure I had it in me. It was really tough, but I am always pretty confident about my kick so I knew once I came down that hill I’d probably be able to kick past her but she had a great race and I’m glad I had her.”

Eveleth combined with strong performances from Catie Cambon, who finished tenth, as well as Kelsie O’Neill and Brenna Mullaney helped the Falcons sneak closer than anticipated to winner Walter Johnson, a good sign for a team that has won five state titles in their own right, their last in 2009, and graduates only Cambon from their top seven.

“I thought the girls did exactly what we asked them to do,” Alcombright said. “We have been stressing to get out there and get that podium position and if anybody wants to take it away from you they are going to have to come after you. They ran great, they almost snuck away with the win.”

South River’s Bronwyn Patterson (11th), Pamela O’Brien (17th) and Hannah McGlynn (18th) all finished in the top 20 and helped the Seahawks to a fourth place finish.

Broadneck’s Olivia Janke took ninth place and Anna Janke took 19th to help the Bruins to a top five finish.

In the 2A races, Molly Connelly and Brandon Nichols took 11th in their races with Nichols leading the boys team to a fifth-place finish with 182 points.

BOYS INDIVIDUAL RESULTS

1, Nakasaka (BCC), 15:50.63; 2, Clark (SP), 15:57.73; 3, Deamer (HO), 15:59.92; 4, Suhr (RM), 16:11.72; 5, Lane (SP), 16:11.94; 6, Keeny (SR), 16:14.62; 7, Bratt (WW), 16:22.56; 8, Martin (SP), 16:23.82; 9, Mussie (AE), 16:24.13; 10, Plummer (SP), 16:26.98.

BOYS TEAM RESULTS

1, Severna Park, 40; 2, Dulaney, 77; 3, Walt Whitman, 160; 4, Bethesda-Chevy Chase, 163; 5, Howard, 197; 6, Wooton, 208; 7, Broadneck, 231; 8, Richard Montgomery, 269; 9, South River, 272; 10, Northwest, 294.

GIRLS INDIVIDUAL RESULTS

1, Green (WJ), 18:17.40; 2, Coffin (AN), 18:56.40; 3, Eveleth (SP), 18:57.30; 4, Ray (LE), 19:13.20; 5, Scott (WJ), 19:27.40; 6, Strouse (UR), 19:30.60; 7, Kass (PB), 19:36.00; 8, Trzeciak (WO), 19:37.60; 9, Janke (BN), 19:41.60; 10, Cambon (SP), 19:43.10

GIRLS TEAM RESULTS

1, Walter Johnson, 83; 2, Severna Park, 98; 3, Wooton, 116; 4, South River, 148; 5, Broadneck, 192; 6, Walt Whitman, 200; 7, Bethesda Chevy Chase, 213; 8, Dulaney, 225; 9, Montgomery Blair, 257; 10, Quince Orchard, 258.

MARYLAND PRIVATE SCHOOL CHAMPIONSHIP: Sophomore Robby Dubinski of Severn School took seventh place overall in the Maryland Private School Cross Country Championship Meet at Georgetown Prep on Saturday. After a blistering first mile by a crowded field on the hilly course, Dubinski and the other lead runners began separating themselves from the pack over the long back stretch. Dubinski finished in a time of 17:37, edging Landon's Jace Menendez in the final 100 yards. Dalton Hengst of McDonogh was the overall winner in a time of 16:32.

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