By Nelson Coffin, Baltimore Sun Media Group
9:33 PM EDT, September 25, 2013
Maryvale christened its new cross country course with a decisive victory over Roland Park Country School in Brooklandville on Wednesday afternoon.
The Lions, paced by sophomore Kendall Gray (22:49), produced the top six finishers in the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland B Conference meet and won easily despite not having top senior Colleen Cook (foot injury), who is helping the team in other ways.
"Colleen was a quiet leader last year," Maryvale coach Jason Miller said about the conference's fifth-best outdoor miler. "But her passion shows. "She's had a couple of injury-riddled seasons, but she sticks with it. She's right up there with Kendall for us."
Gray was followed by junior Victoria Sill (22:56), sophomore Callie Phillips (23:10), Gray's senior sister, Parker (23:42), senior Katie Linz (24:54) and junior Amanda Weiss (24:59), all of whom finished above the Reds' top performer, sophomore Rachel Ancel (25:47).
Kendall Gray said that the hilly portions of the new 3.03-mile course did not bother her as much as the hairpin turns did.
"When you make those turns too wide, you lose time," she said. "It can be very frustrating."
Trying to stick with her teammates over the first part of the course slowed Gray down a little as well before she took a commanding lead.
"I still did better than I did in a time trial (earlier this season)," she said, noting that she still was not close to her personal best 21:04 set at the Lake Forest Invitational earlier this month.
Roland Park coach Janet Weller said the course was "a rip at the end."
She added that it was a "very challenging, all-terrain" layout.