Throughout much of the 2013 fall season, Howard County has produced some of the top runners in the state. It was evident Saturday in the 3A state championship meet. Though no Howard County boys team or individual claimed a title at McDaniel College, the consistency from top to bottom was exceptional.
Keeping up with his late season surge, Wilde Lake’s David Eisenhauer claimed the No. 2 position with a time of 16:15.6, just behind winner Ben Freed (16:06.9) of Thomas Johnson.
Not far behind Eisenhauer was Centennial’s Alec Font, who finished third with a time of 16:18.5. Linganore’s Dan Beck (16:18.9) and River Hill’s Chris Heydrick (16:22.7) rounded out the top five.
Overall, 11 of the first 25 finishers were from Howard County.
“Howard County is a great cross country county,” said Mt. Hebron coach Paul Ulrich, who watched the Vikings boys team claim second place in the team competition with 100 points behind Thomas Johnson (86). “(The success) is a testament to the kids and the coaches. We compete against each other and we fight against each other all year.”
Atholton (133) and River Hill (150) rounded out the top five in the boys team standings.
Following Eisenhauer’s 3A East regional victory, the junior transplant from Washington state said he was excited after yet another big finish. In the state meet, he said he even found himself gravitating towards his fellow Howard County competitors as well.
“I was kind of hoping (the other runners from my county) would stay with the front pack when I took off,” he said. “I can’t do it by myself with the wind.”
Just as he did in regionals, Eisenhauer shook nearly every competitor’s hand as they finished the race.
Font’s third-place finish was mirrored by his team as a whole, who also took home a bronze with 113 points.
“Me and Hutson (Baumann) went out right together. I wanted to catch him and work with him,” said Font. “He had an awesome race as well.”
Baumann (16:32.4) was the Eagles’ second finisher.
“I definitely think that, in terms of individual performance, we’re a better team than last year,” Font added.
Howard County’s consistent running showcased itself outside of the 3A competition as well. Oakland Mills (132) finished fifth overall behind winner Catoctin’s 61 points.
“We’re happy this minute, that’s for sure,” said coach Phil Lang. “I told these guys at the starting line…I didn’t think there was anybody that was off the hook great.”
Lang said it was important for his group to remember that they weren’t competing against the likes of Centennial, River Hill or other boys powerhouse teams.
Tom Brumbaugh finished 18th (17th team place) with a time of 17:14.7.
Marriotts Ridge (318) finished 13th overall, while Hammond (559) finished 20th.
Poolesville’s Chase Weaverling (15:42.8) was first overall.
Howard finished 17th with 445 points as the county’s lone 4A school. The Lions’ top runner, Luke Filar, finished 65th overall.
“4A is more competitive,” he said after the race.
Severna Park’s Ryan Forsyth (15:41.3) finished first overall, propelling his squad to a 38-point victory in the team standings as well.