The Hereford boys cross country team was celebrating a championship one minute and relinquishing it the next.
The No. 8 Bulls appeared to have won their second consecutive Baltimore County title Monday, but one of their runners was disqualified after the race for a uniform violation. After the scores were recalculated, the team title went to Towson (49 points), while Hereford (57) slipped to third behind host Dulaney (54).
In the girls competition, Dulaney edged Hereford for the team crown.
The Hereford runner who initially finished fourth in the boys race was cited for wearing black compression shorts underneath his uniform pants that had visible white stitching. That violates Rule 9, Section 6, Article 1b of the National Federation of High Schools rule book, which states: "Items displaying seams stitched on the outside of the garment in a visible contrasting color to the undergarment will be illegal beginning with the 2009-10 school year."
"They can take the plaque away, but they can't take away the race," Hereford co-coach Jason Bowman said. "Our kids ran great today."
Hereford's Mason Rivera won the race with a late charge. He finished in 16 minutes, 17.1 seconds, beating out Matt Rever of Dulaney (16:40.2) and Pikesville's Blake Stein (16:48.5).
Towson coach Ed Faya expressed his sympathy for the Bulls.
"It's an unfortunate situation," Faya said. "We have the utmost respect for them. I'm very proud of [how] my boys ran."
William Fesperman (fourth), Jesse Gardner (seventh) and Benjamin Negron (ninth) gave the Generals three top-10 finishers, as they won their first county title since 2005.
The Dulaney girls put five runners in the top eight and finished with 27 points, enough to defeat Hereford by 4. Lauren Kennedy won the race for the Bulls in 19:43.1, beating out Dulaney's Chelsey Bush (19:52.1).
Hannah Faughn (fourth), Michelle Gaeng (sixth), Abbie Trippe (seventh) and Sydney Glenn (eighth) finished out the Lions' top five. Gaeng, Trippe and Glenn finished just 2.6 seconds apart.
Emily Vandewater (third), Rachel Barkley (fifth), Emily Randall (10th) and Bailey Wilhelm (12th) rounded out Hereford's top five. Eleven of the first 12 runners in the race came from Dulaney or Hereford.
This article misidentified Towson boys cross country coach Ed Faya when it was initially published online. The Baltimore Sun regrets the error.