Four proved to be the magic number for Loyola at Wednesday's Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association championship race.
Loyola won its fourth consecutive team title by four points, while Tyler Spear became the fourth straight Loyola runner to win the race. No. 4 Loyola put five runners in the top 15 to edge out No. 7 Calvert Hall for the title in the race at Oregon Ridge Park.
Spear led almost from the start and no one was able to catch up to the junior as he finished in 15 minutes, 58.4 seconds to beat out McDonogh's Mikey Singer (16:10.1). Spear led the way as Loyola finished with 37 points and edged out Calvert Hall (41).
"I knew every point would matter," Spear said. "I really went out looking to take the lead and go wire-to-wire. I wanted to come out and make a statement."
He did just that on a day better suited for football than racing. The temperature on the Baltimore County course was 43 degrees at race time with an occasional strong gust of wind. .
The weather didn't bother Spear much, considering he did an approximately 10-mile training run during the wind and rain of Hurricane Sandy last week.
"It was pretty bad," he said.
Spear hasn't lost in conference competition this season. Kevin Corbusier won last year with Matt Jablonski taking the title both years before that.
They won this championship thanks to the solid depth that's carried them throughout this four-year period of victories. Kevin Wegner (fourth) and Ted Terpos (fifth) were the other top-10 finishers while Zach Nerenberg (12th) and Frankie Legambi (15th) also pitched in.
Calvert Hall, under first-year coach Cody Miles, pushed the Dons. The Cardinals also had three top-10 runners and five in the top-13.
"They did fantastic," Miles said. "They ran great, and they did what they did what they've been doing all year."
Pat Dunk (third), Peter Rowe (sixth) and Denny Grace (eighth) led the Cardinals while Scott Baker (11th) and Aaron Franklin (13th) also helped out.
St. Paul's won the B Conference team title. The Crusaders, led by Jack Hamed's 10th place overall finish, finished with 30 points and easily defeated Glenelg Country School (88) and Baltimore Lutheran (89).
Joey Pickens of Glenelg Country School (seventh) was the only other B Conference runner to finish in the top 10.
(at Oregon Ridge)
Individuals (A and B Conference overall, top 10): 1. Spear (LOY), 15:58.4; 2. Singer (MCD), 16:10.1; 3. Dunk (CH), 16:24.4; 4. Wegner (LOY), 16:29.3; 5. Terpos (LOY), 16:31.4; 6. Rowe (CH), 16:36.9; 7. Pickens (GCS), 16:49.1; 8. Grace (CH), 16:52.6; 9. Cooke (GIL), 16:54.3; 10. Hamed (SP), 16:55.0.
A Conference (top 5)
1 Loyola, 37; 2. Calvert Hall, 41; 3. McDonogh, 136; 4. Gilman, 154; 5. Spalding, 215.
B Conference (top 5):
1 St. Paul's, 30; 2. Glenelg Country School, 88; 3. Baltimore Lutheran, 89; 4. Boys' Latin, 98; 5. Park, 139.