Tyler Spear and his Loyola teammates made repeating as champions look easy on Wednesday.
Spear won the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association title race for the second straight year at Oregon Ridge Park. The senior led the way as the No. 5 Dons placed three runners in the top 10 en route to its fifth consecutive A Conference team title.
The conditions were far better than last year, when the race took place on a gusty day with temperatures in the low 40s. Spear beat out rival Mikey Singer of McDonogh by about 12 seconds that day — and fared even better this time.
Spear won this race in 15:41.7, topping runner-up Singer by nearly 30 seconds. The Loyola senior went out fast and took control of the race away from his rival.
"I made sure to … get out early and make Mikey hurt," Spear said. "I know he likes to sit and kick."
Individuals winners of the MIAA championship meet have been Dons for each of the last five years. Last year, Loyola edged out Calvert Hall by four points but had an easier time this year; the Dons finished with 46 points, beating out McDonogh (88) and St. Paul's (98).
Michael Wegner (fifth) and Kevin Wegner (sixth) were the team's other top 10 finishers. Ben Hosford (16th) and Frankie Legambi (18th) rounded out Loyola's scoring lineup.
"We came out [and did] what we wanted to do," Spear said. "The team was really focused on this."
Loyola returned five of its top seven runners from last year's championship team, including Spear. That gave coach Jose Albornoz a solid core group for this year, one that wanted to keep the championship string alive.
The Dons came to Oregon Ridge Park and ran on this course several times in recent days, adding to their confidence heading into the race.
"We were pointing at this," Albornoz said. "We trained very hard for two weeks before this."
Andrew Michelson (eighth) was the only other McDonogh runner to finish in the top 10. Dominic Genuario (Mount St. Joseph, third), Jack Hamed (St. Paul's, fourth), Owen Budd (Calvert Hall, seventh) and Ronan O'Shea (Spalding, ninth) were the other A Conference runners who finished in the top 10.
(at Oregon Ridge Park)
Individual results (A and B Conference, top 10): 1. Spear (LOY), 15:41.7; 2. Singer (MCD), 16:11.5; 3. Genuario (MSJ), 16:18.7; 4. Hamed (SP), 16:22.5; 5. M. Wegner (LOY), 16:29.0; 6. K. Wegner (LOY), 16:32.8; 7. Budd (CH), 16:35.4; 8. Michelson (MCD), 16:50.0; 9. O'Shea (SPA), 16:50.5; 10. Pickens (GCS), 16:57.6.
A Conference (top 5): 1. Loyola, 46; 2. McDonogh, 88; 3. St. Paul's, 98; 4. Mount St. Joseph, 142; 5. Calvert Hall, 153.
[ Editor's Note: An earlier version of this article misidentified the B Conference team winner. ]