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From left: Lansdowne's Cinthya Solis, Matthew, White, Abbigail Clontz, Jayden Tatum, Diana Hernandez, Michael Omolade, Lucas Kirby, Thomas Clarke, Jacob Young, Brayden Ashby, Kaiyah Covington, Ana Delariva, Dami Giwa, Jasmine Wilson, Paris Evans and Aminata Cherif pose after the Class 2A state championship race.
From left: Lansdowne's Cinthya Solis, Matthew, White, Abbigail Clontz, Jayden Tatum, Diana Hernandez, Michael Omolade, Lucas Kirby, Thomas Clarke, Jacob Young, Brayden Ashby, Kaiyah Covington, Ana Delariva, Dami Giwa, Jasmine Wilson, Paris Evans and Aminata Cherif pose after the Class 2A state championship race. (Photo courtesy of Andrew Parker / Baltimore Sun)

Coming off the best cross country season since he started coaching as an assistant at Lansdowne High in 2011, head coach Andrew Parker was eager to get the indoor track season underway.

Parker, who took over as head coach in 2015, guided his boys 2019 cross country team to a Class 2A North Region championship at Pikesville High.

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That earned them a trip to the Maryland state championship meet at Hereford High where they finished 16th (426 points) in the 2A race.

The Lansdowne girls placed third at the Class 2A North Region meet and also qualified for the state meet.

Only four female runners ran in the state meet so they didn’t get a team score.

The boys regional title is believed to be the first in history for the Vikings in cross country.

“There are no plaques or records on the wall,” Parker said.

The Vikings won the region crown with 56 points. Digital Harbor (66), Carver (68), Eastern Tech (87) and Milford Mill (92) rounded out the top five.

Kaiyah Covington led the Vikings at regionals and he was the team’s only senior in the top seven. Covington placed fourth in a time of 18:40.50.

Sophomores Jacob Young (5th, 18:46.10) and Brayden Ashby (9th, 19:20.30) also placed in the top 10 and junior Jubelo Oyeniran (15th, 20:44.80) and sophomore Michael Omolade (24th, 20:44.80) finished in the top 25.

The sixth and seventh runners for the Vikings were freshman Martin Lavalle (34th, 21:58.40) and sophomore Lucas Kirby (46th, 23:34.50).

When the results were announced, the team didn’t hold back its emotions.

“They were pretty jubilant,” Parker said. “I had to get them to calm down a little bit because they just were going crazy, they were jumping and they were just so vocal and loud.”

All seven of the runners who ran at regionals are competing in indoor track.

Six of them will run in the distance events and Oyeniran is a sprinter.

Covington and Ashby were the only runners back from last year’s cross country team when the Vikings placed seventh in the Class 3A North Region race and didn’t qualify for states.

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The last time Lansdowne qualified for the state meet was in 2016 when they finished 23rd.

Sophomore Omolade just started running during the fall cross country season.

“Jacob showed some promise in indoor track last year and so did Jubelo in track, but they had never done cross country until this year,” Parker said.

The coach saw the team had potential early.

“They put in a lot of work over the summer,” Parker said. “They were working at the earliest start date. They were working out when we had heat days. When the school closed they would come in the morning and they would beat the heat and they would run.”

Covington, who was 57th (18:13.19) at states, was the captain.

“He’s great. He’s been with us for four years,” Parker said. “He was one of those guys who didn’t think he was a distance runner and had some success and kind of changed his mind.”

Covington set his personal record at Dulaney High in the Baltimore County championship meet when he clocked 17:40 and placed 27th for the 10th-place Vikings.

At states, Young (65th, 18:28.61) and Ashby (76th, 18:49.77) broke 19 minutes and Omolade (120th, 20:41.42), Oyeniran (132nd, 21:16.83), Lavalle (137th, 21:38.84) and Kirby (144th, 22:28.09) also competed.

The girls third-place finish at regionals, behind front-running Carver and Digital Harbor, was led by junior Ana Dalariva (3rd, 22:33.70) and senior Jasmine Wilson (5th, 23:19.61).

Sophomore Roxy Fritz (20th, 26:41.80), senior Cinthya Solis (21st, 26:42.40), sophomore Nidia Martinez (30th, 29:01.20), junior Paris Evans (38th, 31:19.90) and sophomore Diana Hernandez (43rd, 35:07.00) also competed.

“They really surprised me with how well they did, honestly, they just had a good finish and they were right in the mix and we had a couple of girls up front, so they were able to score pretty well for us,” Parker said.

Delariva, the team’s captain, was 33rd (21:34.81) at the state meet.

Wilson (71st, 23:19.61), Solis (128th, 28:26.10) and Evans (130th, 32:03.65) represented the Vikings on the Hereford course.

Parker likes his girls to go the front early.

“That’s one thing I do encourage them to do and they did, pretty much every meet, they tried to hang with the leaders and it helped them out eventually with most of their races with counties and regions and states,” Parker said. “At least going out and trying to stick with those leaders, I think that’s what ended up with them having a lot of success during the season.”

The Lansdowne girls also finished seventh at the Baltimore County championships with Delariva leading the way (15th, 20:46).

Catonsville girls and boys state meet results

The Catonsville girls cross country team finished 18th at the Class 4A state championship meet.

The Comets were led by senior Jessica McDivitt (60th, 20:57.90) and junior Beverly Bolster (70th, 21:19.40).

Joining them on the Hereford High course were sophomore Kelsey King (124th, 23:21.08) and freshmen Amelia Gierasch (132nd, 23:48.96), Fiona Marks (136th, 24:22.76), Phoebe Rosenbloom (138th, 24:27.92) and Quinn Walchak (141st, 24:52.74).

Only two Comets represented the boys at the state meet and senior Elliott Wack (55th, 17:15.01) and junior Jack Roseboom (77th, 17:37.22) cracked the top 100.

Western Tech boys 11th, girls 10th at state meet

The Western Tech boys placed 11th (315) out of 19 teams in the Class 1A state cross country championship meet.

The Wolverines who competed included junior Anthony Campbell (63rd, 19:42.34), senior Jamaun Tatum (64th, 19:42.42), junior Johnny Parker (67th, 19:59.82), sophomore Joshua Martinez (71st, 20:09.80), junior Seth Wigley (75th, 20:17.19), freshman Johan Bradford (92nd, 21:10.16) and junior Alfred Murdock (100th, 21:51.25).

The Western Tech girls placed 10th in the 1A race with 223 points.

Freshman Rainier Dippong (39th, 24:10.55) and junior Mufaro Chiduza (47th, 24:39.77) both placed in the top 50.

Freshmen Danielle Weeks (53rd, 25:05.17) and Ananya Perinkviam (60th, 25:35.84), junior Sydney Stokes (84th, 27:50.23), sophomore Laila Gaynor (87th, 28:06.34) and junior Renee Skeene (91st, 29:04.49) rounded out the squad.

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