Hereford junior Caroline Benda won the girls individual race at the Barnhart Invitational in a time of 19:09.
Hereford junior Caroline Benda won the girls individual race at the Barnhart Invitational in a time of 19:09. (Craig Clary)

Former Dulaney High cross country coach Chad Boyle was at the finish line as an interested spectator for the 37th annual Barnhart Invitational and his former runners couldn’t have made him any prouder.

Boyle, the cross country coach for the previous 21 seasons, gave up the position to pursue other ventures, but he was on hand at Dulaney to watch the Lions win both the boys and girls races.

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Eric Benjamin, who has been Boyle’s assistant, is leading the program along with Krissy Jost.

Hereford junior Caroline Benda won girls race in a time of 19:09, but Dulaney prevailed with 61 points because they had five runners in the top 20.

Marissa Dailey (fourth, 19:49) was the top Dulaney girl, followed by Anna Albergo (seventh, 20:00), Kaitlin Robinson (12th, 20:39), Mairin Ludwig (18th, 21:03) and Erin Haley (20th, 21:05).

Benda, a swimmer for the North Baltimore Aquatic Club, won the 2.2-mile Great Chesapeake Bay Swim in choppy waters earlier this summer.

She prefers swimming over running, but had no trouble negotiating the 3.1-mile Dulaney High course and finishing well ahead of runner-up Madison Till (19:35), of Towson (75).

“I’m not really used to a flat course, so it just felt really good just running to run and not having to run uphill,” Benda said.

Hereford coach Adam Hittner, who said, “I just let her do her thing,” marveled at her effort. “She’s not there six days a week (running), but she is there an awful lot for somebody who is also in the pool six days a week. She just grinds out every single day.”

Margaret Grandshire (ninth, 20:29), Anna Vaikness (15th, 20:27), Sofia Grose (23rd, 21:16) and Alessandra Crippa (26th, 21:16) rounded out the top five for second-place Towson.

Completing the top five for Hereford (76) were Reese Miller (fifth, 19:59), Kaitlyn Crowley (17th, 20:57), Brooke Wilson (22nd, 21:08) and Piper Lentz (31st, 21:47).

Notre Dame Prep (fifth, 185) was led by Julia Merriman (eighth, 20:18) and Catonsville (eighth, 213) was led by Jessica McDivitt (14th, 20:54).

Bullis School's Nick Karayianis won the boys individual race at the Barnhart Invitational in a time of 15:41.2.
Bullis School's Nick Karayianis won the boys individual race at the Barnhart Invitational in a time of 15:41.2. (Craig Clary)

Bullis School’s Nick Karayianis won the individual boys race in a time of 15:41.2.

It was his second sub-16 race in a row after he did his last week at the Bullis Invitational.

“Another sub-16 performance was a goal,” Karayianis said.

He also wanted to see how he fared against elite competitors.

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“I just wanted to see what I could do with other people around and try to stay in my own focus and try to zone out and run the best time I could,” he said.

He ran away from them during the race, but was there to shake hands with several of the runners behind him at the finish line.

“I really respect everyone I run with,” Karayianis said. “I never go into a race thinking it’s easy. I always respect the field and I just think, like I know how they feel and I go through the same training that they do. They train almost as hard as me or as hard as me and I just want to congratulate them after their runs.”

Competitors from the metro area who finished in the top 15 included John Carroll’s Mike Chipi (third, 16:01.3) and Nick Singleakis (fifth, 16:13.6), Towson’s Peter Sorensen (fourth, 16:12.8) and Sam Fields (14th, 16:47.7), Friends’ Henry Griffith (seventh, 16:24.1), Dulaney’s Tyler Dailey seventh, 16:25.1), Cooper Giesler (ninth, 16:36.4), Zak Audia (13th, 16:46.9) and Vinay Khosla (15th, 16:50.8), Catonsville’s Elliot Wack (11th, 16:42.8) and Jack Roseboom (12th, 16:45.7) and Loyola Blakefield’s Hayden Roberts (10th, 16:38.8).

Towson (91), Loyola Blakefield (162), Hereford (177) and Springbrook (178) rounded out the top five in the boys race.

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