The 35th annual Richard Barnhart Invitational cross country meet wasn't held on the Dulaney High campus this year, but that didn't stop McDonogh's Dalton Hengst from winning his second consecutive individual Barnhart title on Saturday morning.
The 3.1-mile race was held at the Center for Maryland Agriculture and Farm Park near Oregon Ridge and hosted by Dulaney High and the Baltimore Agricultural Council and co-sponsored by Under Armour.
It was the first race held on the new course, so Hengst's time of 15:10.1 was a course record.
The senior bested second-place Henrik Anderson (15:44.3), of Mountain View, by over 33 seconds.
Hengst prepared for the new course a day earlier.
""I came out yesterday morning and I ran six miles on it twice," Hengst said. "It's a lot different than Dulaney. I think it's a lot harder and the weather was pretty hot today."
Hengst's strategy was to go out with the leaders and let the chips fall.
"I got excited for the first race of the season and I wanted to get the legs going and I know I'm in phenomenal shape right now, so I just kind of got it moving," Hengst said.
He admitted the weather was a tougher challenge than being a defending champion.
"The sun definitely got to me," Hengst said. "That was probably the toughest part of the race."
Hengst has narrowed his final five colleges choices to Mississippi, Oregon, Boise State, Furman and Syracuse, but knows his senior season will be filled with runners trying to gain on him.
"I always have to come and deliver, but I was pretty confident in the shape I was in, so this was the first race back, so that played a little bit more of a role than being defending champion," Hengst said.
The Severna Park boys won the team competition with 44 points and ended Dulaney's reign of consecutive Barnhart titles at four.
"They are head and shoulders the best program in the state of Maryland," said Dulaney coach Chad Boyle, whose runner-up squad was 35 points behind the Falcons.
The Lions beat the Falcons by one point last fall when they won their second straight Class 4A state championship.
"We are behind," Boyle admitted. "I've been coaching for a long time [20 years] and I know what a state championship team looks like and right now, that's what Severna Park looks like."
The top runners for the Falcons were Garrison Clark (third, 15:51), Hugh O'Connor (eighth, 16:17), Samuel Martin (ninth, 16:21), Jonah Lane (11th, 16:27) and Nicholas Plummer (13th, 16:33).
"That's always been a goal of this meet is to bring the best competition to come here, so that's why I am so glad Severna Park came today, so we can raise the level of competition and that helps all the kids," Boyle said.
Brian McCullough (sixth, 16:12.8) was the top finisher for the Dulaney boys.
Connor Martin (16th, 16:42), Drew Dailey (17th, 16:44), Sam Merng (18th, 16:45 ) and Zak Audia (22nd, 16:54) rounded out the top five for the Lions.
"Our boys ran a fantastic race," Boyle said. "We were just a little bit behind them in fitness and that is where the hard work comes ahead for us. We just have to work to catch up to them."
Loyola Blakefield, led by Camden Gilmore (fourth, 15:57.2), finished third in the boys competition.
The girls race was won by Archbishop Spalding's Lacey Eden, who overtook Mount de Sales' Sam Facius late in the race after Facius fell ill from apparent dehydration and couldn't complete the course.
"I kind of got a clue to that," Boyle said. "She came by me at 2 and a quarter [miles] and I saw the look in her eyes and I thought she was going to finish the race, I didn't think she was going to win."
Spalding's Allysa Combs (19:37.7) was second, followed by Severna Park's Kamryn Eveleth (19:49.7) and her teammate, Catie Cambon (19:53.7), who led the Falcons to the girls team title with 45 points.
Runner-up Hereford was denied its third straight crown, but the second-place Bulls got strong showings from Kelly Shearer (seventh, 20:09.7) and Emily Konkus (eighth, 20:23.7).
The fourth-place Dulaney girls (157) were paced by top 20 postings from juniors Brooke Ruffin (18th, 21:09) and Emilie Bowerman (19th, 21:10.5).
Notre Dame Prep placed fifth (175) and got top 25 performances from Julia Merriman (10th, 20:34) and Emily Wayson (17th, 21:09).
Towson's girls were seventh (203), despite the absence of key runners Claire Briglio and Emily Stange.
Jaqui Sheedy (16th, 21:09) and Caroline Brune (21st, 21:14) led the way for Towson.
"It was a good day for us," Towson coach Gil Stange said. "When you think about plugging Claire in there, when she got shut down, she was number two in practice right with Caroline."
The new venue seemed to be a hit among runners and spectators and Boyle praised the hard workers behind the scenes.
"This is like a dream," Boyle said. "The Dulaney community, from the other sports teams, field hockey and soccer teams being out here and the parents have been so fantastic, managing the logistics of the parking and the food and the T-shirts and the setup."
Boys (top 10)
Severna Park 44, Dulaney 79, Loyola-Blakefield 127, Gonzaga 152, Century 199, McDonogh 272, Mount St. Joe, 272, Albert Einstein 279, Mountain View 282, Paint Branch 308.
Girls (top 10)
Severna Park 45, Hereford 119, Spalding 133, Dulaney 157, Notre Dame Prep 175, Mountain View 195, Towson 203, Bel Air 270, Mount de Sales 312, Century 331.
Boys (top 15)
Dalton Hengst (McD) 15:10.1, Henrik Anderson (MV) 15:44.3, Garrison Clark (SP) 15:50.5, Camben Gilmore (Loy) 15:57.2, Noah Clifford (AE)16:08.5, Brian McCullough (Dul) 16:12.8, Gavin McElhennon (Gon) 16:16.8, Hugh O'Connor (SP) 16:16.9, Samuel Martin (SP) 16:20.3, Jay Hall (Westlake) 16:21.2. Jonah Lane (SP) 16:26.4, Kieran McDermott (BA) 16:30.1, Nicholas Plummer (SP) 16:32.1, Jacob Spera (Century) 16:35.8, David Giannini (Gon) 16:40.8.
Girls (top 15)
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Eden Lacey (AS) 19:20.7, Allysa Combs (AS) 19:37.7, Kamryn Eveleth (SP) 19:49.9, Catie Cambon (SP) 19:53.7, Yasmine Kass (PB) 20:03.7, Julia Squillante (MV) 20:08.7, Kelly Shearer (Here) 20:09.7, Emily Konkus (Here) 20:23.7, Faith Loftus (BA) 20:28.7, Julia Merriman (NDP) 20:33.7, Cameron Zaniker (SP) 20:34.7, Ashley Betz (PM) 20:58.6, Lindsey Brooks (SP) 21:02.1, Sophia Zell (SP) 21:03.3, Zuri Rashad (PB) 21:04.6.