xml:space="preserve">
xml:space="preserve">
Advertisement
Advertisement

Dulaney boys, Hereford girls set to defend Baltimore County cross country titles

In the 2015 Baltimore County boys cross country championship race, Dulaney's Matt Owens, left, nipped Towson's Vaughn Parts to finish fifth. That gave the champion Lions the first five spots in the race and a perfect score of 15. Parts has graduated, but his former teammate Jonathan Ellis is a threat to be among the leaders at the race which will be held at Dulaney High on Oct. 22 at 11 a.m.
In the 2015 Baltimore County boys cross country championship race, Dulaney's Matt Owens, left, nipped Towson's Vaughn Parts to finish fifth. That gave the champion Lions the first five spots in the race and a perfect score of 15. Parts has graduated, but his former teammate Jonathan Ellis is a threat to be among the leaders at the race which will be held at Dulaney High on Oct. 22 at 11 a.m. (File photo/2015)

History was made at the Baltimore County cross-country championship meet last season when the Dulaney boys claimed the top five spots and scored a perfect score of 15 points.

This year's race, which will be held on Saturday, Oct. 22 at 11 a.m. at Dulaney High, should be a different story.

Advertisement

Dulaney's Eric Walz won the race in 15:43 last year and he has graduated along with the three of the four teammates who finished behind him.

The only returning Dulaney runner back from the top five is junior Matt Owens, who nipped Towson's Vaughn Parts for the fifth spot in 2015.

Advertisement

Parts has graduated, so Owens should be one among the top runners, along with Lion teammate Brian McCullough. Towson's Jonathan Ellis, Catonsville's Graham Strzelecki and Eastern Tech's Taylor Baranoski.

Earlier this season, on the same Dulaney High course at the Barnhart Invitational, Ellis was the fastest Baltimore County runner when he finished fifth overall in a time of 16:09.50.

Owens, who was seventh overall, was not far behind as he clocked in at 16:12.50.

At the Glory Days Invitational on Oct. 8, which the Lions won for a third straight year, Ellis and Owens finished together.

The Lions, winners of the 2016 Barnhart Invitational, is seeking their third straight Baltimore County boys title.

Also running for Dulaney are Connor Martin, Alex Ozbolt, Brendan O'Brien and Sam Merng.

The seventh runner will be decided closer to race day.

Dulaney coach Chad Boyle expects his squad to improve in the first race of the postseason.

"We want to use this race coming up to get better as a team because we think we have a shot to win a state championship for the second year in a row," Boyle said. "We have to learn to race as a team because that can be critical going against the tough [Class] 4A competition. We've been undefeated this year which is incredible for me."

The girls' county championship race features Hereford senior Kelly Wesolowski, who is competing in her first Baltimore County championship cross-country race.

Wesolowski played soccer as a freshman and sophomore and planned to switch to cross country for her junior year, but she had foot surgery.

"I had Freiberg infraction," said Wesolowski, after she placed second overall at the Barnhart Invitational last month."The bone in my toe was collapsing, so they had to take the dead bone out and they took a bone graph from my heel."

Advertisement

Wesolowski ran 18:28.95 at Barnhart, while finishing second behind the course-record setting time of 18:03.91 by Patuxent's Haley Jackson.

"She [Wesolowski] is definitely the favorite," Hereford coach Adam Hittner said. "She is a heavy favorite."

Since the Barnhart, Wesolowski won at the Spiked Shoe Invitational and the Gettysburg Invitational, setting course records in both races.

Here time of 18:06 at Gettysburg was a personal record.

"She is flying," Hittner said.

Hereford is seeking its second straight county girls championship and those scheduled to compete include Emily Konkus, Kelly Shearer, Nicole Burkoski, Lillian Behan, Hannah Ace and Hannah Weeren.

"They are running well and they are running fast," Hittner said.

For the Hereford boys, Dillon Coffey is a candidate to place in the top 10.

"He's been our top finisher at every meet," Hittner said.

Ryan Pindale, Sam Turnbaugh and Dietrich Sweeney have been jockeying back and forth for the second spot.

"We are hoping all three guys are in the top 20," Hittner said.

Hereford was third last year in county championship race behind Dulaney and Towson.

Recommended on Baltimore Sun

Advertisement
Advertisement