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Dulaney boys, girls win Baltimore County cross country titles

Host Dulaney High School turned the Baltimore County cross country championships into the Dulaney Invitational as the Lions won both team and individual titles in the varsity and junior varsity races Saturday.

Junior Eric Walz defended his county crown in a time of 15:49 in the boys race. Junior Kristin Meek won the girls race in a time of 19:08 to give Dulaney the sweep.

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In the boys race, Walz held off Milford Mill's Jordan Leon (16:20) as the Lions finished with 19 points. Behind Leon were Dulaney junior Austin Carey (third, 16:23), senior Adolfo Carvalho (fourth, 16:34) and juniors Andrew King (fifth, 16:36) and Sean Smyth (sixth, 16:41). Junior Elijah Hawkins (seventh, 16:52) and senior Rex Ledesma (13th, 17:29) rounded out the top seven for Dulaney.

Hereford was second (66) and Towson (69) was third in the boys race.

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It was the second straight county team title for the Lions, who have their sights set on regional and state titles.

But one of those Class 4A competitors is Severna Park, which is ranked second in the Southeast Unites States.

"I'm not focused on any other team," coach Chad Boyle said. "I'm focused on our team. We need to get better. We are ranked third in the Southeast United States. We have a great group of young men. We just have to use our work ethic and our potential to our advantage."

Walz took advantage of his talent in the final mile.

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"The last loop I saw him like 50 meters back so I just kind of surged there right before the hill because I know he will kick at the end, so I had to take off earlier," he said.

Meek led the Dulaney girls in their team victory.

Towson's Johanna Admiraal (19:22), Hereford's Sarah Coffey (19:41), Towson's Sydney Conboy (19:56) and Hereford's Emily Causey (20:02) rounded out the top five.

Dulaney won the team title based on the tiebreaker after the Lions were deadlocked with Towson 40-40 after the results of the first five runners were tabulated.

The highest sixth-place runner was the tiebreaker, and Dulaney's Rachel Clark (17th, 21:31) finished higher than Towson's sixth Morgan Jemison (23rd, 21:47).

Also scoring for Dulaney were Brynn Jones (seventh, 20:11), Jessica Meek (11th, 20:34), Maria Andrade (13th, 12:01) and Molly Turlington (14th 21:10).

"It's such a relief that we could finally get the title after so many years coming in second and being beaten by Hereford," Kristin Meek said. "We knew coming in this season we were going to have a special team because so many girls have graduated, but we have so many girls coming up and being motivated to try to break that top seven and get as good as possible."

Meek, her sister Jessica, and Turlington played soccer for Dulaney last fall.

"This season has been a struggle for me, having to transition from soccer to cross country, and it's way different from track, so all these races have been leading up to this," said Meek, who finished fourth behind Coffey (second) and Admiraal (third) at the Barnhart Invitational at Dulaney in early September.

"Today, I knew coming out there would be huge competition between Sarah and Johann, so my strategy was to stay with them, because at Barnhart, they both beat me," Meek said. "After getting them to shield me from the wind in the first mile, we didn't go through as fast, which is better for me because I died at Barnhart, so then I pushed in the second mile in order to create a lead."

Boyle knew she could make the extra push to the top.

"It's not a surprise to us," Boyle said. "She's such a hard worker. She just needed some time to learn the sport a little bit better."

Carly Sniffen (19th, 21:40) was the seventh Dulaney runner in the top 20.

Lauren Miller (sixth 20:06), Sally Mercer (16th, 21:27) and Isabella Chestney (18th, 21:34) also scored for Towson.

"I've been on the winning end of those too," Towson coach Gil Stange said. "Every place counts."

The coach was most impressed with the sixth-place finish of Miller, who severely injured her ankle after a fall eight days earlier at the Scorpion Invitational.

"I was a little bit surprised," Stange said. "If you had seen the way she looked that Friday night, I was thinking she might not be back for regionals and states. She just bounced right back. It must be great to be young. We were worried that she wasn't going to be ready to go, but she ran and took sixth place."

He hopes the close loss builds determination for regionals and states.

"When it's a tie, you can't point at any girl," Stange said. "It's kind of nice, because it's a team and we take the loss as a team. Now, we are going to go into it (regionals and states) with a little chip maybe."

Dulaney goes into the regionals and states with depth that includes its junior varsity individual champions Drew Persinger (17:42) and Dorrie Gaeng (20:53).

For the varsity girls, three soccer players added to that depth

"To know that we won today, based on that sixth runner is just amazing," Kristin Meek said. "It shows that we have depth and that we can keep pushing forward and do even greater things."

Her younger sister, sophomore Jessica, does miss kicking the ball around, but winning the county title changed that tune.

"Days like this make up for it," Jessica said. "I love cheering for everyone. It's just so inspirational. It just makes my day."

Boys team results (top 10)

1-Dulaney 19

2-Hereford 66

3-Towson 69

4-Catonsville 125

5-Perry Hall 153

6-Carver A & T 230

7-Milford Mill 236

8-Pikesville 248

9-Eastern Tech 260

10-Dundalk 284

Girls team results (Nine full teams)

1-Dulaney (40, won on tie-breaker)

2-Towson (40)

3-Hereford (61)

4-Perry Hall (130)

5-Catonsville (162)

6-Pikesville (164)

7-Carver A & T (178)

8-Loch Raven (205)

9-Western Tech (250)

Boys individual results (top 15)

1-Walz, Eric, Dulaney 15:49

2-Leon, Jordan Milford Mill 16:20

3-Carey, Austin, Dulaney 16:23

4-Carvalho, Adolfo, Dulaney 16:34

5-King, Andrew, Dulaney16:36

6-Smyth, Sean, Dulaney 16:41

7-Hawkins, Elijah, Dulaney 16:51

8-Parts, Vaughn, Towson 16:59

9-Kingeter, Matthew, Hereford 17:14

10-Ellis, Jonathan, Towson 17:18

11-Batchelor, Ethan, Hereford 17:19

12-Der, Adam, Hereford 17:23

13-Ledesma, Rex, Dulaney 17:28

14-Noble, Gabe, Catonsville 17:39

15-Kavanagh, James, Towson 17:51

Girls individual results (top 15)

1-Meek, Kristin, Dulaney 19:08

2-Admiraal, Johanna, Towson 19:22

3-Coffey, Sarah, Hereford 19:41

4-Conboy, Sydney, Towson 19:56

5-Causey, Emily, Hereford 20:02

6-Miller, Lauren, Towson 20:06

7-Jones, Brynn, Dulaney 20:11

8-Kozlowski, Alicia, Hereford 20:30

9-Corns, Julia, Lansdowne 20:31

10-Dosch, Dresden, Patapsco 20:32.46

11-Meek, Jessica, Dulaney 20:34

12- Ciattei, Julia,  Perry Hall 20:51

13-Andrade, Maria, Dulaney 21:01

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14-Turlington, Molly, Dulaney 21:10

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15-Corns, Naomi, Lansdowne 21:15

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