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Boys Cross Country Preview Capsules

CENTURY

Coach: Justin Metzger, 2nd year

Last year: Second at county meet

First Meet: Tuesday at South Carroll.

Key losses: Pat Anske

Key returners: John Mead, junior; Kevin Slujtner, senior; Owen Thomas, sophomore; Josh Turskey, junior.

Outlook: The Knights return four runners that finished in the top 14 at last year's county meet. ... Mead finished eighth at the county meet and six of the runners ahead of him have graduated. ... "We are returning six of seven," Metzger said. "We are going for state champs and they know it so they are ready."

FRANCIS SCOTT KEY

Coach: Jordan White, 1st year

Last year: Eighth at county meet

First meet: Sept. 1 at Interstate Classic (Clear Spring)

Key losses: Justin Lawson, Colin Ripley.

Key returners: Mikhail Abuzov, junior; Kyle Crouse, senior; Rafael Zamora, senior.

Outlook: First-year coach White said the Eagles have a solid top three. ... With 16 runners on the roster it is one of Key's larger teams of late. ... "I remember when I was here one year we had a perfect score at the county meet," said White, who used to run for the Eagles. "Last season they were last and to go that far down was sad for me to see. I wanted to come back and coach and see if I can help take them back up again."

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LIBERTY

Coach: Dan Jones, 23rd year

Last year: Fourth at county meet

First meet: Saturday at Brunswick Invite

Key losses: Greg Rinehart

Key returners: Reilly Hall, senior; Robert LaPosa, senior; Tyler Pollard, senior; Chad Sussman, sophomore.

Outlook: The Lions are hosting the Crossfire Invite on Oct. 2. ... Jones said Pollard made big strides over the summer and during the early-season practices. ... "Our success will depend upon one or more guys finding a way to step up," Jones said via email. "It that happens, we will compete for championships."

MANCHESTER VALLEY



Coach: Tom Davidson, 4th year

Last year: Seventh at county meet

First meet: Saturday at Brunswick, 10 a.m.

Key losses: Bryce Davidson, Isaac Downey, Dan Stonko.

Key returners: Sean Counterman, senior.

Outlook: Counterman finished 31st at last year's county meet. ... Davidson said the Mavs are just looking to gain some consistency with their runs throughout the season. ... Counterman finished a team-best 22nd at last season's 1A West regional meet.

NORTH CARROLL

Coach: Andrew Keech, 10th year

Last year: Fifth at county meet

First meet: Saturday at Oakdale, 10 a.m.

Key losses: Kyle Wende, Kody Wilson.

Key returners: Grant Dell, junior; Jeff Easterday, junior; Matt Meagher, junior; Matt Mitzel, senior.

Outlook: The Panthers return five varsity runners from last year's 1A state runner-up team. ... "Our number one goal is to qualify for the state meet," Keech said via email. "I think we have a good chance to go back to the state meet and we will see what happens from there. ... NC will be looking for a replacement for the departed Wilson who finished fourth at the state meet a year ago.

SOUTH CARROLL

Coach: Mike Ashley, 1st year

Last year: Sixth at county meet

First meet: Tuesday at South Carroll

Key losses: Bryan Basham, Nick Chaconas, Sam Evans, Ryan Smith

Key returners: Josh Lockwood, senior; Justin Buck, sophomore; John King, sophomore.

Outlook: Senior Josh Lockwood finished 29th at last year's county meet. ..."We have a great core group returning with a couple of new additions," Ashley said via email. ... The Cavs host the South Carroll Invite on Sept. 14.

WESTMINSTER

Coach: Ryan Dulaney, 4th year

Last year: Third at county meet

First meet: Tuesday at South Carroll, 4.

Key losses: Ryan Barnes, Owen Budd, Alex Cooke, Ethan March, Kevin Taylor.

Key returners: Ben Arbaugh, Grant Carrier, Hunter Mongold, Jesse Parsons, Mark Walther.

Outlook: The Owls will have to reload after losing five of their top seven runners to graduation or transfer. ... "We do however have five guys returning with some varsity experience," Dulaney said via email. "So we hope to build on that to have another solid year."

WINTERS MILL

Coach: Dan Replogle, 6th year

Last year: First at county meet

First meet: Sept. 1 at Interstate Classic (Clear Spring)

Key losses: Reilly Cox, Zach Hopkins, Torry Kelly, Alex Warfield, Will Weisgerber.

Key returners: Wes Carvalho, senior; Chase Hopkins, sophomore.

Outlook: The Falcons will have to replace some key figures if they want to win their fourth straight 2A state title. ... Carvalho was last year's Times Runner of the Year. ... "We have a solid group of sophomores and freshman that makes the future look bright," Replogle said via email. "But we will need to progress rapidly for us to be competitive this year."

- Brian Haines

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