Cross Country: Owls, Cavaliers run down county crowns

It's commonplace for coaches and their athletes to have winning a county championship near the top of their list of goals for the season.

Ryan DuLaney said his Westminster boys cross country team had it on their mind when they arrived at McDaniel College on Thursday for the annual county meet. So did Katie Price and her South Carroll girls squad.


If the Owls considered themselves a serious contender, the Cavaliers had their sights on a top-four finish and hoped for the best. Yet both teams crossed the goal off their list.

Westminster's boys outlasted Liberty, last year's team champ, thanks to placing five runners in the top 14. South Carroll, with senior Erin Langille winning the girls race, prevented the Owls from a team sweep and had five runners in the top 17. The Owls won their first boys county crown since 2003; the Cavs claimed their second girls county title in four seasons.

"The first meet or so, we kind of had an idea of how we were shaping up," DuLaney said. "It certainly was a good ending to this part of the season."

South Carroll senior Brian Cave won the boys race in 16 minutes, 34 seconds, and Liberty's Nick Tilson was second in 16:42. But Westminster, led by senior Brad Arbaugh (fifth, 17:09), did its best pack running to keep Carroll rivals at bay. Junior Sam DiPietro ran ninth, junior Ollie Budd was 12th, sophomore Kyle Cotoia placed 13th, and senior Bradley Moore finished 15th.

Westminster totaled 53 points to Liberty's 61. Winters Mill, led by senior Taylor Russell (fourth, 17:07), and junior Devon Caples (eighth), placed third with 69 points.

Cave said his approach to the McDaniel course, which changed a bit since last year's county meet, was to stay loose and keep up with the leaders early on.

"I just tried to take the first mile easy; that's kind of my go-to strategy," Cave said. "It was Nick and Devon ... went out and set a pace, so I just tried to stick with them those last two miles."

The final mile features one of McDaniel's signature hills, and Cave said he knew that was his "make-or-break" moment.


"I tried to push it from there," he said. "I knew it was one of my last races in a South Carroll jersey, my last race here. I was trying to make every step count."

About 30 minutes later, Langille crossed the finish line in 20:17 to become SC's first girls county champ in 18 years (Jill Krebs, 1997). She held off Liberty's Maeve Lyons (second, 20:31) and gave the Cavaliers a great scoring start.

Junior Casey Shattuck was sixth, followed by freshman Marissa Lawson (12th), junior Sydney Ruckel (13th), and Maya Lowman (18th).

Liberty, the girls winner in 2014, finished third with 71 points behind Westminster's 59. Senior Kaylee Ryan ran eighth to lead the Owls.

"Seeing Brian win was just like, 'Oh yeah! We can do it,'" Langille said. "I was coming in just trying to have fun with it. I usually do better if I just try and enjoy it."

Liberty was missing Heidi Rinehart, while Century ran without Avery Arena, so the girls county field was minus two of Carroll's top performers. South Carroll took advantage of the moment, even if first-year coach Price needed some time to let her team's achievement sink in.


"I'm so happy," Price said. "I told them I was proud of them no matter what. I said that you've put in the hard work already, I just want you to showcase all of it today."

Boys team scores

1. Westminster 53, 2. Liberty 61, 3. Winters Mill 69, 4. Century 83, 5. South Carroll 106, 6. Francis Scott Key 150, 7. North Carroll 211, 8. Manchester Valley 215.

Top 10 individuals

1. Brian Cave (SC) 16:34, 2. Nick Tilson (L) 16:42, 3. Daniel Saxon (L) 17:03, 4. Taylor Russell (WM) 17:07, 5. Brad Arbaugh (W) 17:09, 6. Andrew Miner (L) 17:21, 7. Jacob Spera (C) 17:22, 8. Devon Caples (WM) 17:25, 9. Sam DiPietro (W) 17:32, 10. Ryan Rippeon (FSK) 17:38.

Girls team scores

1. South Carroll 49, 2. Westminster 59, 3. Liberty 71, 4. Century 71, 5. Winters Mill 81, 6. North Carroll 201, 7. Manchester Valley 204.

Top 10 individuals

1. Erin Langille (SC) 20:17, 2. Maeve Lyons (L) 20:31, 3. Kiley Hurst (C) 20:40, 4. Colby Brodsky (C) 20:47, 5. Emma Kartalia (WM) 21:04, 6. Casey Shattuck (SC) 21:31, 7. Jilly Wagner (W) 21:43, 8. Kaylee Ryan (W) 21:50, 9. Katie Clemons (WM) 21:51, 10. Natalie Lansinger (L) 22:00.