The Havre de Grace girls’ cross country team won a tri-meet last week on its home course. Six of the team’s runners finished in the top 10 to prevail with a low score of 21 points. Harford Tech placed second with 37, and Aberdeen third with 79.
Lillian Alexander, a sophomore who earned All-County honors in her freshman track season last spring, won the race in 21:17. She was 28 seconds ahead of Harford Tech freshman Annika DeVos.
Other Havre de Grace finishers were Mackenna Senko (third in 21:51), Alexandria Mack (fourth in 22:37), Chloe Eisner (eighth in 25:08), Natalie Burton (ninth in 25:38) and Adeline Murray (10th in 26:16). Tech’s Isabella Donlick was fifth in 23:19, and Amber Barton sixth in 24:51. Aberdeen’s Laila Shakoor was seventh in 25:02.
A week earlier, the Havre de Grace girls finished second in a meet among four teams.
Havre de Grace, the Harford high school with the smallest enrollment, many years ago had strong boys’ teams in cross-country. In 1979, the boys’ team was runner-up in the state meet, and the next year it won the Harford County championship. But the girls’ teams have long had very small turnouts.
Ryan Bayne, in this third season as coach at Havre de Grace — his second season leading cross-country — has worked to recruit more runners by sending letters and developing interest at the middle school level. But his efforts this year, a down year in MPSSAA sports because of Covid, have netted a team of only six girls and five boys.
“It’s really a challenge, having gone so many years without full teams,” said Bayne, who has been a runner himself for over 25 years and won his age group Saturday in the half-marathon of the Susquehanna Running Festival.
“Five out of our six girls had never run a cross-country race before, but they are committed to getting better. Our fifth girl in the race (freshman Natalie Burton) has already taken six minutes off her time.”
The team is not likely to rise to the top of the UCBAC this year or next, but Bayne is pleased with what they have done so far, and he is looking ahead.
“This year is about gaining experience and learning to believe in themselves,” he added. “The more experience they gain, the more they will develop. I’m very proud of them.”
Patterson Mill tri-meet
North Harford’s Finley Lavin won the girls race by a full minute, while teammate James Ortt finished first in the boys’ race by 40 seconds in a tri-meet at Patterson Mill on Sept. 14.
Top girls: 1. Lavin, NH, 22:42; 2. Lillian Alexander, Hdg, 23:42; 3. Alexandria Mack, Hdg, 24:07; 4. Jody Cadden, NH, 24:07; 5. Valentina Angulo, NH, 24:21; 6. Maie Ikemoto, PM, 24:21.
Top boys: 1. James Ortt, NH, 18:31; 2. Berkeley Tisch, PM, 19:11; 3. Diego Garcia, PM, 20:07; 4. Ian Rapp, PM, 20:41; 5. Ben Iampieri, NH, 20:48.
Perryville Park tri-meet
Delaney Saulsbury led a sweep for Edgewood in a meet against Perryville and Joppatowne Sept. 21 at Perryville Park. Edgewood placed all seven of its girls runners in the top seven spots. Edgewood’s Ryan Buddenbohn won the boys’ race. Michael Young placed second, leading Perryville to the win in the boys team competition, 24-33.
Top girls: 1. Saulsbury, E, 21:58; 2. Abigail Bond, E, 23:37; 3. Emaya Edmonds, E, 24:42; 4. Phoebe Calero, E, 24:43; 5. Kellie Simon, E, 25:05.
Top boys: 1. Buddenbohn, E, 18:42; 2. Young, PV, 20:30; 3. Theodore Rose, E, 20:40; 4. Braeden Walker, PV, 20:43; 5. Matt Grahe, PV, 20:45.
Tollgate Park tri-meet
Elizabeth Pickett and Shane Ivy led Bel Air to wins over Rising Sun and Patterson Mill on Sept. 21 at Tollgate Park.
Top girls: 1. Pickett, BA, 19:21; 2. Morgan Loewe, BA, 21:46; 3. Amanda Callaghan, RS, 23:39; 4. Emilie Hancock, BA, 23:47; 5. Savannah Lacey, RS, 24:04.
Top boys: 1. Ivy, BA, 17:35; 2. Bryce Knoll, BA, 18:06; 3. Daniel Cross, BA, 18:20; 4. Jaden Parrish, BA, 18:50; 5. Garrett Saboy, BA, 18:57.
Bill Brown Cross Country Series
The first meet of the 32nd annual Bill Brown Youth Cross Country Series will be held on Sunday, Oct. 3 at John Carroll School in Bel Air with registration starting at 3 p.m. Races will be conducted in five age groups at distances of a half-mile (ages 6-7, 8-9 and 10-11), quarter-mile (ages 5 and under), and one-mile (ages 12-13). The second meet in the series will be held at the Churchville Recreation Center on Oct. 17, and the third will be at Tollgate Park Oct 31. More information is available at www.belairrec.org and www.runharford.com.