The pre-race favorites prevailed despite a mile of stiff headwinds Tuesday in the 12th annual UCBAC Cross-Country Championships in Elkton.
As expected, C. Milton Wright won its eighth girls' team title and Bohemia Manor took its fifth boys' title since the UCBAC meet began in 2005. In the girls' race, CMW's Haley Cummins won comfortably, as did Bel Air's Kieran McDermott in the boys'.
Cummins ran 19:52 over a 5K course, most of which was on the grass oval of the Fair Hill horse track. She led by 55 seconds over runner-up Ashley Betz, the Patterson Mill sophomore who won last year. All the runners were slowed noticeably by a brisk headwind on three trips down the 600-meter straightaway of the track.
The girls' race featured some precocious ninth-graders. Cummins became the third CMW girl to win the UCBAC as a freshman. She led her team to the title with two other freshmen – Lindsay Perry and Jordyn Powers, who placed sixth and seventh – and two juniors, Jessica Rogers, 12th, and Kristen White 15th.
The Bel Air girls team finished second, led by freshman Rebekah Cross who placed fifth. Third went to Patterson Mill, with three girls in the top 15: Betz; Grace Wisniewski, ninth; and freshman Kathleen DiCarlo, 14th.
Others in the girls top 15 were Rachel Goldsborough of Edgewood, third; Nicole Hondrogiannis of Fallston, fourth; Arianna Wheeler of Rising Sun, eighth; Elle Meyer of Bo Manor, tenth; Emma Wheeler of Rising Sun, 11th; and Shelby Johnson of Edgewood, 13th.
McDermott took the lead at the outset of the boys' race. He steadily widened his lead over the field of 93 and finished in 16:35 with four Bo Manor runners in a file behind him at second, third, fourth, and sixth -- Grant Franceschina, 16:52; Alex Longeway, 17:02; Zachary Laird, 17:04; and Jack Franceschina, 17:14.
The No. 5 runner for the Class 1A Bo Manor Eagles was freshman Colin Parker, who finished 29th in 18:30 to cinch the team win, 44 to 87, over runner-up North Harford. Leading North Harford with top-10 finishes were Ben Nardi in seventh and George Schiminger in ninth.
Bel Air took third, one point behind North Harford and two points ahead of Fallston. Ethan Gray finished fifth and Nick Hammond, 13th for the Bobcats. Fallston placed fourth with a 33-second spread among its scorers and two runners in the top 15: freshman Giles Daley, tenth, and sophomore Saxon Brown, 15th.
Others in the top 15 were Sam Brosh, Patterson Mill, eighth; Adam Del Colliano, CMW, 11th; Daniel Foster, Aberdeen, 12th; and Brandon Cruz, CMW, 14th.