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Centennial girls, River Hill boys win Howard County cross country titles

Led by senior Devin McIntyre, the Centennial girls cross country team placed runners in the seven, eight, nine and 10th positions at the Howard County Championships on their home course Thursday. It added up to a first-place team finish in the girls A race.

"I think we did really well," said Centennial's Kara Taylor, who finished with a time of 20 minutes, 10 seconds for an eighth-place finish. "It was a good feeling to be together again, because we've had a rough season. We had some ups and downs staying together, but we always tell ourselves, 'run as a family, and finish as a family.'"

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McIntyre and Taylor nearly crossed side-by-side, with McIntyre finishing in 20:09. Teammates Jessica Jiang and Ashley Mazer placed ninth and 10th with times of 20:20.44 and 20:26.24.

"We finished out one after another, and that's what we always try to do," Jiang said. "It's a better atmosphere when we're closer. And we always do better when we run together."

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It was a tight 10th-place finish between Mazer and River Hill's Owen Dannelly, but Mazer stretched out to barely edge Dannelly.

"We had come into this knowing the reality that we could put four in the top 10, and coming down the line, I was doing the math — but that's all I was screaming," said Centennial coach Kevin McCoy. "That's the name of the game. That is what we wanted, and yeah, it was worth it."

Defending 3A state champion River Hill finished third overall for the girls, with Howard taking second. Mt. Hebron was fourth, followed by Marriotts Ridge, Reservoir, Oakland Mills, Wilde Lake, Glenelg and Long Reach.

It was a disappointing finish for the Hawks, whose top runner, Jasmine Tiamfook, is battling through an injury.

"Jasmine has been coming back from a little bit of an injury. She said she pushed it pretty hard today and hit a wall, so we'll go back, we have two more weeks —  we'll get her good, we'll get her right and then I think we really need to emphasize team running on the girls side," said River Hill coach Paul Hugus.

"I think Centennial did a really nice job with that. I think McIntyre pulled their 2, 3, 4 along — that's an amazing finish. So we've just got to work on running more as a team and trying to emphasize that, but today to get beaten by a 3A school is a little frustrating. But we have two more weeks and we'll see what we can do."

Oakland Mills' Britt Lang had her usual dominating performance, clocking in first with a time of 18:28, more than a minute faster than the second place finisher — Mt. Hebron's Alexandra Banham in 19:43.77.

Perhaps the biggest surprise on the girls side was the finish of Lang's teammate, Grace Chaverini, who placed third overall, with a time of 19:50.65 — nearly a minute faster than what she ran earlier in the year at the Howard County Invitational on the same course.

"So excited for her, she worked so hard all season and she trains so hard, and she is just so great. I'm so happy for her," said Lang. "She's like my little sister, when I saw her finish I was just like, 'oh my gosh, Gracie!,'

"I'm really looking forward to regionals, and since we've moved to the West Region, all the teams are pretty solid, so you know all of our girls are really focused in qualifying for states so I think today was a great confidence booster. With Gracie being so high up, with my finish and with everyone's finish — it's just a real confidence booster heading into regionals, trying to get to the state meet."

Rose leads River Hill boys to a first-place finish

River Hill's Trent Rose was happy the boys A race was the first heat Thursday, because there was no extra time to overthink what he had to do in order to place first in the final Howard County race of his career.

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"I was thinking about that during warm-ups," he aknowledged. "I was really happy we did it now, because if we didn't do it now, it probably would have gotten in my head and I was not wanting to do that."

Rose ended up out-running the pack for a first-place finish with a time of, 16:13.

"I think it's really a mental thing for a lot of these kids," said River Hill cross country coach Paul Hugus. "And for them to sit in school and especially for him as a senior, to really reflect on how far he's come over the four years and what he's going to do in the race today, and what the nutrition is like and so on… it's nice to come out here and get it done. If he gets us a really nice low score, we're going to be really hard to beat."

Rose had his sights set on Howard's top runner, Nick Deamer, who Rose faced off against a week ago at River Hill in a tri-meet race, which he won.

"I was trying to get behind Deamer, but Deamer was behind people and I didn't expect that, so I went up with them and they kind of slipped back and I kept going with my speed, and it just kind of turned out that way," Rose said. "I think I was really good. I was really happy with it. I was able to peak in the second mile, which is what I really wanted to do and then put some distance in my finish."

Deamer finished third, behind Oakland Mills' Joey Navarro, with times of 16:29.15 and 16:25.34 respectively.

"Trent's performance was great," Hugus said. "I think having him against Deamer at the tri-meet was a really good experience for him and he knew coming in that Nick was going to be pretty difficult to beat, and also Navarro from Oakland Mills — so Trent ran a really smart race.

"He got off to a fairly slow start, and I think he ran a little scared the first mile because he was a little farther back than he should have been. But he bided his time and when it counted really made his move … so really happy for him. Really a great way to go out for him, as a senior, to say he is the best of the county."

Navarro made his way toward the top half of the pack early, trailing at first behind Rose, Deamer and Mt. Hebron's Greg Bisant. But the junior placed second behind Rose, nearly passing his personal best.

"I felt really great, actually. I don't know if it was my PR, but it was pretty close," said Navarro. "I was definitely looking for top three. It was just seeing how good they felt, and how good I felt and just going for it."

Oakland Mills finished fourth in the team scores, behind River Hill, Howard and Mt. Hebron.

River Hill's Rahul Reddy finished fourth with a time of 16:36, followed by Bisant, River Hill's Jacob Parker, Marriotts Ridge's Ibrahim Jirdeh, Howard's Gavin Reynolds, Mt. Hebron's Jacob Edmondson and Howard's Ryan Gunderson in the boys A heat.

Girls team results: 1. Centennial, 49 points; 2. Howard, 72 points; 3. River Hill, 77 points; 4. Mt. Hebron, 124 points; 5. Marriotts Ridge, 144 points; 6. Reservoir, 161 points; 7. Oakland Mills, 168 points; 8. Wilde Lake, 181 points; 9. Glenelg, 199 points; 10. Long Reach, 288 points.

Top girls individuals: 1. Britt Lang, OM, 16:28.14; 2. Alexandra Banham, MH, 19:43.77; 3. Grace Chaverini, OM, 19:50.65; 4. Courtney Mann, H, 19:54.24; 5. Abigail Starks, MR, 19:54.48; 6. Jasmine Tiamfook, RH, 19:55.03; 7. Devin McIntyre, C, 20:09.78; 8. Kara Taylor, C, 20:10.63; 9. Jessica Jiang, C, 20:20.44; 10. Ashley Mazer, C, 20:26.24; 11. Owen Dannelly, RH, 20:26.64; 12. Annabel Cortez, R, 20:27.07; 13. Taylor Jaranyi, H, 20:32.20; 14. Emily Hawkins, H, 20:33.70; 15. Alison Betler, C, 20:38.16; 16. Emily Magoon, H, 20:42.04; 17. Heather Ailinger, R, 20:42.67; 18. Anna Latzko, RH, 20:49.43; 19. Tiffany Wang, RH, 20:54.46; 20. Julia Orloff, WL, 21:04.33; 21. Cora Blount, C, 21:08.94; 22. Celine Pisanic, A, 21:11.91; 23. Emily Beyer, MH, 21:12.17; 24. Alexa Matthews, RH, 21:23.84; 25. Jennifer Horner, RH, 21:25.74; 26. Nhu Chau, H, 21:26.85; 27. Alexis Carroll, WL, 21:32.35; 28. Eileen Ying, RH, 21:35.88; 29. Ellie Gustafson, MH, 21:41.25; 30. Hannah Frederick, MR, 21:42. 15.

Boys team results: 1. River Hill, 37 points; 2. Howard, 52 points; 3. Mt. Hebron, 83 points; 4. Oakland Mills, 112 points; 5. Atholton, 119 points; 6. Centennial, 170 points; 7. Reservoir, 175 points; 8. Glenelg, 211 points; 9. Marriotts Ridge, 216 points; 10. Wilde Lake, 268 points; 11. Hammond, 321 points; 12. Long Reach, 393 points.

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Top boys individuals: 1. Trent Rose, RH, 16:13.93; 2. Joey Navarro, OM, 16:25.34; 3. Nick Deamer, H, 16:29.15; 4. Rahul Reddy, RH, 16:36.54; 5. Greg Bisant, MH, 16:41.26; 6. Jacob Parker, RH, 16:44.06; 7. Ibrahim Jirdeh, MR, 16:48.71; 8. Gavin Reynolds, H, 16:53.76; 9. Jacob Edmondson, MH, 16:56.90; 10. Ryan Gunderson, H, 16:58.15; 11. Abraham Samuel, MH, 16:58.94; 12. Andrew Meininger, RH, 17:00.77; 13. Francisco Lefors, A, 17:02.34; 14. Benjamin Oldhouser, RH, 17:09.40; 15. Dennis Danieli, H, 17:11.04; 16. Brian Goulet, H, 17:15.36; 17. Daniel Smolyak, A, 17:17.45; 18. Kai Muniz, R, 17:17.63; 19. Jared Nguyen, OM, 17:18.15; 20. Toby Dilworth, G, 17:18.98; 21. William Christian, R, 17:21.52; 22. Benjamin Rosicky, A, 17:25.36; 23. Jake Downing, RH, 17:31.76; 24. Kelsey White, OM, 17:34.44; 25. Joseph Lapointe, H, 17:35.18; 26. Erik Jenks, H, 17:36.05; 27. Timothy Packard, MH, 17:38.49; 28. Daniel Gao, C, 17:39.03; 29. Owen Spain, A, 17:39.61; 30. Andrew Frommer, C, 17:41.09.

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