After a tedious analysis of the finish-line video, the victory string of the C. Milton Wright cross-country team came to an end yesterday in the Harford Invitational Meet in Bel Air.
The Mustangs, who had won Boys three straight invitational meets this season, finished second in the boys seeded race behind Quince Orchard of Montgomery County. But the Mustangs found consolation in defeat.
Wright's Brian Harris won the individual title, his fourth straight in invitational meets this season. And the Mustangs outpointed a host of tough teams from both Maryland and Pennsylvania.
Harris' win was decisive. Quince Orchard's team victory wasn't.
Results were uncertain after the 12th place runner fell in the chute. His tag was misplaced in the order of finish, and officials reviewed the tape a dozen times to determine the correct scoring.
When finally sorted out two hours after the meet ended, they showed that Quince Orchard had won its fourth meet of the season with 66 points, and Wright finished second with 86. Two strong Pennsylvania teams, Chambersburg (93) and Dallastown (104), placed third and fourth, respectively. Old Mill (154) was fifth.
"This was really a top-notch field," said Archbishop Curley coach Gene Hoffman, whose team placed sixth, two places ahead of its MSA rival Calvert Hall. Perry Hall was seventh.
"I'm pleased," said Wright coach Bob Johnson. "Quince Orchard was definitely tough. This has to be the toughest field we'll see all year."
In the race for individual honors, Harris went to the front quickly, shared the lead for the first half mile, then pulled away as he approached the mile mark in 4:54.
Harris clocked 16:05.3 over the rolling, 3.1-mile course at Harford Community College to collect his sixth win and register his largest victory margin of the season.
Tisdale ran 16:42. Kevin Birdsell of Quince Orchard was third in 16:50, and Derek Rice of Curley, fourth in 16:55.
Greg Stephen was the second Wright runner across the finish line in fifth place in 16:49.
Earlier in the day, Bruce Lentz of Hereford won the small varsity race, leading a field of 141 runners in 17:16.6. Hereford placed fifth behind four out-of-state teams.
In the large-school varsity race, Severna Park was second among 12 teams behind the sixth-place finish of Jack Longley. Bryan Townsend was third in 16:45 to pace Atholton to a third. Chris O'Gwin of Howard was fifth and his team fourth.