Perry Hall's Megan Makowski had never run cross country until this fall, but she turned in the top performance among Baltimore-area girls at the second annual Harford County Invitational yesterday at Harford Community College.
Makowski, a sophomore, finished fifth in the girls large schools division with a time of 20 minutes and 33 seconds. A swimmer, who ran indoor and outdoor track last year, Makowski trained all summer for her first cross country season, but she never expected to finish so strong at Harford.
"I thought maybe Top 20," said Makowski. "But I never thought Top 5 in a race this big. I've won a lot of dual meets, but the competition isn't quite like this."
Another newcomer, Hereford senior Marielle Powell, ran the second best time among area girls, 20:44.88 in the girls small school's division.
Pennsylvania teams dominated the top spots in the team races and won all the individual titles. Governor Miflin won the seeded race while Red Lion took the large schools title and Manheim Central won the small schools division.
Miflin's Liz Reeser ran the day's best time, 19:00.66 to win the seeded race by 50 seconds. Cumberland Valley's twins, Dava and Tara Rhodes, finished second and third, respectively just as they had a year ago.
Only a handful of Marylanders ran in the seeded race. C. Milton Wright's Stacy Servia finished 12th in 21:10.60. Christy Moon, of Aberdeen, was the next Maryland finisher in 17th, 21:24.85. Bryn Mawr's Chris Maranto was 25th in 21:57.79.
C. Milton Wright was the only local team in the seeded race. The Mustangs, third last year, were sixth.
In the large schools race, No. 2 Severna Park struggled to finish fifth with 118 points. It edged No. 10 Old Mill, which scored 164. No. 9 Atholton was seventh with 172 points.
Red Lion won with 42 points behind Suzanne Baum's winning 19:32. Rebeccah Wassner, of Watkins Mill, turned in the top performance by a Maryland girl finishing second behind Baum in 20:06.
Freshman Julia Flaherty led the Falcons for the first time this season finishing 22nd in 22:16. The Falcons were missing four of their top runners -- three with injuries and one on vacation.
Liz Palmer, Kate Steiner, Sara Tate and Jess Schlegal also finished in the top 35.
For Old Mill, Jessica Davis finished eighth in 20:52. Jen Strickland (41st) and Jenny Porter (23:41) were next. Gail Nodges led Atholton, finishing 21st in 21:58.
In the small schools race, No. 10 Mount de Sales was fourth, led by Teresa Love (10th), Katie Domerchie (14th) and Liz Williams (15th).