Sophomore Kristen Nicolini of Annapolis and junior Geoff Warren of Arundel took top individual honors yesterday at the Anne Arundel County Cross Country Championships in Annapolis.
Nicolini, who won county championships in the 800- and 1600-meter runs as a freshman, is running cross country for the first time.
She won yesterday's varsity A meet by nearly two minutes over her closest competitor, Jessica Davis of Old Mill.
Nicolini covered the 3.1-mile course in 18 minutes, 20 seconds. Davis followed in 20:11 and Glen Burnie's Robin Kloster (20:24) and Rebecca McDivitt (20:34) third and fourth, respectively.
"It's not an easy course to run, it's tough," said Nicolini.
Nicolini's time easily topped the 19:54 posted by last year's champion, Severna Park's Fran Mackney.
"It feels really good to be the champion, but we have a team and this meet is more team than individual," said Nicolini. The Panthers finished fourth behind champion Severna Park (43), Old Mill (54) and Chesapeake (73).
Severna Park placed seven in the top 20 to win its 10th straight team title and added the varsity B title. Brianna Weidman was the Falcons' top finisher, fourth in 20:49.
Other top-20 finishers for the Falcons were Kerry Lindenmeyer (sixth), Katria Lee (12th), Katherine Steiner (13th), Sara Tate, (15th) Elizabeth Palmer (16th) and Julia Flaherty (20th).
Jessica Schlegel (22:54) and Mandy Miller (23:03) finished one-two in the varsity B race for Severna Park, which placed 11 girls in the first 21 finishers to coast to the title by 24 points over runner-up Old Mill.
In the boys varsity A race, Warren took the lead after about three-quarters of a mile and narrowly beat Severna Park sophomore Jackson Longley, 17:00 to 17:07.
"I expected it to be between me and Brad [Boetig of Old Mill] and [Severna Park's Jeremy] Kokalis, but I made a move on kill hill, hit the baseball fence and sprinted to the finish line," said Warren.
Boetig, whose brother, Scott, won last year's varsity A meet, was a disappointing 12th (17:54). Three of his teammates finished well ahead of him to give the Patriots the team title, 39-53, over defending champion Severna Park.
Ron Pennington (17:14), Jason Reckner (17:16) and Dave Cavanaugh (17:28) finished third, fourth and fifth for the Patriots.
Arundel's Arthur Smith won the varsity B title in 18:33, five seconds better than Mike Godesky of team champion Broadneck.