Foster's surprise win boosts Towson Cross country

Towson's Becky Foster said she couldn't explain her uncharacteristically fast start in yesterday's Class 2A, Region II cross country championship meet at Oregon Ridge Park.

It was the 14-year-old's finish, however, that defied explanation. Foster, who hadn't won a race in high school, finished the 3-mile course in 20:24.


Mount Hebron's Erin Gibbons finished second in 20:49.

"Usually my starts aren't too fast," said Foster, a freshman, "but today it just felt really good. I don't know why."


Foster's unexpected win helped propel Towson to a first-place finish, 11 points ahead of second-place Loch Raven and third-place Hereford, both of whom also advanced to the state finals at Western Maryland College on Nov. 14.

After several seasons of rebuilding, Towson coach John Massar said his team is regaining its championship form of the 1980s.

"It looks like we're building again," said Massar. "These young kids have really added something to the team."

Foster broke away from the pack early, and led by more than 30 seconds at the two-mile mark before coasting to the victory.

For boys winner Greg Curtis of Oakland Mills, however, the feat wasn't as easy. Curtis came from behind to take the lead midway through the race, only to later make a wrong turn and run several yards off course.

He recovered to win in 17:11, 13 seconds ahead of Mount Hebron's Scott Upton. Oakland Mills placed five runners among the top 14 to win the meet by seven points over second-place Hereford, with Towson taking third.

The victory gave Oakland Mills, coached by Steve Carnahan, its ninth straight regional title.

After racing to the head of the pack early, Curtis passed leader Bruce Lentz of Hereford near the 1-mile mark, then led by a slim margin the rest of the way.


"I was pretty sure he had a stronger kick than I did, so I knew I had to get ahead of him," said Curtis, who ventured off course a mile later. "I took a wrong turn and I didn't know what to do. Finally somebody yelled back to me where to go."

Oakland Mills, along with Hereford, Towson and Mount Hebron, qualified for the Nov. 14 state championship meet at Western Maryland College.