Westminster boys run to 10th straight title HIGH SCHOOLS PLUS Cross country


The "bad guys" won again. Westminster easily captured its 10th straight Carroll County boys cross country championship at Western Maryland College.

The Owls placed five runners in the top 12 for 33 points, far ahead of second-place Key (60 points) and third-place Liberty (78 points).

"Every where I walked today, people were rooting for anybody but Westminster to win," said Owls coach Jim Gilford. "I feel like a villain or something. But I guess I'd rather be winning and be the villain than losing and being a good guy.

"Somebody said last week at the CMCs [Central Maryland Conference championships] that it's not good for Westminster to win every year. What do they want us to do? Not try to win."

Gilford offered a scary thought for the other county boys teams yesterday.

"This was the worst race we've run as a team all year," he said. "We usually have 35 seconds between our top five runners. Today we had one minute and five seconds. It might have been because we were coming off an emotional win in the CMCs or I worked them really hard Monday in our last chance to get ready for the regionals or maybe the kids thought they were going to win easily."

Liberty's Joe Ledda finished first in the boys race with a clocking of 17 minutes, 1 second, 10 seconds ahead of Westminster's Tim Meerschaert.

Westminster also won its sixth consecutive girls Carroll County championship when its top rival Francis Scott Key faltered badly to finish third with 76 points.

The Owls girls had 35 points, just 12 points ahead of the South Carroll girls (47 points).

Shannon Hugg of Francis Scott Key easily won the girls race, finishing in 20:40 over the 3.1-mile course. Westminster's Brooke Hammel was second at 21:13.

It was the first time since 1986 that Westminster didn't have a runner win either the boys or girls individual championship.

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