Without doubt, Centennial's cross country program is the best in the newly aligned Class 3A East Region.
Running on their 3.1-mile home course, the Eagles' boys an girls claimed titles in yesterday's meet.
In an eight-team race, the boys placed the top three runners to assist in a 31-point total.
The girls were just as dominant among seven schools, placing four of the top five runners in a 21-point score, the lowest total in coach Al Dodds' five-year tenure.
"We kind of figured we were the favorite going in," Dodds said "We wanted each individual runner to improve personal times from the last time we ran here."
In boys competition, Centennial, Broadneck (70), Mount Hebro (81) and Wicomico County's J. M. Bennett (96) qualified for the state meet at Hereford on Nov. 13.
The same four teams will go for the girls, but Mount Hebron (49) and Broadneck (64) flipped spots in regionals. Bennett had 133.
The top-three finish for Centennial's boys involved the senior tri Kevin Hill (16 minutes, 59 seconds), Bobby Van Allen (17:18) and Steve Olenick (17:20).
No. 7 Eric Myers (18:04) and No. 18 Tom Mazcko (18:38) completed the score.
Hill, the Howard County champion, led almost the entire race.
"Bobby [Van Allen] and I ran together for a little more than a mil and he dropped back," Hill said. "Just the magnitude of the race got everybody pumped up, and we started much harder than we usually do."
Eagles sophomore Kari Meyer led the entire girls race for first-place finish (20:59).
Centennial also welcomed performances from Jeanine Lee (third, Cherie Sticha (fourth, 21:51), Allison Pople (fifth, 22:18) and Stacy Cabanilla (eighth).
Class 2A, South Region
Howard County also swept this region, as Oakland Mills' boys and Atholton's girls ran to victory.
In part, Oakland Mills can thank junior Greg Curtis (17:07) an sophomore Steve Petro (17:29), the top two finishers, for its 10th straight region al title.
Eric Larsen (sixth), Micah Hart (13th) and Kevin Lunney (17th) rounded out the Scorpions' 39-point total among nine schools.
Atholton (56), Charles County's Lackey (99), Glenelg (103) an Great Mills (107) of St. Mary's County will join Oakland Mills at the state meet.
After surging ahead at the half-mile mark, Curtis held the lead He was most concerned about Glenelg's Kris Edwards, who finished fifth (17:52).
"I kept hearing these things behind me," Curtis said. "I guess i wasn't [Edwards]. It was the wind or something, but he was there for a while."
In the girls race, Atholton and Oakland Mills both totaled 3 points. But in a tie, the highest sixth-place finisher determines the team winner. In this case, Atholton's Jessica Henry placed 14th to Oakland Mills' Erin Morrow at No. 17.
After trading spots with Atholton's Dana Strickland, Glenelg' Alicia Adams led from about the midway point for a 20:05 winning time.
Strickland (20:31) placed second, and teammates Gail Hodges (fifth), Ammera El Sawi (eighth), Amanda Lipscomb (ninth), Jennifer Elzinga (12th) and Henry also contributed to the Raiders' top score among six teams.
"The first race of the season, a girl came up on my back at th two-mile mark and she eventually won," said Adams, a senior who won her second regional title. "This time, I didn't want to give up because anything can happen."
Class 1A, Central Region
The Wilde Lake boys, behind Faisal Hasan's first-place finish, took second at Francis Scott Key.
The Wildecats finished with 44 points, seven behind Key. They advance to the state championship meet Nov. 13.
Ben Service (sixth), Jeff Bird (10th) and Mike Gardner ended up in the top 15 for Wilde Lake.
Wilde Lake took fourth in the girls' race with 97 points. Two Wildecats finished in the top 15: Elizabeth George (12th) and Emily Scott (15th).