It was a day of firsts for Catonsville and Perry Hall yesterday at the state cross country championships at Hereford.
Bridget Olp won her first state title, helping No. 4 Catonsville do the same. For the Comets boys, Jamie Davies completed his perfect season with his first state championship.
And for No. 1 Perry Hall, Krissy Jost's second-place finish led the Gators to their first state crown.
Olp out-dueled defending champion Alicia Adams of Glenelg to win the Class 2A race. Adams and Olp traded the lead throughout much of the race, but the Catonsville runner made her move late and won in 18 minutes, 54 seconds, 16 seconds ahead of Adams on the 3-mile course.
"I just tried my hardest," said Olp. "I just figured it was my last race [and] give it all I've got."
Olp said her goal was to help the Comets win the state title, and she achieved that aim. Julie Shimko (fourth, 19:58), Brigid O'Connell (fifth, 20:04), Christine Nielsen (12th, 20:39) and Chris Saffran (25th, 21:34) helped Catonsville finish with 43 points, easily ahead of Fallston (82).
Catonsville coach Jeff McDaniel said his team pointed to this all season.
"They had a common goal," said McDaniel, whose team won the regions and took third in the Baltimore county championship. "Everyone [in the top five] ran a personal best today. That's what we shoot for, that they should run their best on the day of the state meet."
Davies also had a personal best -- for a 3-mile course -- in his race. The senior left little suspense in his final high school race, taking the lead about one-half mile into the race and pulling away.
His time of 15:52 easily defeated Jack Longley of South River, who posted a 16:24.
"I just wanted to cap [the season] off," said Davies. "It's easy to remember the ones you lose, and it's harder to remember the ones you win, but I think I'll remember every second of this race."
The Comets took third with 101 points, behind Allegany (84) and Oakland Mills (89). John Jahnigen (11th, 16:56) and Ed Garrett (24th, 17:26) were the next two Comets.
Jost and Perry Hall used consistency to capture its first Class 4A state girls title. Jost finished in 18:34, eight seconds behind winner Kristen Nicolini of Annapolis.
The Gators, who won their region title and took second in the county, had five runners in the top 35 for 75 points, easily beating defending champion and No. 2 Dulaney (103). Megan Makowski (ninth, 19:47), Kelly Richmond (21st, 20:32), Krissy Diamond (22nd, 20:34) and Jill Heeckendorf (35th, 21:13) scored for the Gators. Diamond came up to the varsity just before the regionals. She won the junior-varsity county title.
The highest finisher for Dulaney was 12th-place Melissa Wilson in 20:05. Other Lions struggled, including Meghan White, who felt ill and finished 83rd. White's sister, Amanda, had her course zTC record broken by Walter Johnson's Sally Glynn. Her time of 17:24 easily beat White's clocking of 17:40.7 in 1991.
For Baltimore City schools, Mervo had the best team score, as the boys finished 13th in the Class 4A race.