Carroll County didn't bring home any titles from the state cross country championships yesterday at Hereford, but there were plenty of strong individual and team efforts that got noticed.
Senior Shannon Hugg's second-place finish in the Class 1A girls race capped a fine all-around day for the Francis Scott Key Eagles. The Westminster boys surprised some with its runner-up finish in the Class 4A race.
Behind Hugg, the Key girls took fourth in the team race with 104 points. Monocacy Valley Athletic League-foe Brunswick won for the third straight year with 65 points.
Hugg finished the 3-mile course with a time of 19 minutes, 57 seconds. Brunswick's Adrian Unger was first to cross the finish line in 19:26.
"Shannon ran a very strong respectable race today. There were some classy runners out there today and she was one of them," said Key coach Rich Salkin.
"She really showed she is among the elite in the entire state and that goes for all classes. I'm very proud of what she accomplished throughout the season and capped it with a great effort today."
The Westminster boys sneaked up on a couple of teams, but couldn't get by a dominant Quince Orchard team (Montgomery County), which came away with a 50-95 win. It was the second straight second-place finish for the Owls.
"Obviously we would have liked to have won, but you look at how Quince Orchard ran today and no one would have beat them," said Westminster coach Jim Gilford.
"No one talked about us going in, you heard about Arundel, Perry Hall and [Quince Orchard], but our kids ran a tough race. Last year we did great, but didn't quite live up to expectations. This year, we exceeded expectations, which makes it that much rewarding. It was an extremely satisfying year."
Senior Tim Meerschaert, in his first year with the Owls, took fourth with a time of 16:47. Sophomore Mike Recek (16:59) finished 10th, and Shawn Donovan (17:02) was 13th.
"I just tried to run the best of my ability," said Meerschaert, who transferred from Michigan last year but didn't run as a junior.
"It was slick so I just had to watch the curves, but I didn't have as much problems as some of the other runners. I haven't felt this good all season."
The Key boys had a strong day as well finishing third overall with 121 points behind the 14th-place finish of junior Damon Battaglia.
Southern-Garrett dominated to win the team title, easily outdistancing runner-up Easton, 42-80.
"We had a fine day," said Salkin. "Southern-Garrett is a very tough school and we have nothing to be ashamed of with the way we ran today."
Battaglia finished with a solid time of 17:16. Salkin also said he got a great effort from his fifth runner, senior Matt Bassler, who enjoyed his best race of the season.
Westminster's Brooke Hammel (20:24) finished 18th overall in the girls Class 4A race to lead the Owls to a ninth-place finish.
The South Carroll girls matched their seventh-place performance a year ago in the Class 3A race. Freshman Carrie Braun finished 13th overall in 20:28.
In the Class 2A boys race, North Carroll came in looking to finish in the top 10 and did just that, finishing eighth. Junior Bryan Gunning was the top Panther finisher, placing 23rd in 17:23. Liberty's Joe Ledda finished 14th in 17:00.
Liberty's Jennifer Myers was the top Carroll finisher in the girls Class 3A race. She took 34th in 21:50 -- eight seconds faster
than North Carroll's Carrie Cook.