Oakland Mills' Curtis runs to invitational title


Meghan White literally turned white but didn't black out yesterday after winning the Westminster Invitational for the second straight year, the Westminster boys ended eight years of frustration by capturing the team championship, and Greg Curtis of Oakland Mills started fast and finished strong for first place in the boys race.

Twenty-one schools and nearly 300 boys and girls runners competed in the 15th Westminster Invitational cross country meet at Western Maryland College.

White, of Dulaney, had collapsed last Saturday at the finish line of the UMBC Invitational and was out for 20 minutes before being revived and undergoing a series of tests.

The tests proved inconclusive, but it is thought that the sophomore runner has an imbalance in her system that can be treated, said her father, Stan White, who met his daughter at the finish line.

Moments after covering the 3.1-mile course in 20 minutes and 18 seconds to edge her Dulaney teammate, Melissa Wilson (20:20), for first place in the girls race, White said she felt almost as badly as she did at UMBC. Her face was drained, but she continued to talk to her father and eventually she regained her normal color.

White said: "As long as I'm not injuring myself further, I'm not worried. The only thing that scares me now is I don't want to start off too fast in a race and start feeling too sick before I get to the finish line."

By remaining in the race to the end last Saturday and finishing 15th, White enabled the Dulaney girls to win the championship by one point in the UMBC Invitational.

The Dulaney girls had a much easier time of it yesterday on the way to the team championship, finishing with 36 points to 138 for second-place Mount de Sales.

Also helping Dulaney were Suzanne Sclafani (21:00, third), Marjorie Bollinger (21:20, 10th) and Erin Cecil (21:55, 16th).

In the boys competition, host Westminster was a winner over second-place Oakland Mills, 60-96.

The Owls had five runners place in the top 20 yesterday, with junior Mike Recek (16:41) finishing second to Curtis (16:32) by nine seconds.

Curtis, who was third last season as a junior, said he was pushed to the top this season by teammate Steve Petro, who took third at 16:44.

"It wasn't like I was all psyched up or anything," said Curtis. "I figured I had a good shot at it since the two guys who finished ahead of me last year had graduated. It was going to work for a day. Westminster is a 4A school and we're shooting for the 2A states."

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