For someone who was trying to familiarize herself with Hereford's newly designed cross country course, Perry Hall senior Krissy Jost seemed in control of her surroundings at yesterday's Baltimore County Championships.
Jost won the girls race by covering the 3.1 miles of rolling countryside in 20 minutes, 32.7 seconds -- 1:15 ahead of runner-up Brigid O'Connell of Catonsville.
"I've never run this new course here and I just wanted to get acquainted with it for states," said Jost, who will return to Hereford on Nov. 12 to try and win a Class 4A state title, before heading to the Bronx, N.Y., for the Foot Locker Nationals later in the month. "The course is perfectly marked but running it today should help me at states."
Parkville junior Joe Smith showed the field of 81 male runners that he knew right where he was going as he broke away from the pack in the first mile and went on to win in 18:21.2.
"I felt awesome today," said Smith, a junior. "I did everything right. I got a good night's sleep, had a good lunch and my girlfriend gave me some balloons, which gave me an added lift."
Smith's first-place finish, coupled with a fifth-place finish by teammate Jeff Jenkins, helped Class 3A Parkville (74) take second behind 4A power Perry Hall (27).
Perry Hall's boys team placed seven runners in the top 15 and the Gators occupied four of the top seven spots. Jason Harle and Shawn Kelly led the way for the county champs, as they captured second and third, respectively.
Ryan Haden of Towson took fourth and Ryan Alessi and Chris Marye of Perry Hall came across sixth and seventh, respectively.
"I got away from the group coming down one of the hills and at first I thought I was going too fast, but I wasn't about to slow down and let them catch up," said Smith, who will try and help the Knights win their first region title since 1988 Tuesday at Lansdowne. "This course is all hills and after a while, every hill rips you apart. It all comes down to who slows down the least and I guess I slowed down the least."
Dulaney's girls team won its county championship by sweeping the fourth through seventh places. Suzanne Scafani was the Lions' highest finisher, followed by Meghan White, Erin Cecil and Melissa Wilson.
Towson's Becky Foster claimed third among the field of 44 girls and Caroline Rolker was 13th for the fourth-place Generals.
Marjoei Bollinger rounded out Dulaney's top 15 finishers by placing 11th and Heather Edwards and Megan Makowski helped Perry Hall's cause with an 8-9 finish.
Hereford's girls team took third in thanks to a 10th-place effort by Kerry O'Brien.