The Severna Park girls won their ninth consecutive regional championship yesterday. But afterward, coach Ed Purpura shook his head and smiled weakly.
"It's unusual," he said.
No. 3 Severna Park needed a little help to win the Class 4A East Region title yesterday at Baybrook Park. The Falcons at first finished two points behind No. 4 Annapolis, but incompletes from three teams moved them into a first-place tie. A tiebreaker ++ gave Severna Park the title.
Annapolis appeared to have won when the first scores showed it with 58 points, just ahead of Severna Park's 60. But Arundel, North County and Calvert all had incompletes, which means they didn't have five runners complete the course. So, those teams' individual scores were tossed out.
That gave Annapolis five points, but Severna Park came up with seven to tie the meet at 53. The Falcons then won as sixth-place runner Anne Crespo (18th) finished far ahead of Annapolis' sixth-place runner.
"We always stress that every place is important," said Purpura. "We always tell them to pass everybody."
Most of Severna Park's runners finish in a bunch. Kim Chwan (fifth, 20:01) and Erica Krajnik (seventh, 20:29) led the way, followed by Jenny Band, Leslie Tate and Katrina Lee in 15th through 17th place.
This is the team's second straight victory over Annapolis. Severna Park beat the Panthers by one point in last week's Anne Arundel County championships.
"Severna Park ran really well," said Annapolis coach Brian Funk. "You've got to give credit to them. They just beat us."
Annapolis' Kristen Nicolini, the defending state champion, won her third straight regional title. She led from beginning to end and finished 1:32 ahead of teammate Alison Ross.
"I didn't feel as good as I did last week at the county [meet]," said Nicolini. "But it's one of my better times this year."
The other county girls teams to qualify for the state meet a week from Saturday at Hereford were Old Mill (third, 68), Glen Burnie (fourth, 94) and Chesapeake (fifth, 129). Also, the top 17 runners qualified, 15 of whom were from Anne Arundel County.
For the boys, No. 7 Arundel took second with 61 points. Northern of Calvert had little trouble, cruising to victory with 39 points.
Severna Park (third, 84 points), Chesapeake (fourth, 120), Old Mill (fifth, 141) and Meade (sixth, 149) all qualified as a team for the states. Old Mill edged Queen Anne's by one point for the final state spot. Thirteen of the 20 runners who qualified for Hereford were from Anne Arundel County.
South River's boys and girls captured region titles in the state Class 2A East region championship meet at Kent County High.
The boys scored 20 points as they swept the second through seventh spots with Jack Longley, Jason Berger, Eric Arnold, Jeremy Schropp, Joe Herzig and James Knode, respectively.
The girls scored 17 and took the top four spots with Jess King, Colleen McLaughlin, Erin Moorcones and Heather Mack. Emily Gwinn placed seventh.
Broadneck's girls won their first state regional title by edging Centennial, 41-43, in the Class 3A East region championship at Centennial.
The Bruins placed four runners in the top 15 -- Stephanie Hooper (third), Colleen Rossiter (sixth), Mary Williams (eighth), Amanda Schmidt (10th) and Meredith Alig (14th).