At 5 foot 2 and 92 pounds, Glen Burnie sophomore Kristy Klima wasn't the most imposing figure among the 111 runners who made it to the starting line for the girls race at yesterday's sixth annual Knights Invite at Baybrook Park.
But Klima proved that you don't have to be big to succeed in cross country as she won in 19 minutes and 16 seconds.
Cory Smith of Calvert Hall knocked 30 seconds off the course record set by Smith and teammates Jonathan Dietrich and Doug Stewart last season when they crossed the finish line simultaneously.
Smith raised the meet standard for the 3-mile course to 15:35 and finished 14 seconds ahead of Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association rival Anders Fristedt of McDonogh. Fristedt, who won the Spiked Shoe Invitational last weekend at Johns Hopkins, tripped over Smith's leg on a turn early in the race.
Fristedt got up from the fall but he couldn't catch up. He settled for second place, less than a second ahead of Faisal Hasan of Wilde Lake and fourth-place finisher Steve Moxey (Curley).
"I was worried about Anders when he fell and I slowed down to see if he was OK," said Smith, last year's MIAA individual champion. "I felt bad about it the whole race but I just kept busting it."
Nearly a minute separated Klima from runner-up Kelly Sloan in the girls race. Sloan, a senior at Roland Park, crossed the finish line in 20:14, one second ahead of Notre Dame Prep's Carrie Kroll. Kroll's performance helped her squad win the girls team competition with 91 points.
Annapolis, led by a fifth-place finish by Alison Ross and a top 10 effort by Beck Morris, took second with 92 despite missing its No. 2 runner Misha Bilyeu.
Perry Hall, powered by a sixth-place finish from Jason Harle and Ryan Alessi's 13th place, won the boys team competition, holding off runner-up Curley, 84-76.
"I was really nervous coming into the race," said Klima, who won the Queen Anne's Invitational earlier. "I knew Alison [Ross of Annapolis] was in the race and I've always respected her. I thought she would be up there with me at the end but she wasn't."