If it hadn't been t for Kristy Klima, Ian Ross and Alec Miller, Severna Park might have run away with all the first-place awards at yesterday's Anne Arundel County Championships at Annapolis High.
As it turned out, the Falcons managed to sweep all four of the team titles -- varsity and junior varsity boys and girls -- marking only the third time in the 26-year history of the event that a team swept all four championships.
"We have been aiming to sweep all four races for the last month because we've never done it before and we pulled it off today," said Severna Park coach Ed Purpura, who was a member of the Falcons first county champion team in 1970. "We felt like we were the favorite coming in on the boys' side, but Arundel was the defending champs and they scared us, but we pulled it out."
As did Klima and Ian Ross in the varsity races. Klima, sophomore at Glen Burnie, passed Annapolis' Alison Ross near the two-mile mark and won the girls title in 18 minutes, 57 seconds. Ian Ross didn't have to work quite as hard in the boys race as he finished in 16:34 -- 16 seconds ahead of runner-up Jon Carnes of Broadneck.
"Ian's been our No. 1 guy all season long and he ran up to his expectations today," said Annapolis coach Brian Funk. "He ran his best time of the year and there was nobody out there to push him."
Ross, who finished behind Arundel's Chad Webber earlier thimonth at Annapolis at the Anne Arundel Invitational -- his only loss to a county runner all season -- didn't seem to mind that no one was breathing down his neck coming down the stretch.
"I took a few days off before the race and I just felt really relaxed through the whole thing," he said. "This is something I have really wanted ever since I was a freshman and I knew if I went out and ran the way I was capable of that I could have it."
Webber finished third in the boys race, followed by Justin Woodbrine of Chesapeake, Jon Mikeska of Old Mill, Chris Robey of Severna Park and Meade's John Thomas.
Alec Miller of Old Mill won the boys B race and Severna Park's Kim Chawn claimed first in the girls JV race.
Ann Crespo of Severna Park took third in the girls varsity racand Chesapeake's Stephanie Stevens was fourth.
L For Klima, yesterday's victory was a bittersweet experience.
"I didn't think I was going to get it, I thought Alison Ross had it and part of me wishes she did," said Klima, as she walked toward the award ceremonies. "I wish me and Alison could have won it together. Last year, it was [Kristen] Nicolini [now at Auburn] who was beating her and she was most likely to win it this year and then I came along. I guess it was good for me, but I still feel bad for her."