Favorites ruled at the Howard County Cross Country Championships yesterday at Howard Community College.
Wilde Lake's boys team repeated as champions by garnering five of the first 12 places to defeat runner-up Centennial, 38-52.
Centennial's girls team ran as expected and distanced itself from runner-up and defending county champion Oakland Mills, 36-71. It ,13l,6pPetrowas Centennial's third county title in four years.
Kari Meyer (20 minutes, 4 seconds) led the Eagles with a #F third-place finish, followed by Sarah Ordaz (20:31) fourth, Neha Amin (20:45) sixth, Petro Leigh Tillman (20:53) ninth and Rebecca Kulak (21:45) 14th.
Steve Petro of Oakland Mills won the boys race by 13 seconds over runner-up Faisal Hasan of Wilde Lake. The winning time was 15:58. Petro's eighth straight victory was accomplished with a fast 4:55 first mile in which he left the field far behind.
"I was surprised that people didn't go out with me. The race was over after one mile," said Petro, who finished second in the county and second in the state Class 2A championship last season.
Dana Strickland of Atholton won the girls race by 40 seconds over runner-up Beth Santilli of Glenelg. The winning time was 19:13.
"People kept telling me she [Santilli] was making a move, but I think they were just trying to push me," Strickland said. The senior Raider was a state Class 2A champion last season, and she repeated as county champion, joining Kim Many as the only Atholton girls to win the county title twice.
Santilli a sophomore, ran a personal best time and tried to stay in contact with Strickland. But Strickland steadily pulled further away. "I knew it was over at the two-mile mark," Santilli said.
Wilde Lake was jubilant about its second straight boys championship. In addition to Hasan's second-place finish, the Wildecats placed Mike Brosenne (16:56) fifth, Paul Daddio (17:06) seventh, Marc Baron (17:06) eighth and Aaron Blum (17:15) 12th.
Wilde Lake coach Charlie Shoemaker was more than pleased with his boys team. "We ran like champions," he said. "We're running better every time out. Brosenne, Baron, Daddio and Blum all ran personal bests. We were quiet today and ready to run. We weren't taking Centennial for granted."
Centennial coach Al Dodds said his boys team gave it all they had. "Wilde Lake was just awesome," he said.