The Westminster girls opened yesterday's Carroll County championship at Western Maryland College by placing five runners in the top nine spots for an impressive victory.
But minutes later, the No. 5 Westminster boys one-upped their teammates. The Owls completed the sweep by claiming five of the first seven spots to win their 12th consecutive county meet.
The boys, who won the Central Maryland Conference crown last weekend, nearly swept the top five spots. Their 18 points easily beat North Carroll (73).
Mike Recek led the Owls as he won for the second straight year. His time of 17 minutes, 26 seconds topped teammate and runner-up Dave Barnes by 10 seconds.
Shane Martin finished third in 17:39, just ahead of Bobby Ward of Liberty (17:40). Josh Heckathorn of Westminster finished fifth in 17:49, nipping Jeremy Cuno (17:55) of North Carroll. Danny Carter (18:00) rounded out the Westminster scoring with his seventh-place finish.
Seeing how his team stayed in a pack throughout the race made Westminster coach Jim Gilford smile. The Owls couldn't quite do that at the CMC meet, and Gilford said this strong effort puts his team in good shape for next week's regional meet.
"We're ready for [the regionals]," said Gilford. "We have a good supporting cast [for Recek], and we just need him to be up there."
And he certainly was there yesterday. After a tough second-place finish to Jon Hayes of Linganore in the CMC meet, Recek led early here and had little trouble in a race he labeled a "confidence builder."
"It's good to get your focus back and your feet back under you," said Recek, the defending state champion. "I felt good coming out and leading the race for almost the whole race."
Jill Krebs of South Carroll did the same thing in the girls' race. The sophomore, who beat teammate and No. 1 runner Carrie Braun for the first time at the CMC meet, repeated the feat as she took the lead early and scored her first career victory.
For Krebs, whose time of 21:10 put her 19 seconds ahead of runner-up Sarah Brumfitt of Westminster, this was a big accomplishment.
"I was really focusing on this," said Krebs. "I wanted our team to win. I want people to respect South Carroll."
The Cavaliers -- who saw Braun take fourth in 21:47 -- certainly gained some respect with their third-place finish, just one point behind runner-up Francis Scott Key (69). But this was Westminster's day, as the Owls breezed to victory with 30 points.
After Brumfitt, who nipped Dawn Harner (21:32) of Key by three seconds, came teammates Jessica Detrow (fifth, 21:50), Heidi Metzger (sixth, 22:01), Sara Gosnell (eighth, 22:11) and Angie Baer (ninth, 22:15). This meet let the Owls show their deep depth.
Said Westminster coach Jim Shank: "My biggest problem today was deciding which seven to run."