Glen Burnie's Kristy Klima added to what has already been a sensational sophomore season as she claimed top individual XTC honors at yesterday's Class 4A East regional titles at Baybrook Park.
Klima, the Anne Arundel County champion and winner of four major invitationals this year, led a field of 75 runners for 3.1 muddy miles before winning in a time of 19 minutes, 4 seconds.
"This kid is making me famous," said Klima's coach, Tony Benicewicz. "They say that everyone gets their 15 minutes of fame. If that's the case, I still have 14 minutes and 30 seconds left."
Klima, who must now prepare for the state meet Nov. 11 at Hereford, won yesterday's race with 50 seconds to spare. Jennifer Ng of Arundel took second followed by Leah Walker of Calvert, Ann Krespo of Severna Park and county runner-up Alison Ross of Annapolis in fifth.
"The mud was hard to run in. It felt like I was running in sand," said Klima. "I was tired because I used most everything I had at last Thursday's county meet. I just tried to stay out front and do the best I could."
After taking a broom to last Thursday's team competition at the county meet, Severna Park swept both region titles. The Falcons outlasted second-place Arundel, 61-85, on the boys side and held off the Wildcats, 38-64, to win the girls title.
Nick Gramsky of Northern easily claimed first place in the boys race but the real drama came in the battle for second as Old Mill junior Jon Mikeska edged Annapolis senior Ian Ross.
"All season long I've wanted a piece of Ross and I finally got him," said Mikeska, who finished fifth at the county meet while Ross claimed first. "I loved these conditions. This is what cross country is all about. If you don't get dirty you don't have a good race."
Chad Webber led Arundel's boys team with a fourth-place finish and Severna Park's Paul Mathieu, Scott Waite and Chris Robey helped the Falcons to the region crown by placing fifth, eighth and ninth, respectively.
"He knew exactly what he wanted to do, he had a plan, set goals and he went out and did his job today," Old Mill coach Gary Bater said of Mikeska's performance. "He trained very hard over the summer so he could come into the season and work on conditioning and work at reducing his time and he's done both."