River Hill's Earl Lauer has coached cross country in the county for 27 years. He's had some pretty good teams. Good enough to win nine county boys championships.
This year's boys team might be the best he's ever coached. At least, that's what he thinks. Last Saturday at the William and Mary Invitational, where 135 teams and 3,650 runners gathered in Williamsburg, VA., for 5K races in three classifications, the Hawks won the B race, easily beating 42 other teams with score of 56 points.
"We could have won the A race," Lauer said. "The last two years we ran with the C schools."
Lauer was ecstatic about the efforts of both the boys and the girls. The girls team finished fourth.
Mike Prada finished first in the 5K event in 15 minutes, 50 $H seconds. "That's flying," Lauer said. "It's the fastest time I've ever had a kid run. He won by 100 yards." Prada has won two invitationals and finished second twice.
And sophomore Lee McDuff won her fourth straight invitational by running an 18: 14, 30 seconds ahead of her nearest competitor. "It was the fastest 5K time ever run by a Howard County girl," Lauer said.
Prada's teammates included: Mike Styczynski (fourth, 16: 09), Zach Heidepriem (seventh, 16: 09), Steve Chu (20th, 16: 38) and Michael Flegg (29th, 16: 51).
McDuff's teammates included: Kelli Bloch (ninth, 19: 39), Staci Mallare (52nd, 21: 07), Anna Lucas (53rd, 21: 08), Michelle Moore (99th, 22: 22).
"All 28 kids we took posted personal best times," Lauer said. "It was the best day I remember of any program I've had, time-wise and winning-wise.
Soccer showdowns today
The top-ranked River Hill boys (7-0 overall, 2-0 league) put their 16-game winning streak on the line today against No. 5-ranked Oakland Mills (7-0, 4-0) -- the only team to beat the defending Class 2A state champs last season.
River Hill has outscored its opponents 22-3. Oakland Mills has outscored its opponents 17-4. Todd Tedrow leads the Hawks with five goals. Jeremy Catlin leads Oakland Mills with five goals. Kyle Farmer has four goals. Brian Grund has six assists.
River Hill, ranked No. 15 nationally by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America, has a home-field advantage because its field is so much wider than Oakland Mills' field -- about 15 feet wider.
Oakland Mills is coming off a 1-0 victory over Centennial Friday -- the first time since 1990 the Scorpions have beaten the Eagles. The Scorpions now have defeated four teams that beat them last season -- Mount St. Joe, Atholton, Wilde Lake and Centennial.
It will be the only time these teams play this season, because River Hill is Class 2A and Oakland Mills Class 1A.
Another matchup today with county-title implications features No. 9 Wilde Lake (3-2, 1-1) at No. 4 Mount Hebron (6-1, 2-0).
Wilde Lake, the defending Class 3A state champion, defeated the Vikings 2-0 last season. But the Wildecats have had to completely rebuild their defense and have struggled offensively, scoring just seven goals.
Both of Wilde Lake's losses so far were to undefeated teams -- Oakland Mills and Laurel, however. The Wildecats are led in scoring by Michael Dello-Russo, who has two goals and two assists.
Mount Hebron has five shutouts, even though first-string sophomore goalkeeper Gary Peters has started only the past two games because of an early-season knee injury.
The Vikings are led in scoring by David Lechtrecker (three goals, two assists), Pete Lindahl (three, two), Nate Rauscher (three goals) and Christian Chacon (four assists).
Mount Hebron coach Scott Conroy faces his former coaching mentor, Dave Nesbitt. Conroy played at Wilde Lake and coached the Wildecats' junior varsity.
Long Reach Lightning coach Pete Hughes, whose team faces the most important game of the season Saturday against Oakland Mills, was a little bit down after last Saturday's 37-0 victory over Mount Hebron.
Forget that it was the Lightning's second straight shutout and third of the season.
Forget that the Lightning seems to have resolved its quarterback situation in favor of Stewart Long, who started the past two weeks and led the team to 65 points.
Hughes is worried about the 15 penalties, for more than 200 yards, his team was assessed last week. And he's worried about missing four defensive starters.
Douron Bateson, a 290-pound two-way tackle got ejected from last week's game and is ineligible this week.
Linebacker Bill Clark broke his hand during practice last week and is out for the season.
Nose guard Tom Kerr broke his leg against Centennial.
Linebacker Joe Hamilton torn his ACL against River Hill.
Although the defense is hurting, the offense is feeling no pain. Long completed 11 of 22 passes for 130 yards against Mount Hebron. Devin Conwell rushed 24 times for 155 yards and two touchdowns.
Leading county rushers
1. Calvin Wilmer, Hammond, 723 yards; 2. Gerald Smith, Howard, 663 yards; 3. Jimmie Levins, Wilde Lake, 612 yards; 4. Devin Conwell, Long Reach, 610 yards; 5. Matt Deuchler, Centennial, 558 yards; 6. Jason Fawcett, River Hill, 477 yards; 7. Maurice Mohammed, Glenelg, 386 yards; 8. Vinnie Rubbo, Oakland Mills, 345 yards; 9. Danny Bayron, Wilde Lake, 332 yards.
Pub Date: 10/06/98