Rockville -- Teams from Severna Park, River Hill, Calvert Hall and Spalding and standout runners Lee McDuff, Tenke Zoltani, Kate Frande and Dusty Lieb had big days at the huge Georgetown Prep Cross Country Classic yesterday in front of 3,000 fans.
In the girls' seeded section, Dulaney's Zoltani showed no ill effects from leg injuries suffered three weeks ago at Hereford; unfortunately, she was in against one of the region's top runners, Erin Swain of Lake Braddock (Va.)
Swain's time of 18 minutes, 13 seconds for the 3.1-mile course was easily the best turned in by a girl on the 11-event program and Zoltani's second-place finish in 18: 57 was the only other clocking under 19 minutes.
"I passed the second-place girl about midway in the race after trailing her by 10 yards," said Zoltani. After that, I just went for a best time the girl out front was so far ahead. She's really something."
Zoltani was coming off a victory at the Lancer Invitational at Linganore High School, where she bested Middletown freshman Emily Buzzell, who beat her at Hereford's Bull Run Classic.
McDuff (19: 12) of River Hill and Frande (19: 33) of Mount Hebron ran 1-2 in the girls' large school race that was otherwise dominated by Severna Park. Led by Liz Funk's fifth-place, the Falcons placed their first five runners in the top 25 among 196 finishers. Severna Park scored 80 points to 128 by runner-up Eleanor Roosevelt. River Hill and Madison (Va.) tied for third among 26 teams.
In the boys' seeded race, you could have tossed a large blanket over the first four finishers. As they took a sharp right-hand turn with 150 yards to the finish, any one of the five could have prevailed. Virginians Bryce Ruiz and Jorge Ruiz, who hail from opposite ends of the state and are not related, were 1-2 in 16: 10.9 and 16: 11.3, respectively. Less than a second separated the third and fourth-place finishers, also.
Mike Styczynski (16: 22) and Steve Chu (16: 39) finished sixth and tenth, respectively, to lead River Hill to third place, just three points behind Lake Braddock, 158-161. Robinson High of Virginia was first with 142 points.
Calvert Hall, with Tim Briggs (17: 17) leading the way in fifth place, grabbed third in the large schools standings with 155 points behind Wakefield (112) and Thomas Jefferson (150), two more Virginia powerhouses.
In an impressive example of running as a team, Spalding's girls finished third to National Cathedral (D.C.) and Bishop Ireton (Va.) as Kelly Zuknick, U'Tonna Sherrod and Grace Wetzel finished 6-7-8 with just three seconds separating them.
Cathedral scored 70 points to 80 for Ireton and 99 for Spalding. Mount de Sales was fourth with 145 points.
Despite a strong second-place showing by Dusty Lieb (16: 56) behind Benedictine's Ryan Walker (16: 37), Spalding's boys were only able to finish ninth in a 23-team small schools field.
St. Paul's and McDonogh were sixth and seventh in the team standings won by Sidwell Friends.