Many of the top runners on the East Coast will gather at Hereford High School on Saturday for the fifth annual Bull Run Invitational cross country meet.
All of The Sun's Top 10 teams - boys and girls - will test themselves not only against some of the best teams in Middle Atlantic area but also against the challenging three-mile Hereford course.
More than 3,000 runners from 112 schools are entered in 11 races. There will also be a Reunion Run at 11:40 a.m., which is open to anyone and is popular with race alumni. But all eyes will be on the elite races.
The girls elite race, at noon, could come down to another showdown between defending champion Emily Buzzell, of Middletown, and All-Metro Runner of the Year Tenke Zoltani, of Dulaney. Zoltani and Buzzell were in a tight race last season until the final half-mile when shin splints forced Zoltani to pull out of the race.
Kacie Remeto, another All-Metro pick from No. 1 C. Milton Wright, could also be in the hunt after finishing third last year.
The boys elite race, at 11:30 a.m., features last year's runner-up Bobby Mead, an All-Metro pick from top-ranked South Carroll.
Battle of unbeatens
Mervo football coach John Blake knows what he's getting into when he travels to fifth-ranked, two-time Baltimore City West Division champ Edmondson (2-0), a team that finished as Class 2A state runners-up last season and has won 20 of its past 21 games.
Mervo lost, 38-8, last year to Edmondson.
Mervo is 2-0 again entering Friday's 3:45 p.m. contest, having hammered Carver, 38-0, in its season opener, and overcoming a 14-8 halftime deficit to defeat Northwestern, 28-14.
Running back Mark Mason, who stands 6 feet 1 and weighs 185, has rushed for 260 yards and two touchdowns in two games behind a line whose average size and weight is 6-3and 275 pounds.
Quarterback Kevin Young, a 6-1, 180-pounder, is a third-year starter. Tight end-defensive end Andre Watson (6-4, 255) has 11 solo tackles and two fumble recoveries. Other linemen are Brian Epps (6-5, 310), Cory Dickerson (6-5, 320), Brandon Cherry, Kelly Jackson and Marcus Pearson.
"I hope it's a track meet. We want to play some hard-nosed football," Blake added. "I think it's our time - I really do."
Gilman-Urbana to meet
Gilman's football team will schedule two-time Classs 2A state champ Urbana of Frederick County sometime next September, Gilman athletic director Tim Holley said yesterday. The date is still to be finalized.
North Harford's girls soccer team has gotten off to a quick start, anchored by a near-flawless performance from sophomore keeper Lindsey Koerber.
The Hawks (5-0) have allowed just three goals, but none have come on Koerber's watch. She has two complete games including a 15-save effort in a 1-0 victory over state Class 4A finalist Parkville on Sept 13. At the North Harford Tournament Saturday, she made 10 saves as the Hawks romped past Bohemia Manor, 4-0, and Francis Scott Key, 4-1.
As well as the defense of Koerber, sweeper Christina Steele, fullbacks Amanda Blewitt, Megan Karman and Jen Griffin and center halfbacks Tara Buecker and Katie Knepp is playing, the Hawks have an offense to match. With seven goals, Katelyn Aziz leads a balanced attack that has netted 21 goals.
Outside halfbacks Jessica Petty (seven assists) and Monica Joines (five assists) have been the offensive catalysts.
The Hawks are not about to rest on their early success. State Class 2A semifinalists last year, they know the competition gets much tougher as they head into Harford County League play next week.
"We're looking forward to it," said coach Tom Berg, whose Hawks hope to challenge three-time defending champ Bel Air for the county title. "Our big goal is to win the regional title and we think a tough schedule will help."