Mehmedovic surprises Bailey


That C. Milton Wright's top-ranked boys team and North Carroll No. 2 girls squad captured the team championships in yesterday's Westminster Invitational weren't surprises.

The shockers were who won the individual titles at the 3-mile course at Westminster High.

Oakland Mills senior Izudin Mehmedovic upset Wright junior Pat Bailey in the boys race, and Rachel Hawes, a freshman at new Century High, claimed her first invitational in her second attempt.

Mehmedovic finished the boys race in 16 minutes, 8 seconds - an eye-opening 11 seconds faster than runner-up Fanuel Chagaza of Walter Johnson and 19 seconds faster than Bailey.

Bailey, who had lost only one invitational in four outings before yesterday, took a nasty tumble near the 1-mile mark.

Reigning Class 1A state champ Mehmedovic, who was six seconds behind Bailey at last week's Harford Invitational, took advantage.

"I knew in my heart that I had a chance of beating him," said Mehmedovic, who said he was spurred on by Bailey's comment last week that he didn't expend much energy at the Harford meet.

Still, Bailey, junior Jesse Slowikowski (fourth place in 16:36), senior Will Murdoch (sixth, 16:48), senior Aaron Smith (eighth, 16:55) and sophomore Sean McCormack (15th, 17:34) paced the Mustangs to 36 points and their fifth consecutive invitational crown.

Sixth-ranked Westminster finished second with 84 points.

In the girls race, Hawes had nearly as simple a day as Mehmedovic, outdistancing Walter Johnson's Ashley St. Denis by 12 seconds to win in 19:42 - her third victory in four starts.

"I was kind of nervous coming out there," said Hawes. "I drafted off a couple of girls in front of me, and when I thought they weren't going my pace, I passed them."

North Carroll, the defending Class 3A state titlist, continued to display its dominance with a 30-point margin over Class 3A West region rival Walter Johnson.

Senior Tarynn Barker sprinted past Wright junior Morgan Little in the last 20 yards to gain third place in 20:10. Senior Cheryl Williams (fifth, 20:24), senior Katy Winemiller (eighth, 20:53), senior Amy King (13th, 21:09) and junior Kim Daut (14th, 21:10) lifted the Panthers to their third invitational title.

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