All-Baltimore City/County cross country

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Boys Runner of the Year

Chris Wright, Mt. St. Joseph: Another fine season and another MIAA championship give Wright The Sun's Runner of the Year honor for the third consecutive season. Although his team finished second in the MIAA championship at Oregon Ridge, Wright ran an impressive 16:55 in the 3.1-mile race to take the individual title. Perhaps his best race was the Bull Run at Hereford, where he finished sixth in the elite division in front of runners like Billy Duffy, Will Knox and Eugene McAuliffe. Wright took on more of a leadership role this year with the departure of No. 2 runner Ron Kirchner, and he made the Gaels an area power. "He had a great career," McDonogh coach Andy Gill said. "You knew that unless he ran a terrible race, he couldn't be beaten."

Boys Coach of the Year

David Kreller, Loch Raven: Kreller, now in his third year, knows how to get the most out of his runners. Despite injuries, Kreller guided the Raiders to a second-place finish and a narrow loss to state power Oakland Mills by one point in the Class 1A state meet. A 1988 graduate of Towson High, Kreller has turned the program around at Loch Raven. The Raiders, who finished second in Baltimore County, had several runners set personal records in the state meet. He has taken the Loch Raven program from an also-ran to a county power. "He built the program from the ground up," said Paul Hugus, the Raiders' No. 1 runner. "He's a great motivator who knows how to get us ready. He's all about cross country in the fall."

Boys team

Steve Beck, Towson: Beck, a senior this year, had a lot to prove this year after a terrible finish in the state championship last year. He responded by running 18:04 to finish sixth in the Class 2A state meet. He also posted a fifth-place finish in a loaded Baltimore County championship field. His best finish came at the Meade Invitational, where he finished third with a time of 18:46. His fourth-place finish in the Anne Arundel County Invitational was another highlight. "He improved a lot this season," said Towson coach Gil Stange. "He continued to work hard, and it paid off for him at the end of the season."

Ryan Cartwright, Eastern Tech: A third-place finish as an unattached runner in the state 3A championship tells you how good Cartwright is. He finished first in the medium schools division in the Bull Run at Hereford (16:58), and finished behind only Billy Duffy and Paul Hugus in the Baltimore County championship meet. The senior won the Mid-Atlantic Classic at Goucher College (16:59), where he beat a field of 155 of other runners. He also placed fourth in Dulaney's Barnhart Invitational. In spite of the fact that he did not come from a powerful running program at Eastern, he continued to improve throughout the season.

Billy Duffy, Dulaney: Like any good athlete, Duffy tended to run his best races when it mattered the most. He set a record on his home course early in the year, winning the Barnhart Invitational with a time of 15:57. He also finished sixth in the elite race at Georgetown Prep (16:17). Other highlights were a first-place finish in the county championship (16:50) and a second-place finish in the state meet (16:16). The senior, a varsity team member all four years, will be missed as much for his leadership skills as for his running. "He leads by example, and is not afraid to speak up when he feels he needs to," said Dulaney coach Chad Boyle. "This year was his best season by far."

Jake Holt, McDonogh: Holt, McDonogh's No. 2 runner, had a fine season in his own right. The senior saved his best for last, posting a time of 16:46 to finish fifth in the MIAA championship. His ability to consistently finish in the top five in meets gave McDonogh the points it needed to win its first MIAA cross country title. He also placed 11th at the Meade Invitational. "He doesn't know how good he could be," McDonogh coach Andy Gill said of Holt. "What we've seen this year could only be the tip of the iceberg for him."

Paul Hugus, Loch Raven: Hugus was a major reason why the Loch Raven program was so successful this season. The senior finished second in the state Class 1A meet, losing to state power Izudin Mehmedovic. He had his best race of the year at the Harford Invitational, where he finished fourth in a time of 15:51. He finished second in the small schools division of the Bull Run at Hereford. He also held his own in a tough field at the Baltimore County championships, posting a second-place finish. "He's a 4.0 student, and one of the best runners in the county," said David Kreller, his coach. "We'll miss his leadership next season."

Will Knox, Dulaney: In spite of physical problems that limited his effectiveness, Knox had another impressive year. The senior probably had his best meet at the county championship, where his time of 17:26 was good enough for a fourth-place finish. Other big meets were Georgetown Prep, where he finished 14th in a field of over 150 in the elite race. He also finished second behind teammate Duffy in the Barnhart Invitational, with a time of 16:11. "He ran most of the year at 80 percent," said Dulaney coach Chad Boyle. "We could always count on Will when it got tough."

Eugene McAuliffe, Loyola: Another returnee to the All-City/County team, McAuliffe ran his best in the biggest races. The senior finished 18th in the seeded race at Georgetown Prep (16:55), where he competed against a field of 151 other runners. Another highlight was a 20th-place finish in the elite division of the Bull Run at Hereford. He also posted an impressive finish at the MIAA championship at Oregon Ridge, where his time of 17:37 was good enough for fourth place. His only dual meet losses came to Chris Wright and Spalding's J.J. Wetzel. "He was strong for us all year," said Loyola coach Jose Albornoz. "He'll be tough to replace next year."

Dan McMenamin, Towson: Part of the dynamic duo at Towson with Steve Beck, McMenamin finishes his senior year as one of the most consistent runners in the area. Known more as a lacrosse player, McMenamin finished fifth in the Class 2A state meet. He also posted a sixth-place finish in a tough field at the Baltimore County championship. His best race came at the Anne Arundel County Invitational, where he placed fifth in a multi-school field. He traded the No. 1 position on the team with Beck, and their ability to push each other was a major reason why Towson finished fourth in the Class 2A state meet.

Josh Perry, McDonogh: Perry dedicated himself to being one of the area's best this season. "He doubled his workouts in the summer to get ready [for the season]," said McDonogh coach Andy Gill. The move paid off, as the senior ran 16:55 to finish third in the MIAA championship, and lead McDonogh to its first team title in cross country. Another highlight for Perry was the Meade Invitational, where he won the meet with a time of 18:39. He also placed 19th in the seeded race at Georgetown Prep (16:56), an event that draws hundreds of runners from all over the mid-Atlantic states.

Girls Runner of the Year

Tenke Zoltani, Dulaney: This year was like a rebirth for Zoltani. The senior recovered from surgery last season to reclaim the crown of the All-City/County Runner of the Year that she won as a sophomore. Zoltani's best race was at the Bull Run, where she ran a 18:53 to win and miss the course record by one second. She finished second in the Class 3A state meet behind Walter Johnson's Ashley St. Denis, and led the Lions to the 3A girls team championship. She won the Baltimore County championship (19:26) and finished second in the seeded race at Georgetown Prep (19:05). "She has a lot of ambition, and always achieves excellence," said her coach, Chad Boyle. Among the schools Zoltani is considering are Princeton, Yale, North Carolina State and Virginia Tech.

Girls Coach of the Year

Chad Boyle, Dulaney: Boyle stepped in to a no-win situation four years ago when he took over the program at Dulaney. Since then, the Lions have continued their domination of the county girls cross country scene. Behind Zoltani and Christine Myers, the Lions won the Class 3A state title this season in impressive fashion. A 1993 graduate of C.M. Wright, Boyle convinced Zoltani to give up soccer in her freshman year and run cross country. The rest is history. Zoltani doesn't mince words when talking about Boyle: "I attribute most of my success to him." Boyle was surprised by how good his team was. "I was skeptical about us being this good [at the beginning of the year]," said Boyle. "Then we made a decision to run as a team, and we won."

Girls team

Laura Drossner, Bryn Mawr: A sophomore, Drossner is a major reason why the Mawrtians are one of the top programs in the area. She started the season by winning the IAAM group meet with a time of 19:25. She finished second behind Cori Koch at the Anne Arundel Invitational with a time of 19:21. She placed first at St. Mary's tri-meet (18:29), where her team won the IAAM team title. She solidified her standing as one of the area's best when she finished fifth (20:34) in an all-star field at the Bull Run at Hereford. She finished sixth in the IAAM championship meet.

Laura Garrett, Mount de Sales: Garrett solidified her status as one of the top runners in the area this season. Her best finish may have been at the Mid-Atlantic Private Schools championship at Georgetown Prep, where she finished third with a time of 20:21. She finished fourth at the Anne Arundel County Invitational (19:28), where she trailed only Cori Koch, Nyam Kagwima and Laura Drossner. The sophomore placed sixth against a field of the area's best runners at Hereford's Bull Run. Her time of 19:20 was good enough for third place at Dulaney's Barnhart Invitational, behind only Zoltani and Christine Myers. She finished the season with a fourth-place finish in the IAAM championships (20:14) behind Glenna Sullivan and Kagwima.

Deborah Green, Northern: Long known as a good runner from a weak area, Green proved she belonged this year. The senior won her fourth consecutive city championship at Herring Run Park (21:34) by 76 seconds over the next runner. Even while having no one to push her in the city, she placed a very impressive third as an unattached runner in the 4A state championships, proving she can run with anyone. She also won the Mustang Invitational at Mervo, where she finished 1:56 ahead of the nearest runner. Northern didn't run in any of the major meets in the area, and it would have been interesting to see how good Green could have been had she run against better competition.

Nyam Kagwima, Bryn Mawr: Kagwima had her best race of the year at Georgetown Prep, where she won the elite race (18:54) over 106 other runners, including Zoltani. The loss was Zoltani's only one of the year. She finished second in the IAAM (20:06) after winning the title last season. She finished second to Zoltani at Hereford's Bull Run (19:54). She placed an impressive third at the Anne Arundel County Invitational (19:21), where she trailed only Cori Koch and Laura Drossner. She placed second at a tri-meet at St. Mary's (18:46) that gave her team the IAAM team title. The junior should be the odds-on favorite to be the dominant runner in the area next season.

Cori Koch, Towson: Koch, The Sun's City/County Runner of the Year last season, had another fine season this year. The senior won the Class 2A championship with a time of 19:44. She finished second to only Zoltani in Baltimore County (20:02). Koch placed first in both the Meade Invitational (21:11) and the Anne Arundel County Invitational (19:18). Her third- place finish at Bull Run (20:00) trailed only Zoltani and Kagwima. She was the anchor that led Towson to the Class 2A girls state title.

Anastasia Mukhina, Towson: Mukhina came out of the shadow of teammate Koch this season, and had a fine year in her own right. Her best race was probably the Anne Arundel County Invitational, where she posted a time of 19:47 to finish eighth in a crowded field. She had a good state meet, where she finished fourth behind Koch and Catonsville's Tricia O'Connell with a time of 20:27. She finished third in Baltimore County, where her time of 20:12 trailed only Zoltani and Koch. He ability to run near the front was a major reason Towson got the points it needed to win the state Class 2A title.

Christine Myers, Dulaney: Like Mukhina, Myers was the second-best runner on her team, but one of the best in the state. Her third-place finish in the Class 3A state meet - just behind Zoltani - gave the Lions the points they needed to win the state championship. The senior finished seventh in the seeded race at Georgetown Prep (19:43). She finished fourth in the Baltimore County championship with a time of 20:38. "She's team-centered," said her coach, Chad Boyle. "She was the one who stepped forward to be a good teacher for the younger runners on the team."

Tricia O'Connell, Catonsville: O'Connell saved her best for last. After a season of physical problems, she put together her best race of the year in the Class 2A state meet, where she finished second (19:59) to only Koch. The senior was a big reason why Catonsville finished sixth at the Class 3A state meet. She posted a fourth-place finish behind Zoltani and Myers at Dulaney's Barnhart Invitational. She won the medium schools division at Hereford's Bull Run (20:48) by 11 seconds over the nearest runner. She finished eighth at the Lancer Invitational (20:36) at Linganore, which featured 90 other runners from all over Maryland.

Glenna Sullivan, Maryvale: Sullivan, a freshman, made a loud arrival onto the local cross country scene. She posted a time of 19:50 in the IAAM group meet to open the year, and defeated Kagwima in their first head-to-head meeting. She ran third at the St. John's Invite (19:49) in Frederick, where she finished behind only Kagwima and Drossner. She won the Greenspring Invitational, when she finished 30 seconds in front of the second-place runner - her sister Kelly. She finished second in the Division I race at Georgetown Prep (20:03). She saved her best for last, when she defeated Kagwima by 31 seconds to win the IAAM championship.

Team selection

The Baltimore Sun 2001 All-Baltimore City/County cross country teams were selected by Mike Frainie after consultation with The Sun staff and area coaches.

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