Saturday's Bull Run, one of the premier high school cross country events in the nation, features a star-studded lineup that includes nearly every elite program in Maryland as well as top teams from all over the Mid-Atlantic.
The seventh annual event, run over the tough, three-mile state-tournament course at Hereford High, draws about 3,000 runners from 130 schools.
"A couple years ago, one of the running publications ranked the Hereford course as one of the five most challenging in the United States," said Hereford athletic director Mike Kalisz, who serves as meet director along with John Roemer.
"The combination of a challenging course that has a national reputation as well as it being the site of the state championships makes it a big draw," Kalisz said. "And it's a chance for coaches to test their runners against top teams and elite competition that isn't on their league schedule."
The Bull Run is a favorite of local teams and includes six of the eight 2001 state champions -- C. Milton Wright, Northwest and Oakland Mills boys and Quince Orchard, Dulaney and Towson girls -- as well as 16 of the 20 boys and girls programs ranked in The Sun.
One of the most anticipated showdowns should come in the boys elite race with the return of defending champ Ryan Blood of East Pennsboro, Pa., and Pat Bailey of No. 1 C. Milton Wright. Last year, Blood outsprinted Bailey to the wire to win by one second.
Bailey, the 2001 state Class 4A champ, and the Mustangs, who won the 4A team crown, will try to defend their elite team title after winning by 68 points last year. Andy Carmer and No. 2 Dulaney aim to steal the crown.
In the girls elite race, No. 1 Bryn Mawr, behind Nyam Kagwima and Laura Drossner, looks to outdistance a strong field. Kagwima finished second last season behind Dulaney's Tenke Zoltani, who has graduated.
Broadneck's Lauren Centrowitz, last season's state Class 4A runner-up, and her No. 2 Bruins could give Kagwima and the Mawrtians a strong battle, as could No. 3 Mount Hebron and No. 4 Dulaney.
The day kicks off with the boys large schools race at 9:35 a.m., followed by the girls large schools at 10:05; the boys elite race at 11:10; the girls elite race at 11:40; boys medium schools at 2:30; girls medium schools at 3; boys small schools at 3:30; and girls small schools at 4.
As a lunch-time respite, the Reunion Race at 12:30 features former prep runners and past and present coaches.
Owings Mills' field hockey team took a big step yesterday toward the division title that eluded it last season.
With their 1-0 win over defending Mallard Division champ Dundalk, the Eagles have beaten the two other contenders in what is likely a three-team race. They slipped past Eastern Tech, 1-0, in the season opener.
The Eagles (4-0 overall and in the division) must play both foes a second time, but because Dundalk (3-2-1, 2-1-1) and Eastern Tech (3-1-1) tied in their first meeting, the Eagles are solidly in first place for now.
"People thought this would be a rebuilding year because we lost eight seniors, but we're actually just as good as we were last year," said Eagles forward Amanda Schlossberg. "We can win the division this year. We work together and we have a lot of motivation."
Schlossberg scored 10 minutes into the game, taking a feed from Christine Briggs on a fast break and firing it past Owls goalie Lauren Bowman (six saves).
The Eagles' defense, which has yet to yield a goal, did the rest. Rachel Schwartschild, Tricia Carroll, Erica Delano, Becky Bertell and goalie Katie Ronnenberg (three saves) held off the visiting Owls.
"We cut to every ball and we stopped every ball," said Eagles coach Shelly Katzef, whose team split with the Owls last season. "Our stops were a lot better than they have been all season and that helped us. They weren't able to get the ball through us. We were just a wall."
The Southwestern boys varsity and JV basketball teams have openings for the 2002-03 season. Call coach Terry Leverett at 410-396-1421 or 410-686-1273.