The fifth-ranked Dulaney girls continued the domination of their Barnhart Invitational meet yesterday as they beat out No. 2 John Carroll for their 14th consecutive team title.
Dulaney placed four runners in the top nine to finish with 45 points. The Patriots had three in the top seven but fell off after that to end up with 62. Erika Stasakova won the race for John Carroll in 19 minutes, 30.60 seconds, edging teammate Nicole Clarke (19:32.88) and helping the Patriots hold off No. 6 C.M. Wright (67).
But the unranked C.M. Wright boys fared better, nipping No. 3 Loyola for the team title. The Mustangs (81) had just enough to edge the Dons (84).
Dulaney coach Chad Boyle was delighted with his team's performance, especially because some Lions felt they were being overlooked this season. But the return of Emma Larkin, who missed nearly all of last fall with injuries, has been a huge help.
Larkin finished fourth, just ahead of teammates Kelly Rush (fifth) and Chelsey Bush (sixth). Anjelica DiNucci finished ninth
"Emma has so much perseverance," Boyle said. "That's why she's our team leader."
Larkin's problems with shinsplints began last year at the same race. The injury sidelined her for most of the cross country campaign. Larkin worked hard throughout the summer but pointed to this race to show everyone she was back again.
"I really wanted to redeem myself," Larkin said. "This was the race where the [shinsplints] started last year. Now I can get through anything. ... "
In the boys race, C.M. Wright struggled at times. Pete Houlihan (seventh) was the lone Mustang in the top 10, and Steve Otradavec (12th) and Paul Otradavec (13th) were the only others in the top 20. Towson's Mason Campbell easily won in 16:18.95, beating Trevor Keen of Spalding by more than 18 seconds.
The Mustangs started slowly but became stronger in the middle to position themselves for the win. Though coach Donnie Mickey was happy with the victory, he saw room for improvement.
"It's a nice place to start, but we've got work to do," Mickey said. "We've got to execute a race plan a little bit better."
Loyola won last year's boys title, but Joe Orsulak's fourth-place finish was the Dons' only placement in the top 10.