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Atholton boys, River Hill girls run to Howard titles

The Baltimore Sun

Graham Bazell set a course record and helped the No. 10 Atholton boys upend top-ranked Mount Hebron to win the Howard County championship yesterday at Centennial.

The top-ranked River Hill girls had an easier time as Katie Harman rallied late to beat Mount Hebron's Becky Yep and help the Hawks (36 points) repeat as team champions, topping Howard (58).

Bazell set a record on the demanding Hereford course this month and turned in a similar performance in this race. He won in 15 minutes, 58.34 seconds, becoming the first runner to break 16 minutes at Centennial.

Teammate Michael Lynch finished second (16:22.54), and that 1-2 punch helped Atholton finish with 43 points to edge Mount Hebron (51). Atholton and the Vikings each put three runners in the top 10, but the Raiders gained 11 points from their trio compared with 20 for Mount Hebron.

"I just wanted to go out there and get the one point for the team," Bazell said. "I just felt really relaxed today. I felt really good."

Christopher Wunch (eighth) was the other Raider in the top 10. Zach Weinstein (fourth), Ryan Steinback (sixth) and Constantine Matsakis (10th) gave Mount Hebron top-10 finishes.

Harman had enough to outlast Yep, who had been spectacular throughout the fall season. After battling a heel problem in the first part of the season, Harman got closer to 100 percent in recent days.

She trailed for most of the race before making a bold move in the final half-mile to pass the junior and win in 19:10.02, beating Yep (19:14.85) to repeat as county champion.

"I just stayed one step behind her, and then I made my move," Harman said.

Payton Lawrence (seventh), Anna Demaree (eighth), Kendall Auth (ninth) and Kelsey Harman (11th) rounded out the River Hill scoring.

Elsewhere, the fourth-ranked Bel Air boys and No. 2 C. Milton Wright girls had little trouble winning the Upper Chesapeake Bay Athletic Conference championships at Fair Hill. Tyler Muse (third) led the Bobcats (35) past Bohemia Manor (89).

Shannon Rafferty won for C.M. Wright (27), which put five runners in the top 10 to beat out Bel Air (53).

No. 3 Severna Park's boys easily won the Anne Arundel County championship race at South River. The host Seahawks then surprised the No. 6 Severna Park girls, edging the Falcons by two points. South River's Hillary Lee won the race for the second straight year, as did Christian Smooth of Annapolis.


No. 4 Broadneck 3, No. 13 Arundel 0: : Host Broadneck knew how good Arundel's middle hitters were coming in to their showdown yesterday. It took the Bruins awhile to solve the riddle, but once they did, they dominated in a 25-17, 25-23, 25-14 victory over the Wildcats in an Anne Arundel County league game. "We knew they had two really good middles who were good blockers, so we practiced hitting around that," senior Caroline Jacobs said. "I have to give Arundel credit. They made us very nervous. Then we lost our nerves and captured the momentum." The victory gave the Bruins (11-1, 11-0), the defending Class 4A state champion, a spot in Thursday's county championship against either No. 6 Severna Park or Arundel (10-2, 10-2). Those two teams play in the regular-season finale Tuesday at Severna Park. "We knew they were good and had the huge middles," said Broadneck junior Kourtney Salvarola (nine digs, six kills). "We just wanted to make sure they didn't stop us, and tonight they didn't."


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