Robby Creese

Glenelg, junior

* A soccer player who still plays on local travel teams, Creese participated in his first season of cross country this year

* Claimed Class 2A state title with a time of 17 minutes, 30 seconds - beating Bel Air's Tyler Muse by two seconds, which helped Glenelg to a second-place finish in the team standings

* Won the Class 2A West regional the week before the state meet

* Started his strong postseason streak by edging Matthew Pacheco of Atholton for the Howard County title in late October

Matt Erford

Loyola, senior

* Another strong competitor for the Dons - in addition to Runner of the Year Matt Jablonski - who consistently came up big in important races and helped top-ranked Loyola find success

* Took third place in the MIAA A Conference title race, just 10 seconds behind Jablonski (16:24) as the Dons beat Calvert Hall by one point

* Finished 20th overall - the third Loyola runner - at the state private school championship for the second-place Dons

* Battled teammate John Lobo for the No. 2 spot on the team throughout the fall, with both setting personal records on Loyola's home course; quality depth proved crucial for Loyola

Noah Hutton

North Harford, senior

* Finished second in the Class 3A state title race, just one second behind Chopticon's Tyler Ostrowski (17:12)

* Lost to Ostrowski in a close finish where several runners - including Hereford's Mason Rivera - battled right until the end

* Runner-up finish in state meet came a week after he took second to Rivera in the Class 3A North regional title race

* Took second place at the Upper Chesapeake Bay Athletic Conference championship just three seconds behind Elkton's Luke Arbuckle

Tyler Muse

Bel Air, junior

* Finished second in the state in Class 2A with a time of 17:32, just two seconds behind Glenelg's Creese

* His second-place finish helped Bel Air claim fourth place at the state meet

* Defeated Elkton's Arbuckle - who had beaten Muse by 14 seconds in the Class 2A East regional meet the week before - by 49 seconds that day

* Took sixth in the UCBAC title race, helping Bel Air take second overall

Will Neal

Chesapeake-AA, senior

* Turned in big performances in the championship races, winning in Anne Arundel County and the Class 4A East regional and taking second place in the states

* Second-place finish at the state meet was an improvement over 2008, where he took eighth overall

* Ran the same time both years - 17:07 - on the tough Hereford course

* Won the Anne Arundel championship race in 16:44, besting the second-place finisher by 23 seconds and helping Chesapeake finish third

Ben Pershall

Severna Park, junior

* Took 15th place in the Class 4A state title race, edging teammates Brendan Cooley and Shawn Greenspan by three and four seconds, respectively, as the Falcons finished third behind Walter Johnson and Churchill

* His third-place finish, seven seconds behind Cooley, helped Severna Park win the Anne Arundel County title meet

* Claimed fourth place in the Class 4A East regional title meet, helping the Falcons to another championship

* Finished second at the Georgetown Prep Classic, 12 seconds behind winner Jackson Reams of Sherwood in the unseeded varsity division, as Severna Park took third place overall

Mason Rivera

Hereford, senior

* Won the Baltimore County championship, coming on late to take charge

* Won the Class 3A North regional title a week later in 16:18.50, beating out Noah Hutton of North Harford by 11.4 seconds, as the Bulls edged Towson by eight points

* Finished third at the state championship - which was run at Hereford - with a time of 17:16

* Took fifth place in the Bull Run Invitational elite race, behind All-Metro runners Nick Rowe and Matt Jablonski

Nick Rowe

Calvert Hall, senior

* One of the area's most consistent distance runners over the past few years had another strong season this year, helping Calvert Hall finish second at the MIAA A Conference title race

* Gave Loyola's Jablonski a fight in the championship race, finishing three seconds behind his time of 16:14

* Battled Jablonski again a week later in the state private schools championships, finishing in 11th place, 15 seconds behind Jablonski (eighth)

* Defeated Jablonski by four seconds while taking fourth in the Bull Run Invitational's elite division race

Eric Tringali

Winters Mill, senior

* Finished fifth overall in the state meet with a time of 17:38, helping the Falcons to their first Class 2A title in cross country

* Recorded a fifth-place effort in the Class 2A West regional race, while teammates Ryan Spangler (third) and Tom Carpenter (eighth) also finished in the top 10, helping Winters Mill to an easy victory

* Started the postseason with a sixth-place finish in the Carroll County title race, while Carpenter (fourth) and Zach Hopkins (second) helped the Falcons win that championship for the second straight year

* Overcame some early-season injury problems that slowed him in the first few weeks and came on strong as the season went on

Copyright © 2019, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad