The Dulaney boys cross country team had finished first or second in each of the last five Class 4A Maryland state championship meets, but that streak ended when the Lions finished third at Hereford High on Nov. 10.
This year’s Lions proved their toughness as they overcame adversity at the start of the race and rallied to finish third.
Dulaney (157) trailed front-running Severna Park (48) and Northwood (105) and placed ahead of Howard (fourth, 197) and Walt Whitman (fifth, 233).
Senior Drew Dailey (sixth, 16:24.42), the two-time Baltimore County champion, was the top Dulaney runner.
“He had a great race. He was like 20th halfway through and he just worked his way through the last 2 miles,” Dulaney coach Chad Boyle said.
Joining him on the course for the Lions were junior Zak Audio (31st, 17:02.55), seniors Sam Merng (39th, 17:11.75) and Alex Whatley (41st, 17:13.42), junior Ethan Samels (49th, 17:32.11), sophomore Vinay Khosla (67th, 17:42.47) and junior Caleb Sedgwick (68th, 17:43.64).
“We were pretty pleased with how things went. Howard beat us at regionals and we tied Paint Branch, so we dispatched of them fairly comfortably,” Boyle said.
That possibility appeared to be in jeopardy at the beginning of the race when several Lions stumbled.
“We had a little mishap at the start,” Boyle said. “I believe Sam Merng got tripped by someone about 200 meters into the race and he fell and took out five of our guys because they were all packed in together, so we had all those guys in the back 400 meters into the race. It definitely shook them mentally.”
It also took a physical toll on the team.
Merng got kicked in the head and was checked for a concussion and Audio required stitches in his chest because he got spiked.
“We had a rough start, but they really rallied late in the race and had a really strong last mile to put us in third,” Boyle said. “All our guys just really ran sound and strategic races.”
Dulaney was a runner-up to Severna Park in 2017 and won state titles in 2016 and 2015, while the Falcons were second.
In 2014 and 2013, Severna Park won crowns and Dulaney was second.
The young Dulaney girls squad was fifth in the Class 4A race with 159 points.
They trailed Severna Park (102), Howard (125), Broadneck (128) and Walt Whitman (138).
The Lions had only one senior, Brooke Ruffin, among their top seven runners.
Ruffin was 12th overall (20:05.96) and she was one step behind freshman teammate Anna Albergo (11th, 20:04.94).
Sophomore Marissa Dailey (21st, 20:35.73), freshman Mairin Ludwig (46th, 21:22.71), sophomore Kaitlyn Robinson (71st, 21:53.83), junior Kayla Brennan (78th, 22:04.65) and sophomore Daphne Severn (99th, 22:38.44) rounded out the top seven for the Lions.
“Brooke and Anna, obviously in the top 15, were really strong, but I think Mairin might have had the best race out of all the girls,” said Boyle, noting Ludwig ran most of the season on JV and had never run on the Hereford course. “I was really impressed with how she ran for running that course for the first time. It can be daunting mentally and she just blew it away, so I was really happy for her and that helped us finish as high as we did.”
The Lions had to run without senior Emily Bowerman, who suffered a stress fracture early in the season.
“We were young, but Emily Bowerman has been injured since the middle of September and she’s able to run, but her fitness wasn’t there, so that really hurt us,” Boyle said. “It’s nice to have that youth, but we needed Emily out there and we really believe if we had Emily in there, we would have been in it.”
In other classifications at the state meet, the Towson boys (139 points) finished third in the Class 3A race won by Century (87).
Sophomore Peter Sorenson (13th, 17:22.31) was the top runner for the Generals.
Classmates Drew Conboy (37th, 18:04.52), Matt McShane (52nd, 18:19.67 ) and Cory Parts (55th, 18:24.32) contributed, while freshmen Sam Fields (16th, 17:30.00), Daniel Melia (41st, 18:10.17) and Miles Kline (43rd, 18:11.51) were among the top five runners for the Generals.
The Towson girls (169) were fifth in the Class 3A race won by Northern, of Calvert, (56).
Sophomore Madeline Till (11th, 20:36.17) was followed by senior Margaret Grandshire (32nd, 21:35.74), sophomore Avery Zellweger (41st, 22:02.84), freshman Sylvia Wolff (48th, 22:09.54), senior Jaqui Sheedy (49th, 22:11.97), sophomore Anna Vaikness (58th, 22:22.96) and freshman Claire Briglio (95th, 23:28.17).
In Class 1A, the Loch Raven boys (193) were seventh in the race won by Boonsboro (49).
Sophomore Liam Mischke (18th, 18:12.85), senior Ben Mears (43rd, 19:17.49), junior Malik Smalls (44th, 19:19.19), sophomore Braden Berkey (47th, 19:30.45), senior Bryce Iaconangelo (57th, 19:51.02), sophomore David Caldwell (75th, 20:23.21) and senior Will Madairy (122nd, 22:59.42) competed for the Raiders.
The Loch Raven girls (355) were 14th in Class 1A.
Senior Katherine Caldwell (53rd, 25:04.66), sophomore Ava Bloom (69th, 26:26.72), senior Kamajinai Rice (78th, 27:13.73), sophomore Dyamond Hubbard (105th, 30:59.20) and sophomore Mia Felizzola (106th, 30:39.26) ran for the Raiders.
The Carver boys (386) were 15th in the Class 1A race.
Senior Evan Calderon (42nd, 19:13.10), sophomore Lucas LaBuff (54th, 19:44.74), junior Eric Wagner (93rd, 21:07.42), sophomore Keegan Walchak (119th, 22:46.74), senior Mark Pustovoy (120th, 22:47.64) and freshman Evan Vejzagic (139th, 26:33.46) competed for the Wildcats.
Sophomore Guinivere Roberts was the lone competitor for the Carver girls, and her fifth-place finish (21:21.04) was tops among Baltimore County participants in the race won by Cambridge-South Dorchester’s Sarah Condon (20:52.82).