The Class 3A cross country championships showcased the Howard County runners in the girls and boys races, while the 4A boys race was highlighted by Anne Arundel runners.
Here’s a look at the winners in each of the four races Saturday at Hereford High.
Howard won its second straight girls state championship with a dominant performance.
The Lions finished with 37 points, while Northern (112), Towson (115), Reservoir (193) and C. Milton Wright (200) rounded out the top five.
The Lions, who also won the Howard County championship and regional title, were led by Elizabeth Holcombe, who finished fourth (19:09.40) behind champion Caroline Gregory (18:35.62) of Frederick, Northern’s Ella Meccia (18:47.31) and Bel Air’s Elizabeth Pickett (19:04.59).
Linganore’s Caroline Perrone (fifth, 19:10.56), Howard’s Nimrit Ahuja (sixth, 19:18.84) and Kiley Mann (seventh, 19:25.80), Great Mill’s Cooper Brotherton (eighth, 19:38.71), Howard’s Hannah Schwab (19:50.30) and River Hill’s Chloe McGeehan (10th, 19:55.12) rounded out the top 10.
Jasmine Wilson (11th, 20:02.53) was the fifth runner for the champion Lions.
“I’m so proud of this team,” Howard coach Zack Dickerson said. “What they have been able to do for four years now, it’s not just this season.”
Holcombe didn’t run on the 2019 state championship team because she transferred from California last season when COVID wiped out the slate.
“We just wanted to go out there and win as a team,” she said. “We are happy what happened.”
Holcombe admitted she hit some speed bumps along the way, but relied on her teammates.
“In the far field, I was trailing and one of my teammates [Ahuja] was up with someone else and I think she was kind of 10 feet in front of me and I went with her and she pushed me and I got up there,” Holcombe said.
The girls’ 3A race was held before rain and a chilly wind came in, and it was ideal for Holcombe.
“This is perfect. This is the weather I’m used to on the West Coast,” she said. “I couldn’t have asked for better weather, maybe an easier course, but I love the fog and I love the temperature.”
Dickerson praised the Lions’ discipline and leadership during the entire year.
“I can’t make them run in the summer, I can’t make them run on weekends, I can’t make sure they eat properly, I can’t make them get good sleep, but they take that on themselves and they hold each other accountable,” Dickerson said. “They are committed to the whole process. I’ve been so grateful to be able to watch them race and I’m just so proud of them.”
Towson’s third-place finish was the team’s highest since 2008.
Junior Isabel Aldana (13th, 20:16.23) and freshman Cecilia van Lierop (14th, 20:17.60) were the top finishers for the Generals.
It was all Howard County in the 3A boys race as the top five teams were all from the area.
Mt. Hebron (96) was on top, followed by River Hill (102), Centennial (155), Reservoir (162) and Howard (166).
Centennial’s Antonio Camacho-Bucks, a junior, won the individual title in a time of 15:51.38.
James M. Bennett’s Timothy Synowiec (second, 16:06.90), Manchester Valley’s Aidan Neal (third, 16:09.320), Howard’s Joseph Raudabaugh (fourth, 16:09.49), C. Milton Wright’s Ashton Tolson (fifth, 16:17.84), Mt. Hebron’s Jacob Hauf (sixth, 16:22.70), Linganore’s Jack Sears (seventh, 16:43.53), Mt. Hebron’s Alexander Barton (eighth, 16:43.60), River Hill’s Bryce Handa (ninth, 16:44.73) and Huntingtown’s Thomas Foulkes (10th, 16:50.84) completed the top 10.
Camacho-Bucks, who won the Howard County title and finished second in regionals, took advantage of his strength.
“My goal was just to hang back and relax and really work those downhills and really pick up momentum there,” he said.
“Antonio is a really good downhill runner, so he used a lot of those areas to try to open things up,” Centennial coach Ron Slopek said. “He was a little surprised that it was kind of a slower pace early, so that kind of favored him and what he wanted to do.”
Hebron, third in the county meet won by River Hill, turned the tide thanks to strong performances from its third, fourth and fifth runners.
Braedon Moyer (15th, 17:02.50), Paul Carter (41st, 17:48.35) and Dominic Mendez-Saxer (50th, 17:57.39) completed the top five for the Vikings.
“What it came down to was our number four runner, Paul Carter, made a big move and our number five runner had a fantastic race,” Hebron coach Jordan Sterner said. “Everything came together at the right time for us. We trained specifically for today.”
Walter Johnson (80) captured the 4A girls team title followed by Broadneck (93), Urbana (116), Severna Park (137) and Dulaney (151).
Bethesda-Chevy Chase’s Varri Higgins won the girls’ individual race in 18:37.31.
Some top finishes from local runners include Broadneck’s Mollie Fenn (second, 18:56.09), Arundel’s Katherine Leddy (fourth, 19:03.49), Catonsville’s Hallie Shepard (sixth, 19:27.08), Broadneck’s Emma Kerr (10th, 19:38.57), Dulaney’s Anna Albergo (13th, 19:55.33) and Perry Hall’s Kaylee Copenspire (15th, 20:22.09).
Severna Park won its fourth straight team title with 56 points.
Walt Whitman (95), Winston Churchill (107), Richard Montgomery (145) and Walter Johnson (194) completed the top five.
Annapolis senior Luke Coffin joined his older sister Maria as a state champion, winning in 16:14.34.
“The conditions were really bad, but during the race I had a cold earlier this week so I really wanted to sit in like second or third place, but kind of when we went up the hill I found myself in first and I thought of all the training I put in and just pushed through,” Coffin said.
Severna Park placed its top five runners in the top 20: James Glebocki (fourth, 16:31.66), Eddie Sullivan (eighth, 16:46.81), Tyler Canaday (ninth, 16:47.15), Ronald Byrne (17th, 17:08.49) and Liam Haggerty (19th, 17:16.10).
“They are just some tough motivated kids,” Severna Park coach Josh Alcombright said. “Year after year the kids do the work. Anne Arundel County showed up today. It was a good day for Anne Arundel County.”
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Other top performers included Dulaney’s Ty Dailey (fifth, 16:36.16) and Broadneck’s Ryan Gibb (16th, 17:08.22).