Boys cross country: First team

James Beacham

Westminster, senior


• Ran consistently throughout season but turned it on in bigger races

• Swept Carroll County and Class 4A North Region titles


One of few local runners to fare well at states, finishing sixth in 16:43

• Took second at tough South Carroll Invitational and third at Barnhart Invitational

Ben Bemis

Hereford, senior

• Strong fall overshadowed a bit by teammate Mason Rivera's victories, but Bemis was one of area's best

• Consistent running gave Hereford depth needed to win Baltimore County, Class 3A North Region and Class 3A state titles

• Finished second in Baltimore County and region meets, and fourth in Class 3A state meet

• No. 2 runner at Hereford behind Rivera, but would have been top runner almost anywhere else

Robby Creese

Glenelg, senior

• Bounced back from tough loss at Howard County championships to win Class 2A South Region and Class 2A state meets

• Battled problems with asthma at some big meets, including county and state, but still turned in strong performances


• Won Class 2A state meet in 16:46, outdueling Century's Nick Pezza by six seconds

Victory at state meet helped Gladiators finish second as a team

Scott Heydrick

River Hill, senior

• Capped season with seventh-place finish at Class 3A state meet

• Beat fellow first-team pick Eric Schuler of Reservoir at state meet, after losing to him at Class 3A East Region and Howard County meets

• Defeated first-team pick Creese at county meet, finishing second to Schuler that day

• Finished second at Class 3A East Region meet

Nick Pezza

Century, senior

• Remained one of area's top runners throughout season, battling through tough schedule

• Finished fourth at Carroll County and Class2A West Region, second at state meet

• Ran 16:52 on tough Hereford course at state meet, just six seconds behind winner Creese

• Helped Century to fourth-place team finish at states, beating three runners who bested him at region meet

Mason Rivera

Hereford, senior

• Played big role in Hereford's impressive sweep of Baltimore County, Class 3A North Region and state titles

• Won all three races as Bulls got perfect score at county meet, nearly did same at region and won by 70 at state

• Beat Runner of the Year Matt Jablonski in head-to-head duel at Bull Run race, taking second to Jablonski's fourth

• Stayed consistent and won most of his races this season

Eric Schuler

Reservoir, senior

Had a solid fall season, especially in tough races

• Handed Creese his only Howard County loss this season by beating him at county title meet

• Won Class 3A East Region meet, beating Heydrick by almost 13seconds

• Took 10th in tough Class 3A state meet

Cody Vernon

Old Mill, senior

• Won Anne Arundel County and Class 4A East region titles

• Used late sprint to beat Shane O'Donnell of Annapolis by 5.2 seconds in county race

• Defeated O'Donnell, his friend and training partner, by 10 seconds at region meet

• Slipped to 14th at state meet in difficult Class 4A race

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