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Feeling like himself again, Michael Wegner leads Loyola to MIAA cross country title

Michael Wegner hurt his knee during a long California hiking trip last summer, an injury that sidelined him until mid-September. The Loyola Blakefield senior said he didn't really regain his top form until about two weeks ago.

But Wegner showed everyone he's back by scoring an impressive victory at the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association championship meet on Wednesday at Oregon Ridge Park. Wegner's victory led No. 5 Loyola to its sixth straight A Conference team title.

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Wegner, a senior, hurt his right knee while hiking in the Sierra Nevadas. He suffered patellar tendinitis and missed about five weeks.

Wegner was expected to be the Dons' top runner, and said he finally felt like himself again after breaking the course record in a meet at St. Paul's two weeks ago.

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He showed that form again in this race. Wegner felt good heading into the race, took the lead after the first mile and won in 15 minutes, 31.4 seconds. He beat McDonogh's Mikey Singer (15:40.1).

"It's fine now," Wegner said of the knee. "Not even an issue any more. I was hoping to win. I'm just glad I was able to do it."

Wegner helped the Dons finish with 42 points, beating out No. 4 McDonogh (54). Loyola put five in the top 14, thanks to strong efforts from Kenny Rowe (fifth), Frankie Legambi (ninth), Max Barbour (13th) and Kevin Wegner (14th).

Kevin Wegner — Michael's brother — dealt with shin splints in his left leg that also sidelined him for five weeks; this was his return meet.

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"We were up and down all year in terms of filling bodies [in races]," Loyola coach Jose Albornoz said. "[Michael's return] helped a lot. He's such a competitor."

McDonogh fared well overall, placing three runners in the top 10 thanks to Singer, Dalton Hengst (third) and Andrew Michelson (sixth), but the Eagles just didn't have the depth after that to stay with Loyola.

Boys' Latin won the B Conference title with 40 points, easily beating out defending champion Glenelg Country School (86). This was not a separate race — runners from both conferences ran together — but scoring was done based on competition against conference opponents.

For the B Conference, Park's Timmy Barrick took first in 17:00.6, beating out Ryan Lundergan of Glenelg Country School (17:05.3). But Boys' Latin placed five runners in the top 12 and ran away from the field.

Matt Lugat (fourth), Garrett Voigt (fifth), Kahlan Lee-Lermer (eighth), Matt Sachs (11th) and Michael Ubriaco (14th) made up the Lakers' top five as Boys' Latin had little trouble winning the team title.

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