Bulls gobble up Class 2A girls title
Host Hereford wins third straight; Severna Park wins 4A boys championship
At one point during the Class 2A girls cross country state meet, a bystander cheered “Eat the hill like it’s breakfast!”
Hereford High’s infamous dip — a steep ravine that runners must trek down, then up twice during the state championship meet — did not disappoint, and runners battled through a number of steep inclines and hilly terrain on the course throughout the day’s races.
“That was definitely the hardest course I’ve ever ran,” Winters Mill freshman Makenzie Hopkins said. “The dip, it’s what it’s famous for and it was very hard but overall I felt pretty good because it’s cold and it felt good.” My legs are stinging a little bit, my heart’s still beating fast. it was tough but I just keep running to try and beat people in front of me.”
Hopkins, the top Carroll County finisher in the 2A meet, said she used the dip’s difficult incline to gradually pass other runners.
The 2A meet took off around 1:30 p.m. as the first of the afternoon races and Hereford dominated the meet once again. Junior Emily Konkus won in 19 minutes, 40.44 seconds— her second straight state meet victory. The Bulls pulled off the three-peat with another 2A team state title.
The girls finished with 81 points — Howard County and 2A South champion River Hill had 121, Liberty, the Carroll County and 2A West champs, were third with 126 and Oakdale was fourth (135).
Hopkins finished third and her sister Kathryn placed ninth to help the Falcons to a fifth-place team finish. River Hill runners Jasmine Tiamfook and Faith Meininger placed fifth and sixth, Liberty seniors Heidi Rinehart and Maeve Lyons were sixth and ninth, respectively.
“It’s been a long day, I woke up early this morning,” Hopkins said. “Being here felt really good to beat some people from Carroll County, some top people I’ve seen and beating them. I was surprised, but also not surprised because I felt really good today.”
Walter Johnson repeated as 4A state champs, defeating runner-up Severna Park with 83 points. Wildcats senior Abigail Johnson raced to first place in 18:17.40 and Annapolis junior Anna Coffin ran second in 18:56.40.
Northern-Calvert placed five runners in the top 25 to cap off a second straight 3A state title victory. C. Milton Wright sophomore Haley Cummins won the individual title in 19 minutes flat. and Calvert’s Abby Sweeney finished second, 24 seconds later.
Cummins has now won back to back individual 3A state meet titles — in 2016, won the meet in 18:41.6.
Patterson Mill junior Ashley Betz won the 1A meet two seconds ahead of Brunswick’s Elly McGillivray in 20:18.12. The Huskies placed fourth as a team with 117 points behind Boonsboro, Brunswick and Northern Garrett. GIRLS 4A Teams 1. Walter Johnson, 77 (9th title, 5th in a row); 2. Severna Park, 89 4A Individuals: 1. Abigail Green, W. Johnson, 18:17.16 (3rd best time ever); 2. Anna Coffin, Annapolis, 18:56.16; 3. Kamryn Eveleth, Severna Park, 18:57.05 3A Teams 1. Northern-Calvert, 37 (2nd title, both in a row); 2. C. Milton Wright, 92 3A Individuals: 1. Haley Cummins, C. Milton Wright, 19:00.03; 2. Abby Sweeney, Northern-Calvert, 19:24.02; 3. Annabel Cortez, Reservoir, 19:49.14 2A Teams 1. Hereford, 81 (11th title, 3rd in a row); 2. River Hill, 121 2A Individuals: 1. Emily Konkus, Hereford, 19:40.44; 2. Heather Delaplaine, Damascus, 19:41.79; 3. Makenzie Hopkins, Winters Mill, 19:45.22 1A Teams 1. Boonsboro, 64 (9th title, 3rd in a row); 2. Brunswick, 70 1A Individuals: 1. Ashley Betz, Patterson Mill, 20:18.12; 2. Elly McGillivray, Brunswick, 20:20.06; 3. Logan Bierer, Pikesville, 20:40.85
BOYS: After winning three straight titles from 2012 to 2014, the agony of last year’s one-point defeat to Dulaney served as the perfect motivational tool for the Severna Park boys’ cross country team and coach Josh Alcombright.
The journey to win the program's fourth state title and stop Dulaney’s two-year title run started immediately after that race and the Falcons culminated that journey by usurping the Lions, 40-77, while the girls team continued its ascendancy with a second-place finish.
Severna Park’s success was the exclamation point on a strong statement for the county, as five boys placed in the top 10 in the 4A race.
“Last year was a little bit of a wake-up call for the team and for me to be honest,” Alcombright said. “I was a little lazy and maybe a little bit overconfident as a coach. It stung and I had to live with my mistakes the last 365 days, so to come back and do that against essentially two teams that, neither one of us lost anybody last year, it’s a little bit of redemption. Dulaney is still a great team and we expect to battle them in the coming years too, but it was our day today.”
Garrison Clark led the charge for the Falcons as he has throughout the playoff races. Clark sat just off the front pact biding his time before Hereford’s infamous dip. After the dip, he asserted himself, coming back up the dip in a battle for second with Howard’s Nicholas Deamer that he pulled away late to take. Adam Nakasaka of Bethesda-Chevy Chase won the race in 15:50.63, now the fifth fastest time in the meet’s history. BOYS 4A Teams 1. Severna Park, 40 (4th title); 2. Dulaney, 77 4A Individuals: 1. Adam Naksaka, B-CC, 15:50.63 (5th best time ever); 2. Garrison Clark, Severna Park, 15:57.73 (8th best time ever); 3. Nicholas Deamer, Howard, 15:59.92 3A Teams 1. Linganore, 73 (3rd title); 2. Centenniel, 126 3A Individuals: 1. Kieran McDermott, Bel Air, 15:59.19 (10th best time ever); 2. Michael Belmaggio, Linganore, 16:14.86; 3. Kai Muniz, Reservoir, 16:18.22 2A Teams 1. Liberty, 68 (6th title, 3rd in a row); 2. Calvert, 74 2A Individuals 1. Ryan Lockett, Poolesville, 16:13.07; 2. Justin Diehl, Calvert, 16:16.55; 3. Jay Hall, Westlake, 16:25.35 1A Teams 1. Bohemia Manor, 34 (5th title, 2nd in a row); 2. Southern-Garrett, 81 1A Individuals: 1. Zachary Laird, Bohemia Manor, 16:09.17; 2. Alex Longeway, Bohemia Manor, 16:42.90; 3. Garrett Kercheval, Smithsburg, 16:47.42
MARYLAND PRIVATE SCHOOL CHAMPIONSHIP: Dalton Hengst of McDonogh was the overall winner in a time of 16:32.
Hereford's Emily Konkus won the 2A girls race in 19:40.44.
Bel Air’s Kieran McDermott won the boys 3A race in 15:59.19.