Bal­ance helps Mary­vale re­peat

Lions fin­ish with 51 points to beat out Spalding, NDP; Eden places first for Cavs

Baltimore Sun - - VARSITY | FROM PAGE ONE - By Jeff Seidel

The Mary­vale cross coun­try team won its first In­ter­scholas­tic Ath­letic As­so­ci­a­tion of Mary­land A Con­fer­ence ti­tle in last year’s cham­pi­onship race. It didn’t take long for the pro­gram to earn a sec­ond.

Arch­bishop Spalding fresh­man Lacey Eden won the race and helped the Cava­liers come close to Mary­vale, but the Lions put five run­ners in the top 16 and held on to re­peat as IAAM A Con­fer­ence cham­pi­ons in the meet Tues­day at Steven­son.

Mary­vale fin­ished with 51 points, beat­ing out Spalding (60) and Notre Dame Prep (64).

De­fend­ing cham­pion Emily Craig led the Lions with her sec­ond-place fin­ish, but all five Mary­vale run­ners turned in strong per­for­mances.

“It was a com­plete team ef­fort from top to bot­tom,” Mary­vale coach Ja­son Miller said. “We had to be ag­gres­sive from the start, and I think we were able to do that.”

Rachel Thomas (sixth), Is­abel Pi­neo (12th), Brit­tney Graff (15th) and Ju­lia Piet (16th) rounded out the Mary­vale top five. Pi­neo, Graff and Piet fin­ished 24.67 sec­onds apart, and that locked up the vic­tory.

Miller said the strong start also paid off.

The Mary­vale run­ners jumped to­ward the lead in the first part of the race and re­mained in good po­si­tions af­ter that — which proved im­por­tant.

“We all ran very well,” Craig said. “I thought we gave our­selves a good chance.”

They needed that be­cause the young Spalding team gave the Lions a fight. Eden stayed right be­hind Craig through­out the race and made her move in the fi­nal quar­ter-mile, pass­ing the Mary­vale run­ner to win in 19 min­utes, 5.75 sec­onds. Craig took sec­ond in 19:10.43. “I just took off and used the down­hill to my ad­van­tage,” Eden said. “I knew I’d be able to get her.”

Spalding caught many by sur­prise this sea­son un­der new coach Mike Ward. The Cava­liers are a young team, with five of their top seven run­ners fresh­men, in­clud­ing Allysa Combs, who fin­ished third over­all in 19:29.32.

Four of the top five Mary­vale run­ners also are un­der­class­men, which could set up an in­ter­est­ing bat­tle dur­ing the next few years. The Lions won the cross coun­try cham­pi­onship last fall, then did the same in in­door and out­door track.

This was the third time in four years Mary­vale cap­tured a cross coun­try ti­tle.

The Lions won the B Con­fer­ence crown in 2013 be­fore mov­ing up to the A Con­fer­ence.

On Tues­day, there was just one race over­all, but it was split into three separate con­fer­ence re­sults.

Roland Park eas­ily won the B Con­fer­ence cham­pi­onship with 37 points, beat­ing St. Mary’s (65). Alayna Gib­son of Roland Park fin­ished first among B Con­fer­ence run­ners in 20:34.59.

The key for the Reds was plac­ing four run­ners in the top 10. El­iz­a­beth Cur­rie (21:03.2) took sec­ond, with Han­nah Rhea (fourth) and Sydney Sieg­meis­ter (10th) also con­tribut­ing. Caro­line Gosse (20th) was the fi­nal Roland Park scor­ing run­ner. Last year, the Reds fin­ished sec­ond. Park won the C Con­fer­ence cham­pi­onship, also putting four run­ners in the top 10 to eas­ily take the team crown with 35 points, ahead of Pal­lotti (74).

Abi­gail Sul­li­van of Se­ton Keough led the C Con­fer­ence run­ners in 21:03.58, but Park took over af­ter that. Clara Brill- Car­lat (sec­ond, 21:07.22), Ju­lia Lul­jak (third), Maeve This­tel (fifth) and Celka Rice (ninth) also fin­ished in the top 10 for Park. Sa­man­tha Brooks (16th) was the other Bruin who scored.

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