TITLE RUN Bo Manor boys win 1A state cross country title
— As the race’s final runners made their way across the finish line, Bohemia Manor coach Steve Pizzulli gathered his boys’ cross country team together near the winner’s circle and poured over the results.
He knew they were within striking distance of a state title but he wasn’t sure how close.
“It becomes the guessing game,” Pizzulli said. “I try not to celebrate anything until I actually see it because a few years ago, when we lost by one to Boonsboro, we were told that we won and then it turned out in the final score there were some individuals who were removed from the team total and it put Boonsboro up ahead. So it makes me real nervous when it’s real close.”
While a third-place finish from Zachary Laird and a fifth-place finish from Alex Longeway had given Pizzulli two Top 5 finishers, and both Grant and Jack France- schina had taken sixth and eighth, respectively, to provide the Eagles with four runners in the Top 10, the long-time coach recognized that Southern Garrett had crowded the winner’s circle with runners in both second and fourth place, another in seventh and one more at 14.
That’s when Pizzulli looked up, searching the electronic leaderboard to see whether his fifth runner had crossed the finish line before Southern Garrett’s. It was going to be that close. As it turned out, he did. Freshman Colin Parker edged Southern Garrett freshman Bryson Wilt by just six seconds to take 32nd place and help deliver Bo Manor the 1A boys cross country championship at Hereford on Saturday.
“I was really thinking during the last stretch that I really had to give it my all,” Parker said. “Up until then, I was in sixth place on my team, but going up the hill I passed [my teammate]. Everyone was telling me that it’s all up to me and I took that into my mind and I tried my best.
“It’s a big deal to me. I’m very excited.”
Saturday marked the Bo Manor boys’ fourth team title in program history and first since 2011. It also came after a fifth-place result last year and a second-place finish in 2014.
The Eagles finished with 52 points, just six points ahead of
Defensive coordinator Dick Achuff celebrates with junior Raiquon Estep following third-seeded Elkton’s 12-0 win over host No. 2 Queen Anne’s County in the 2A East Region semifinals on Friday. Achuff’s defense pitched a shutout and Estep finished with two rushing touchdowns to propel the Golden Elks to the region finals.