La Plata cross coun­try falls in reg­u­lar sea­son fi­nale

War­riors lose to H-town, L-town; White fin­ishes 2nd in boys race

Maryland Independent - - Sports - By TED BLACK tblack@somd­news.com

As they have done through­out much of the sea­son, the Leonard­town High School cross coun­try team made quick work of its South­ern Mary­land Ath­letic Con­fer­ence op­po­nents again on Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon at La Plata High School, as the Raiders boys and girls both de­parted with a pair of lop­sided tal­lies.

The Leonard­town boys (13-0 SMAC/ over­all) put the fin­ish­ing touches on an un­de­feated league reg­u­lar sea­son by down­ing Hunt­ing­town, 15-48, and La Plata, 19-44, while the Hur­ri­canes (9-4) earned a split by edg­ing the War­riors (7-6), 22-37. Leonard­town’s boys cap­tured six of the top seven spots at the event, with La Plata’s Gage White spoil­ing the clean sweep with a run­ner-up per­for­mance be­hind Raiders ju­nior Parker McDowell.

“It was re­ally hot to­day,” McDowell said. “I made sure to re­ally hy­drate be­fore the race and I took a few ex­tra sips of water be­fore we started. My fo­cus was to go out and win to­day so we could win against both teams and fin­ish the sea­son un­de­feated. That was re­ally the main goal. We just wanted to get the lead pack and make sure we won as a team.”

McDowell com­pleted the three-mile course in 17 min­utes 26.56 sec­onds to fin­ish nearly 21 sec­onds ahead of White (17:47.38). Paul Fag­nano (18:06.17), Sa­muel Kat­ulich (18:10.31), Sean O’Roark (18:15.38), Ben Cian­cio (18:25.21) and Reed Pilk­er­ton (18:25.62), all Raiders, com­pleted the top seven. Hunt­ing­town’s Dy­lan Wat­son (18:37.88) and Ai­dan Baird (18:39.26) were eighth and ninth, re­spec­tively. Hunt­ing­town run­ner Colin Flynn has missed the last three meets af­ter re­quir­ing an ap­pen­dec­tomy.

“Parker is re­ally fast,” White said af­ter his run­ner-up ef­fort on Wed­nes­day. “I stayed with him un­til about a mile into the race and then he started to pull away from me. From there I just wanted to fo­cus on fin­ish­ing sec­ond. It was def­i­nitely hot to­day. I drank five bot­tles of water ear­lier and loaded up on gra­ham crack­ers, one of my fa­vorite things to eat on race day.”

Amid slightly cooler con­di­tions, the Leonard­town girls (12-1) coasted to iden­ti­cal 15-50 vic­to­ries over La Plata and Hunt­ing­town on Wed­nes­day as Raiders se­nior Liana Foian­ini (21:10.00) led her team to a sweep of the top nine plac­ings at the meet. Kris­ten Buck (22:17.57), Court­ney Law­son (22:21.74), Bethany Laird (22:23.51) and Rachel Geiger (22:24.45) com­pleted the top five for the Raiders.

“It was a lit­tle warmer to­day than it has been, but I didn’t think it was nearly as hot as when the boys went out,” Foian­ini said. “There were some cool spots in the woods. This course is not very hilly, so once you got into the shaded ar­eas it was fine. We have the SMAC cham­pi­onships next week (sched­uled for 3 p.m. Wed­nes­day at Chap­tico Park) and I’m hop­ing to go there and fin­ish in the top five.”

Buck, who also com­petes for the school dur­ing the in­door track and field sea­son each win­ter and the out­door track and field sea­son in the spring, al­though pri­mar­ily in sprints and hur­dles, was pleased with her run­ner-up ef­fort on Wed­nes­day. She had of­fered no pre­ten­sions of catch­ing Foian­ini, but she wanted to stay well clear of Law­son for the run­ner-up hon­ors.

“I mainly paced my­self be­hind Court­ney,” said Buck, who also has hopes of fin­ish­ing in the top 10 at SMAC. “I was be­hind her for a while and then I just caught a run­ner’s high and took off. I felt re­ally good the last part of the race. Now we’re hop­ing to do well as a team at SMAC and I’m hop­ing to mainly fin­ish in the top five if I can.”

Hunt­ing­town (9-4) earned the split in de­feat­ing La Plata (6-7), 17-44. Hunt­ing­town’s Maitlin Greiner (23:02.11), Sa­vanna Ligsay (23:16.23) and Mar­garet Foulkes (23:56.92) were 10th, 11th and 16th, re­spec­tively, but they were the top three fin­ish­ers against the War­riors as Hasana Brown (24:03.20) was 17th over­all for La Plata.

STAFF PHOTO BY TED BLACK

La Plata High School’s Gage White com­pletes the three-mile course on his home track on Wed­nes­day but set­tles for sec­ond be­hind Leonard­town High School ju­nior Parker McDowell who led the Raiders to a sweep of the dual meet by fin­ish­ing nearly 21 sec­onds ahead of the War­riors run­ner.

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