Charg­ers shine in cross coun­try meet

Berry places 16th, Land­graf 11th as Calvert boys, North­ern girls sweep

Maryland Independent - - Sports - By JOHN NISWANDER jniswan­der@somd­news.com Twit­ter: @john­niswan­der2

The clouds and rains from ear­lier in the week parted ways just in time for the sun to make an ap­pear­ance for a hot and hu­mid South­ern Mary­land Ath­letic Con­fer­ence cross coun­try quad-meet last Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon at Calvert High School.

Calvert County was well rep­re­sented with three of its four high schools — North­ern, Hunt­ing­town and Calvert — in ad­di­tion to Lackey from neigh­bor­ing Charles County.

“With three schools right here in the county to­day and all three have good pro­grams and good fol­low­ings, it was awe­some I thought to­day,” Calvert head coach John Ma­jor said. “I was sur­prised with all the par­ents and peo­ple here for a SMAC cross coun­try meet. This place was packed with peo­ple and that was awe­some.”

The sun and heat were not enough to slow down Calvert’s Justin Diehl as he took home a first-place fin­ish at his home course with a time of 17 min­utes 48.38 sec­onds.

“The race was pretty good. I felt pretty com­fort­able the en­tire time and nice and smooth to­day, I felt good,” Diehl said.

Four of the top-five boys fin­ish­ers were from the Cava­liers as well as seven of the top 14 to help earn them a sweep in the quad­meet and re­main un­beaten so far on the sea­son.

“We are pro­gress­ing good as a team. We didn’t get off to our best start this year, but are def­i­nitely start­ing to progress a lot bet­ter now,” Diehl said. “We are go­ing to be re­ally good come the end of Oc­to­ber and early Novem­ber when it re­ally counts. We might not be in our best shape right now, but we are work­ing to­wards it for the post­sea­son.”

Ben Aris was se­cond (18:18.40) fol­lowed by Isa­iah Wil­lett in fourth (18:26.58) and Carter Sin­gle­tary was fifth (18:35.86).

Conor McGirr of Hunt­ing­town was the only boy not rep­re­sent­ing the Cava­liers to fin­ish the race in the top five with a time of 18:20.84.

“Calvert and North­ern are great teams so it is al­ways fun racing against them. Justin Diehl is a great run­ner. I kind of just wanted to pace with him for as long as I could,” McGirr said.

Calvert (8-0 over­all) beat Lackey 15-50, de­feated Hunt­ing­town 19-40 and took care of North­ern 18-40. North­ern (7-1) beat Lackey 1545 and nar­rowly snuck past Hunt­ing­town 27-28, while Hunt­ing­town (4-4) topped Lackey (1-7) 1742.

“It was a hot day, they did pretty good. It was tough los­ing by one point to North­ern, but you know we got three more shots at them and we will give it a go,” Hunt­ing­town head coach David Spain said.

North­ern’s Jack Lehn­hardt was the first to cross the fin­ish line for the Pa­tri­ots, fin­ish­ing sev­enth over­all (19:33.81), while Montez Berry of Lackey was the first to cross the fin­ish line for the Charg­ers by plac­ing 16th (20:48.60).

“They come out here and push it re­ally hard. We are not al­ways the best team on the course, but I al­ways like to think we are out here giv­ing it as much ef­fort as any team and I am as proud to see them fin­ish as I am to see any­one fin­ish,” Lackey head coach Kevin Gib­son said.

While the girls race was con­tested af­ter the con­clu­sion of the boys, the sun and heat were still beat­ing down on the run­ners.

“I thought to­day’s race was a lit­tle hot. Our team was re­ally to­gether and we were get­ting re­ally ex­cited be­cause it was a close to home meet. We know North­ern and Calvert and are re­ally close with them and we want to re­ally push our­selves with them,” Hunt­ing­town’s Oak­ley Ol­son said af­ter she claimed first place on the day by tak­ing the girls race in 20:24.32.

North­ern claimed spots two through four with Clau­dia Dolan (20:30.08), Han­nah Mack (20:54.52) and Syd­ney Yankanich (21:01.90). Syd­ney Friedel of Calvert rounded out the top five with a time of 21:19.96.

“I thought they all raced well,” North­ern head coach Josh Daw­son said. “The weather def­i­nitely doesn’t help, it was hot and the Calvert course is not flat or easy for that mat­ter and they just ran one of the tough­est cour­ses on Satur­day at the Bull Run In­vi­ta­tional at Here­ford High School. So their legs are def­i­nitely feel­ing tired and over­all I thought they raced well and I am happy with it.”

North­ern re­mained un­blem­ished af­ter sweep­ing the quad-meet and im­prov­ing to 8-0 over­all on the sea­son with wins over Calvert (19-38), Lackey (15-no score) and Hunt­ing­town 23-33. Hunt­ing­town (7-1) earned wins over Lackey (15-no score) and Calvert (25-30).

Calvert (4-4) topped Lackey (0-5) by the same 15-no score as the Charg­ers did not have enough run­ners to qual­ify for a team score. An­nie Land­graf placed 11th over­all for Lackey (23:01.05).

De­spite suf­fer­ing their first loss of the sea­son, Ol­son is proud of her team and what they still can ac­com­plish this year.

“We have never been this fast be­fore in Hunt­ing­town’s history and I am re­ally proud of coach Spain and all of my team­mates in how hard we have been work­ing,” she said. “I think we have a good shot at SMAC and re­gion­als. Any­thing is our limit right now with how hard we want to push it.”

STAFF PHO­TOS BY JOHN NISWANDER

Montez Berry fin­ished 16th over­all and was the first Charger to cross the fin­ish line in a time of 20 min­utes 48.60 sec­onds dur­ing last Wed­nes­day’s quad-meet at Calvert High School that also in­cluded Hunt­ing­town and North­ern.

Lackey’s An­nie Land­graf, pic­tured here round­ing the fi­nal turn of the race, fin­ished in 11th place with a time of 23 min­utes 1.05 sec­onds.

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