Kent Island’s Mulligan captures 2A East crown
Durner, Christofel lead North Caroline racers
CAMBRIDGE — No one could catch Fiona Mulligan on Thursday afternoon at Egypt Road Regional Park.
A Kent Island High senior, Mulligan decided to give cross country a try this fall and has made it a good choice. She captured the Class 2A East Region cross country championship to highlight the performances of Mid-Shore athletes at the meet.
Mulligan spanned the 3-mile circuit in 19 minutes, 51.1 seconds, nearly five seconds faster than her closest challenger, North Harford sophomore Laurel Brown (19:56), on a sunny day with temperatures in the low 70s.
“I knew I had a chance, but I was just hoping to PR (personal record),” Mulligan said. “I think I PRd. I just tried to tuck in behind whoever was kind of running my pace and try and stick with them, cause that really helps to have somebody to run with cause you’re pushing each other. The secondplace girl, she popped ahead for a little bit in that section over there. … It was a gorgeous day; I thought it was fine.”
Mulligan said she decided to run cross country to stay in shape and to ready herself for track season. “It’s just a fun team. I love the team — it’s fun,” she said.
Mulligan won the Class 2A state pole vault title during last spring’s track season.
“She shows up and works hard every day,” Buccaneers head coach Kristen Park said of Mulligan. “All the success that she’s had she has definitely earned it. … She’s just an incredibly hard worker.”
Kyra Schulties placed fourth (20:20) and Hannah Claggett (21:03.8) took 15th for the Bucs, who finished second (76 points) among the 10 girls’ teams competing; thereby qualifying for the state tournament, which will be held at Hereford High School on Saturday, Nov. 10. North Harford won the 2A girls team title with 57 points.
Kent Island’s Molly Connelly, who won the Bayside Championship, was the front-runner early but did not finish the race.
Queen Anne’s County, led by Julia Redpath (6th, 20:23.8) and Maisie Meehan (14th, 21:01), placed third, and North Caroline, led by Zoe Durner (7th, 20:32.6) and Emily Lewis (12th, 20:55.2) finished fourth to also qualify as teams for the state tournament.
Patterson Mill’s Ashley Betz pulled away from Cambridge-South Dorchester junior Sarah Condon to win the afternoon’s first event, the Class 1A girls’ race. Betz ran the course in 19:44.1 with Condon the only other runner also under 20 minutes at 19:57.8.
“It was me and Ashley; we pushed each other the entire race,” said Condon, who was battling a cold. “Up until the last turn to go into the straight is kind of where she passed me. At that point I was trying to get my breath. She’s so good ... but I definitely would have liked to do better.”
A little cooler weather would have been ideal for the runners, but no one was really complaining, especially not spectators.
“The weather actually is pretty nice because it’s not cold on your arms and it’s not humid,” Condon said. “It’s nice when it’s in the lower 60 cause it’s cool and you’re not overly sweaty. … I’ve been drinking lots and lots of water and trying to keep my lungs clear today.”
Condon’s teammates, Carrie Price placed third (21:15.1), Anna Hyde eighth (22:22.9), and Alison Ridgely 12th (22:41) as the Vikings finished second (38 points), qualifying for the state tournament, behind front-runner Bohemia Manor (33). Cambridge-South Dorchester’s Connor McCroy, the Bayside Conference champion, held off Bohemia Manor’s Zachary Laird at the finish line to place second in 16:02.4, a new personal record for McCroy in the boys’ Class 1A race.
“I couldn’t ask for anything more; it was perfect,” McCroy said. “It was a great way to finish. I wanted under 16. I came in a little short at 16:02, but I PRd. Four years for this race. It went about what I expected. I knew one of the Bo Manor boys would go out fast. I knew that I would have to work to get back up. And I knew that they wouldn’t be used to all the twists and turns back in the woods, so every corner I would surge.”
With the upcoming state meet on very hilly course, McCroy has realistic expectations for that meet. He said he would take it easy during the winter indoor track season and prepare for the 3,200 meters in the spring. “I’m going for under 10 in the two-mile,” he said.
Bryce Jones placed eighth for the Vikings (17:43.9), John Condon ninth (17:44.5), and Sam Slacum 14th (18:18.9).
Bo Manor, led by firstplace finisher Alex Longeway, won the nine-team Class 1A boys’ race with 31 points, with Cambridge-SD second with 57. Kent County’s Daniel Rickman placed seventh (17:31.2) for the Trojans.
North Harford’s William Tikiob won the Class 2A boys’ race with a time of 15:47.4. Kent Island’s Isaiah Shulties placed seventh with a time of 16:34.8. Finn Walsh was ninth (16:40.4), Cade Donnelly was 12th (17:17.6), and Jack Pearse was 15th (17:27.9) for Kent Island. The Buccaneers (64) finished one point behind Harford Technical (63) for the team championship and qualified for the state tournament.
“We fought hard today, unfortunately we came up a little bit short,” Park said of her teams’ performances. “They all went out there. They all put their all in and they did everything we could ask for, and we just got out-performed. … We knew the boys was going to be close, but they left it all out there on the course and that’s all I can ask of them.”
Queen Anne’s, led by Jamie Thompson (16th, 17:34.3) and Connor Reese (26th, 18:05.1) placed fifth among the 12 Class 2A boys teams competing to also qualify for the state tournament.
North Caroline’s William Christophel placed 11th (17:10.6).
North Caroline’s William Christophel
North Caroline’s Zoe Durner