WESTMINSTER, Md. —WESTMINSTER, Md. — Washington County runners captured a pair of Antietam Conference (small-school) titles at the Monocacy Valley Athletic League Cross Country Championships on Friday at McDaniel College.
Boonsboro senior Sarah Zielinski was the girls champion, while Williamsport won the boys team title.
Zielinski took the lead for good about a half-mile into the challenging 3.1-mile race, and held on for the victory in 20:19.4. Manchester Valley’s Abby Culp was the only one close to her, finishing second in 20:29.6.
“(Culp) was still there, so I had to keep going,” Zielinski said. “I couldn’t slack off, but that’s good. I like competition.
“It was harder than I thought it was going to be,” she added. “There was a big hill at the end.”
In the boys race, Williamsport put five in the top 15 and won with 56 points. Catoctin, led by individual champion David Dorsey (16:38.8), was second (72) and Boonsboro edged Oakdale 89-90 for third.
“We’ve got a lot of other teams that are near us, but so far we’ve been able to keep ahead of everyone’s pack,” said Williamsport coach Randy Buchman, whose boys also won team titles at five invitationals this season.
Cody Bowman led the Wildcats again on Friday, placing sixth in 17:33.9. Also for Williamsport, Scott Long was 10th (18:03.6), Caleb Buchman was 11th (18:06.5), Emory Rowland was 14th (18:17.3) and Austin Schetrompf was 15th (18:20.5).
“(Bowman) likes the hillier courses, and he had a really good run,” Randy Buchman said. “He’s very excited. He’s really pumped up. And that was probably (Long’s) best race of the year for us.”
So far, the Wildcats have lived up to expectations.
“This season is going like I thought it would,” Randy Buchman said. “We’re not dominating at the front, but we come along not far back with a whole heap of people finishing a few seconds apart from each other. The trick is to keep doing it for three more weeks (at the county, region and state championships).”
Sean Snyder placed eighth in 17:59.1 to lead Boonsboro’s boys, who got the rest of their points from Otto Solberg (16th, 18:24.7), Tom Kersting (17th, 18:30.0), Nick Zielinski (21st, 18:51.4) and Josh Testa (27th, 19:02.4).
Oakdale won the girls team title with 35 points, while Boonsboro was second (61) and South Carroll was third (81).
Following Zielinski to the finish line for the Boonsboro girls were Ella Hawkins (eighth, 21:50.2), Sam Smith (11th, 22:01.4), Kortney Cunningham (16th, 22:23.8) and Jenny Moore (23:35.4).
“It would have been nice to come out with the team victory, but Oakdale is tough,” Boonsboro coach Becky Walter said. “We did well, but Oakdale had a better day.”
Other top-25 finishers included Smithsburg’s Chelsea Massie (21st, 22:59.9) and Williamsport’s Meggan Grams (23rd, 23:10.8) in the girls race, and Williamsport’s Clayton Smith (24th, 18:55.4) in the boys race.
In Piedmont Conference (large-school) action, North Hagerstown’s Emily Ward placed sixth in the girls race in 20:52.3. The Hubs had a pair of top-25 finishers in the boys race — Bryan Durboraw (15th, 18:00.6) and Carson Izer (21st, 18:27.1).
Emily Mulhern won the girls race in 19:37.8, leading Urbana to the team title. Linganore’s Patrick Duboyce won the boys race in 16:43.0 and Thomas Johnson was the boys team champion.
— Andrew Mason