Wilde Lake cross-country standouts Travis Boccher and J.P. Allera always try to run together because when they stay side by side, both finish with good times.

"I think we push each other out there," Boccher said.

The two set the pace on the rain-soaked course at the Meade Invitational on Friday, and none of the other 134 runners could keep up. Boccher, a senior, won the three-mile race in 16 minutes 50 seconds; Allera, a junior, took second in 16:53, leading the Wildecats to the team title with 71 points, one point ahead of Arundel.

Wilde Lake sophomore Derrick Lange took fifth in 17:13, with freshman Jonathan Sham finishing 31st (18:30) and senior Damien Richardson taking 32nd (18:30).

Reservoir finished fifth, led by junior Brian Allen (seventh, 17:30) and freshman Jake Williams (15th, 17:55).

"To run as well as we did in the rain really gives us a lot of confidence heading into the county championships [on Oct. 27]," Boccher said. "I think it's going to be a real struggle with the rest of the county teams, but we have a shot at winning it."

On the girls' side, Wilde Lake, led by junior Katie Williams's third-place showing in 20:44, finished fourth (116 points), behind champion Severna Park (26), Chesapeake (102) and Arundel (110).

Wilde Lake freshman Sarah Boone took 18th in 22:13. Reservoir sophomore Lauren Dorman finished 20th in 22:20 to lead the Gators to eighth place.

Lacrosse Player Picks Va. Tech

Mount Hebron senior lacrosse attacker Alexandra Mengel, who missed nearly all of last season after tearing the meniscus ligament in both knees during preseason practice, said she has orally committed to play for Virginia Tech.

"I just loved the school," said Mengel, who has made a full recovery and is expected to start for the Vikings this season. "As soon as I got there, it just felt good, and I fit right it."

Mengel played for just 10 minutes in an 11-5 victory over Urbana in the Maryland 3A/2A final last year. But she rebounded to have a great summer season; she was one of the leading scorers for Maryland & D.C. Black 2006, one of the nation's top club teams.

"Considering eight months ago I couldn't run," Mengel said, "I feel very fortunate to get the chance to play in college."

Game of the Week

Glenelg hosts Mount Hebron at 5:30 p.m. tomorrow in a girls' soccer game that will probably affect the county title race.

Glenelg entered the week 7-1 overall, 4-1 in league play, and a string of seven shutouts ended with a 1-0 loss to Centennial. The loss dropped the Gladiators into second place in the league behind defending county champion Centennial (7-1-1, 4-0-1).

"It was heartbreaking to lose to Centennial," Glenelg Coach Dean Sheridan said. "I think we need to find a way to get motivated for every game we play."

Mount Hebron (4-2-2, 2-0-2) tied Centennial, 1-1, this month and will probably have to beat the Gladiators to have a chance of catching Centennial. The Vikings' 1-0 overtime victory over Glenelg last season prevented the Gladiators from earning at least a share of the county title.

"I think this is a game both teams really need to win," Mount Hebron Coach Tim Deppen said. "I think you have two evenly matched teams, and it should be a great game."

Wilde Lake's Travis Boccher, left, and J.P. Allera finished first and second, respectively, in the Meade Invitational. The Wildecats won the meet with 71 points, one ahead of Arundel.