-- Although she couldn't pull out another victory against one of Maryland's top runners Saturday, Patuxent senior Allison Parris said she was still pleased with another strong performance to end her cross-country career.
Parris finished second overall in the Maryland 2A girls' championships behind champion Alison Smith of Atholton, a three-time All-Met junior who finished second to Parris in the 2A South Region meet Nov. 3. The 2A race was one of eight run on Hereford High's challenging, hilly three-mile course -- four classifications of boys' and girls' races.
Parris had no regrets.
"I worked hard this year, so I'm happy to finish like this," Parris said. "I knew Alison Smith was a good runner and was going to be tough today, so I knew it wasn't going to be easy."
Parris finished in 20 minutes 33 seconds, more than a minute behind Smith. Smith won her second straight title in 19:25, the third-best time of any runner in any classification.
The second-place finish capped what had been a rollercoaster postseason for Parris, who had not lost to a Southern Maryland Athletic Conference runner in the regular season.
At the SMAC meet in mid-October, though, Parris stumbled to a fourth-place finish. Then, at the regional meet on her home course, Parris had the race of her career, beating Smith, who had been sick, by 30 seconds.
"I really wanted to do well on my home course, because I really like it, and they had even taken out the only part I didn't like," Parris said. "I was very pleased with that."
Four other area athletes took home top-10 finishes. In 4A, SMAC champ Katlyn Dillow finished with the toughest runners in the state, taking sixth in a time of 19:50 (Eleanor Roosevelt junior Marika Walker won in 19:19.). Leonardtown, the SMAC team champ, was sixth overall with 195 points; Roosevelt won with 61.
In 3A, Northern's Keely Murphy and Katie Ogden clocked top-10 finishes. Murphy, the SMAC champ, was fifth in 19:54; Ogden took eighth in 20:28. North Carroll junior Katie Hursey was the 3A champ with a time of 19:13, the best of any female runner on the day.
In 1A, North Point freshman Danielle Pederson gave the first-year school bright hope by finishing third in 21:46. Lauryn MacFawn of Alleghany won in 20:15.