As the favorite to repeat as champion at the Maryland 2A cross-country championships, Atholton's Andrew Revelle had a cheering section of about a dozen family members who made the trek to Hereford High on Saturday.
What his family saw, though, was even better than last year. Revelle improved his winning time of a year ago by more than 40 seconds, clocking a mark of 16 minutes 45 seconds to win on a cool, sunny afternoon.
Fresh off consecutive wins at the Howard County and 2A South Region championships, Revelle re-affirmed himself as 2A's best.
"Winning counties and regionals, that gave me a lot of confidence for states," Revelle said.
Revelle and Raiders junior Alison Smith swept the individual titles for the second straight year, and Wilde Lake's resurgent boys won the 3A state title, capping a strong day for Howard County schools.
Smith had struggled all season with injuries and illness, and she took second in her regional race. But on Saturday the three-time All-Met took control early and was strong enough to finish in 19:25. Patuxent senior Allison Parris, who had won the region championship, finished more than a minute behind Smith.
"This one is much more rewarding," Smith said. "It's more rewarding because of what my season has been like. . . . I'm happy it ended on a good note."
Wilde Lake's championship ended an impressive season, especially considering it began with eight boys on varsity.
The team jelled throughout the year, starting with a win at the Meade Autumn Classic and continuing through the 3A East Region championship.
Senior Travis Boccher, in his first year in cross-country, was third (17:09), a second ahead of fourth-place junior teammate J.P. Allera. The scoring keys for Wilde Lake were freshmen Jonathan Sham and Evan Anderson, who finished 31st and 43rd, respectively, rounding out the scoring. Wilde Lake finished with 82 points to Urbana's 104.
"People thought we were going to be the sixth-best team in the county because we had only one guy returning in our top seven," Boccher said. "But our freshmen worked hard and improved a lot."
Two Have Title Chances
The Centennial and Glenelg volleyball teams each entered the week with a chance to win state titles.
Defending 3A champion Centennial (16-1) faced North Carroll (12-4) Tuesday in the semifinals. A victory would give the county champions a title match against Huntingtown (14-2) or Towson (16-2) at the University of Maryland's Ritchie Coliseum at 6:30 p.m. tomorrow.
"We've been preparing for the state tournament since the season began," said senior outside hitter Sarah Gregorini. "Since we played in the state tournament last year, I think it gives us an advantage of what to expect."
Glenelg (14-2) won the 2A South Region tournament and faced Loch Raven yesterday. The winner of that match will play North East of Cecil County (15-1) or two-time defending state champion Liberty (16-1) at Ritchie Coliseum at 8:30 p.m. Saturday in the final.
Glenelg is making its third state tournament appearance in four years.
"We can really sense winning a state championship because we've made it this far," said senior outside hitter Julie Hollrah. "We really want to play Liberty again after they beat us [in the state final] two years ago."
Hawks, Gators Fall
The River Hill and Reservoir girls' soccer teams fell in state semifinal games last week.
In 3A, River Hill suffered a 1-0 loss to Tuscarora when junior forward Rachel Micol scored with 21 seconds remaining in overtime. Tuscarora (16-1), playing in its second varsity season, won the 1A state title last year.
River Hill (15-3), which outshot the Titans 14-3, failed to capitalize on several good chances, which made the loss tougher to accept, said Coach Brian Song.
"It was a heartbreaker, but we have 10 starters who are going to come back next year, and I think this will motivate them," Song said. "Hopefully we can learn from this. When you get opportunities, you have to take advantage of them, and we didn't do that."
Reservoir lost to Eastern Tech of Baltimore, 3-0, in the state semifinals to finish 7-6-3.
Eastern Tech senior midfielder Cindi Nickles gave the Mavericks a 1-0 lead in the third minute, and freshman forward Rachel Trageser and junior Stephanie Horchar scored in the second half, sending their team into Saturday's final against defending 2A champion Middletown.
"At least we made it this far, and we'll get a banner on our gym for winning the region title, which is something we've never done," said Coach Jeff Bradbury. "There are not a lot of teams in the county who have not won a championship of any kind, so winning a region championship says a lot about our team."