PARKTON, MD., NOV. 14 -- With less than a mile remaining in the Maryland state Class AA cross country championships at Hereford High School today, Eleanor Roosevelt senior Greg Early was leading Randallstown's Jeff Campbell and pulling away.
But for the second consecutive year, misfortune befell Early, the pre-race favorite, as he was forced to stop and rest because of chest pain. He finished 15th.
"Greg yelled and then stopped," said Campbell, who went on unchallenged to win in 15:35.
Bowie senior Robin Quinlan captured her second girls state Class AA title in three years, running the three miles in 18:32. She won the race as a sophomore, but was unable to defend her title last year.
Early, fending off a charge from Largo's Warren Gilchrist in the closing steps of the three-mile race, finished in 17:10. Later he complained of chest pain, was checked by paramedics and was taken by ambulance to Greater Baltimore Medical Center as a precautionary measure.
Early was released an hour after entering the hospital. The pain that hampered his running was due to muscle damage incurred last week while doing pushups.
"The pain he felt got so intense, I guess he shouldn't have even been competing," said Early's mother, Elaine, upon her son's release. "But you know Greg, he's so determined."
Last year, Early also came to the state meet undefeated and touted as the pre-race favorite. But he tripped in the middle of the race and was unable to hold off Campbell over the final 200 yards. A month ago, Early easily beat Campbell at the Hereford Invitational.
The race's quick early pace may have contributed to Early's problems. Campbell, Early and Whitman junior Tom Eagleson, who fell off the pace at the 1 1/2-mile mark, went through the mile in 4:50.
Early and Campbell were still running strong when they went through two miles in 10:00. For the hilly terrain and slippery footing here, that is considered a fast pace.
In contrast, last year the leaders went through the mile at more than five minutes and two miles at 10:40.
Quinlan took the lead at the mile and ran away from pre-race favorite Kim Many of Kennedy, who was unable to continue her quick early pace and faded to sixth (19:52).
Laurel's Jenny Athey led from the gun of the girls Class A race, beating last year's runner-up, North Hagerstown's Latashia Key, 19:18-19:51.
Chris Neglia of Thomas Johnson won the boys Class A race in 16:27. In the boys B/C race, Patrick Hayden of Oakland Mills won in 16:07. Howard's Steffi Rausch took the girls B/C title in 19:06.
Jamie Salter of Bullis ran the 5,000-meter course in 17:08 to win the individual title in the Interstate Athletic Conference championships yesterday at Bullis.
It marked the first time a Bullis runner has ever won the individual championship in the event's 24-year history.
St. Albans won the team title with 52 points, followed by Episcopal (53); Sidwell Friends, 68; Landon, 99; Georgetown Prep, 103; Bullis, 131; and St. Stephen's, 193.
Jason Henthorne of Episcopal finished second in 17:11, followed by teammate Tony Werner in 17:24. Fourth was Aidan Cardella of Sidwell Friends in 17:32, followed by Pete Arrowsmith of Landon, 17:50.