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  • All seven of Severna Park's runners placed in the top 22 of the nearly 200-runner field at the Seahawk Invitational on September 2 as the Falcons dominated their way to a team victory.
    Photo by Colin Murphy
    All seven of Severna Park's runners placed in the top 22 of the nearly 200-runner field at the Seahawk Invitational on September 2 as the Falcons dominated their way to a team victory.

Park XC Boys Dominate Seahawk Invite; Falcon Girls Take Third

Colin Murphy
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September 7, 2017

The Severna Park cross country teams endured difficult conditions in pouring rain and squelching mud to turn in exceptional performances at the Seahawk Invitational meet at South River High School on September 2.

Severna Park’s boys placed five runners in the top 11 to blow away the competition with a team score of 43, easily outpacing second-place Calvert High School (138) and Howard High School (147).

Hugh O’Connor led the Falcons’ effort by taking fourth place on the 3.1-mile course in 16 minutes, 18.1 seconds, and he was the top finisher from any county school. Calvert High School’s Justin Diehl was the meet winner in 16 minutes, 3 seconds.

Severna Park teammates Garrison Clark (sixth), Samuel Martin (ninth), Jonah Lane (11th) and Nicholas Plummer (13th) ensured the Falcons’ dominant victory. Severna Park’s seven-runner pack all ran well enough that even the finishes of Jacob Martin (15th) and Jack Finnerin (22nd) would have sealed a Falcon team win.

PHOTO GALLERY: 9.2.17 Severna Park cross country at Seahawk Invitational

On a course that could not have been muddier, slips and falls and mud-splattered face plants were common throughout the day’s two races. O’Connor said he started the race not intent on breaking any course records.

“I haven’t really run a lot of races in the rain like this, so I took it out a little slower thinking it was going to be slippery, but thank God I had spikes, because that helped a lot,” said O’Connor, a senior. “The second loop I picked it up a little, but I just took it out tentatively and it ended up working out well.”

With its dominant win to open the season, it’s business as usual for the Severna Park boys cross country program. The Falcons won three straight state titles from 2012-2014 and have finished as the team runner-up each of the last two years. They trained together over the summer in preparation for the season, and it showed in the season’s opening race.

“We did a lot of high mileage during the summer,” said O’Connor. “We would just get together, decide on a run and do it. We had a couple days that were 13, 14 miles, and we had some good tempo runs. It was mostly just building up mileage, and as the season goes on we’re going to build up more speed stuff and hopefully get a little sharper toward the end.”

O’Connor added the team has hopes to regain its place atop the state by season’s end.

“We were second place for the past two years at states, so we really want to get first place this year,” he said. “We know that it’s not just going to be given to us, because there’s great competition. That’s our main goal, but really we’re just going to try to take it one meet at a time, win them and do the best we can.”

On the girls side, the Falcons ran a solid race to take third as a team with 95 points, three better than county foe South River’s 98. River Hill won the meet with 87 points, and Northern High School was runner-up with 91. Kamryn Eveleth was the Falcon’s top finisher, taking ninth in 19 minutes, 57.9 seconds, while Catie Cambon (12th), Sophia Zell (22nd), Brenna Mulaney (24th) and Izzy Kintzley (28th) contributed to a strong overall meet. Cameron Zaniker (31st) and Lindsey Brooks (37th) ran swift races in the 189-runner field.

PHOTO GALLERY: 9.2.17 Severna Park cross country at Seahawk Invitational


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