Last year the C. Milton Wright boys took home the UCBAC title in what ended up being a thrilling team battle. With the tightest 1-5 spread of any of the top ten teams (51 seconds), they overcame the lack of a frontrunner (their top finisher was tenth) and edged Fallston by four points. With five of their top seven runners from last year returning this fall, the Wright boys are well poised to defend their team title and possibly contend for a regional title in the highly-competitive 3A North region.
Watch Caleb Zylka finish second at last year's Paul Short Invitational in Bethlehem, PA.
Other than the Footlocker Northeast Regional (where he finished 28th), Bel Air's Caleb Zylka finished no lower than second at any race during his junior cross country season. That included impressive wins at the UCBAC and 3A North championships. Last year's runner-up, Kevin Baranoski, will be back in 2019, but Zylka remains the favorite to defend his title heading into the fall.
Photo by John Roemer
Fallston's Alex Xavier was the top UCBAC freshman last season, placing 24th in a field laden with upperclassmen. In fact, the Cougars had the conference's top two freshmen last year when sorting by season-best three mile time; Xavier (16:56) and Quinn Daly (17:00). After a close second-place finish to the Mustangs, they could reload quickly if their young group takes a big step forward this season.
Photo by Craig Amoss
The North Harford boys peaked when it mattered most last fall. When sorting the top returners in the UCBAC by their performances at the state meet, three Hawks place in the top 14, including William Tikiob at seventh and Dylan Kapustensky (above) at tenth. Their solid performance on the biggest of stages earned them a 12th-place finish in the team scores and could have them on the verge of cracking into the top ten this time around.
Photo by John Roemer
Look out for Elkton's Tyler Vega on the course this season, as he was one of the conference's top breakout runners this past spring. He clocked season bests of 2:06 in the 800 and 4:40 in the 1600; the latter ranked 13th in the conference, and only six returning runners ran faster in the event. Should the success translate to the course this fall he could compete for a top ten spot at the UCBAC championships.