The South Carroll girls are one of three teams in the 2A West region that may very well end up being the top three teams at the 2A state meet. (Photo by John Roemer)
We preview all four 2A regional races, complete with virtual meets!
2A North Regional (Pikesville High School - Meet Page)
At full strength the Lansdowne boys have been the top team in the 2A North region this fall. (Photo by John Roemer)
With three of the top seven boys in the region by 5K season best, and the only team with five runners in the top 20 (only Milford Mill has four), the Lansdowne boys are the top team in the virtual meet of a suddenly wide-open 2A North region that has been dominated in recent years by Hereford. Lansdowne was not at full strength at the Baltimore County Championships, but with their top five runners entered for regionals they have the best top five if healthy. If things play out like they did at the county championships, however, things could get very interesting:
8. Milford Mill - 269 points... 10. Lansdowne - 275 points... 11. Sparrows Point - 300 points... 12. Carver A&T - 305 points... 13. Eastern Tech - 314 points
Meanwhile, Carver A&T sophomore Evan Calderon owns the region's top 5K performance (17:09) by over 30 seconds.
Guinivere Roberts has shaved nearly a minute off her 5K personal best from a season ago - a season during which she finished fifth at the 1A state meet. (Photo by John Roemer)
Calderon's teammate Guinivere Roberts will also be the favorite in the girls race. Roberts finished eighth at the Baltimore County Championships, no easy feat considering three of the state's top 15 teams were also in the field. She is also the leader of a Carver A&T squad that has four girls under 25 minutes this season, while Lansdowne is the only other team with more than one. Beyond the top three teams, the race for the fourth and final team spot at the state meet could be a close battle between Digital Harbor, Sparrows Point and New Town.
Boys Teams Entered: 10 (five advance)
Girls Teams Entered: 8 (four advance)
2A South Regional (Oak Ridge Park - Meet Page)
Could this be the year Calvert's 2A South regional championship streak ends? The Cavaliers haven't lost since 2014. (Photo by Keeley Olson)
Most of the top 2A South teams met last weekend at the SMAC Championships. Both Calvert's Carter Singletary and Patuxent's Logan Musumeci finished in the top ten and are the only boys in the region to have run under 17 minutes. At the conference championships, Calvert (145 points), La Plata (163) and Patuxent (176) finished sixth through eighth in the team scores, although the Calvert boys own the faster group of 5K season bests entering Thursday's race. The Cavaliers haven't lost a 2A South regional title since 2014.
Calvert's Dana Miller is one of two girls in the region (along with teammate Kristen Prince) to have run under 20 minutes in the 5K this fall. (Photo by Bill Shearn)
The girls race will be very interesting because, with only five full teams entered, just three teams will punch their ticket to the state meet. The Calvert girls are the top team in the region by a fairly wide margin and could potentially score 20 points or less behind frontrunners Kristen Prince and Dana Miller. Meanwhile, the La Plata girls are the third team in the 5K virtual meet, but Lackey finished 25 points ahead of them at the conference championships.
Boys Teams Entered: 9 (five advance)
Girls Teams Entered: 5 (three advance)
2A East Regional (The Jungle - Meet Page)
Kevin Baranoski and Giles Daly battled to the wire at the UCBAC Championships last week and enter the 2A East regionals with a chance to contend for the individual title. (Photo by Craig Amoss)
The 2A East boys regional race might be the best and most wide-open out of all the 2A regionals this week. Kent Island's Finn Walsh recently set a new course record at Cambridge-South Dorchester's home course, and his 15:28 three mile time trails only Kyle Lund among 2A runners. Walsh will have plenty of company from the UCBAC; Harford Tech's Kevin Baranoski was the conference runner-up, and teammates Zach and Daron Taylor, Fallston's Giles Daly and North Harford's William Tikiob have all run under 15:45 for three miles this fall. Tikiob and Baranoski went 1-2 at the 2A East regionals last fall. Meanwhile the Cobras will be out to defend their regional title, which they won by one point over Kent Island last year. The team favorite, however, may be Fallston, who beat Harford Tech at the conference championships (and fell just four points shy of a conference title). Meanwhile, Queen Anne's County, Elkton, Rising Sun and Northeast could find themselves battling for the final two spots to advance to the state meet.
Charlotte Kratovil-Lavelle won her first cross country race this year at the Rumble in the Jungle, the site of the Bayside Championships (where she also won) and this week's 2A East regionals.
Cross country rookie Charlotte Kratovil-Lavelle has won both her races at The Jungle this year, the most recent coming in dominant fashion at the Bayside Championships. With Kratovil-Lavelle and freshmen Reese Delp and Sarah van Ornum, the Bucs are led by three runners who have never run at a cross country regional race, but it's hard to view them as anything but favorites for Thursday's race. Rising Sun sophomore Heather Horst is the only other runner in the region to have run under 20 minutes this year, which she did in a seventh-place effort at the UCBAC Championships. Behind Kent Island the scramble for the final four spots at states may be wide open. Here's how the teams in contention performed at the 2A East regionals:
4. Harford Tech - 145 points... 5. North Harford - 157 points... 6. Rising Sun - 171 points... 7. Fallston - 184 points... 8. Elkton - 208 points
The Elkton girls, however, rank sixth in the three mile virtual meet, so it's possible that any of these five teams will be the one on the outside looking in after Thursday's race.
Boys Teams Entered: 11 (six advance)
Girls Teams Entered: 9 (five advance)
2A West Regional (Liberty High School - Meet Page)
Last year's 1A state champions from Boonsboro will be right in the thick of the fight to qualify out of 2A's deepest region this fall. (Photo by Craig Amoss)
Last year the Oakdale boys beat Liberty at the 2A West regionals by the slimmest of margins (sixth-runner tiebreaker). This year, it looks like the Bears may have the advantage heading into the regional meet; the last time the two teams raced (at the Crossfire Invitational, also at Liberty High School), the Oakdale boys were dominant. The closest race between the two teams came back in September at the Howard County Invitational when Liberty finished just ten points behind Oakdale. Oakdale's advantage is their senior 1-2 punch of Kyle Lund - perhaps the 2A state favorite at this point - and Collin Dempsey. Liberty, meanwhile, has the smallest 1-5 three mile spread (40 seconds) of any team in the region. Lund's top challenger may be Oakland Mills junior Baidy Ba, who finished second at the Howard County Championships. With six teams advancing to the state meet, five teams - Boonsboro, Walkersville, Glenelg, Oakland Mills and Poolesville - will all be gunning for what may just be two final spots at the state championship.
Walkersville senior Megan Bertolette has finished no lower than 13th at the 2A state meet in any of her first three years of cross country. (Photo by John Roemer)
The girls' race may also feature at least the top two runners in the 2A classification this year. South Carroll's Grace Siehler has been nearly unstoppable this season (her only loss coming in a runner-up effort in the small school race at Bull Run behind Storrie Kulynych-Irvin) and beat many of her 2A West competitors at the Frank Keyser Invitational. Behind her, Middletown freshman Erin McQuitty leads all freshman girls not named Kulynych-Irvin by three mile time. Their teams' respective low sticks will be key if either South Carroll or Middletown fancies taking down Liberty on their home course. The Lions have burst onto the 2A scene this season behind freshmen Izzy and Julia Lucas, along with seniors Jenna Zietowski and Sammie Spargo. The picture becomes far more crowded after the top three teams; in the three mile virtual meet the 4-7 teams (Oakdale, Boonsboro, Century and Glenelg) are separated by just 24 points. There's a good chance one of those teams will experience a tough ending to their season on Thursday evening.
Boys Teams Entered: 12 (six advance)
Girls Teams Entered: 12 (six advance)