Carroll County Boys XC Preview

Photo by John Roemer

Century High School opened its doors in 2001. Since then, they have finished among the top five teams at the 2A state championships nine times. In 2012, they won their first and only Carroll County team cross country title. We selected four of their runners (Zachary Fenton, John Mead, Matthew Kane and Nick Pezza) for our Carroll County All-Decade cross country team.

And yet, no Knight has ever won the individual county title.

Heading into 2020, Hayden Hebert has a chance to change that. His 16:45 returning 5K personal best is tops in Carroll County by over 30 seconds. His time at the state meet (16:17) is nearly a minute faster than any returning Carroll County runner. He is also coming off a strong junior indoor season (third at states in the 1600, second in the 3200).

Carroll County Boys XC Preview: By the Numbers

Photo by Craig Amoss

Last year, for the first time since 2014, the Liberty boys weren't the ones hoisting the 2A state trophy at Hereford High School in November, despite fielding another very strong, very deep team. However, they have still finished among the top two at states in every season since 2014, and their four-year county championship streak is still very much alive. After losing four of their top runners from last year's squad, rising seniors Trent Taylor (above middle) and Jake Lucas (above right) will likely be the ones trying to lead the Lions to another county - and perhaps another state - title.

Photos by John Roemer

Speaking of schools with young programs, Manchester Valley (opened in 2009) has one of the youngest in Maryland. The Mavericks finished in the top ten at the 1A state meet in both 2012 and 2013, but have yet to make a return appearance to Hereford (made more difficult after moving up to the 3A classification as the result of merging with North Carroll High School). With six of their top seven returning (including Aiden Neal, left, and Gabe Szybalski), their 2020 squad has a chance to be the best in school history and the first to make it to the 3A state meet.