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  • New Seven: The Severna Park boys cross country deployed the B team at Saturday's Howard County Invitational—and still won.
    Photo courtesy of Josh Alcombright
    New Seven: The Severna Park boys cross country deployed the B team at Saturday's Howard County Invitational—and still won.

SPXC Dominates At HoCo Invite

Colin Murphy
View Bio
September 11, 2017

How good is the Severna Park cross country program?

It’s pretty straightforward: On Saturday at the Howard County Invitational at Centennial High School, the Falcon boys team rested its top seven runners and had their next-best seven—the B team—run the varsity race.

They still won.

The Falcons placed five runners in the top 30 as Nathan Vandemeulebroecke (10th place in 16 minutes, 49.08 seconds), Nick Engelman (14th), Sean Engelfried (17th), Matthew Bateman (19th) and Isaac Roe (29th) totaled a team score of 89 to defeat River Hill (93), Howard (114) and host Centennial (127)—all Howard County schools familiar with Centennial’s course—and win the 23-school, 160-runner race.

Jake Gelfand (51st) and John Kiser (76th) backed up Severna Park’s winning day (Howard’s Nicholas Deamer was the race’s winner in 15 minutes, 57.20 seconds).

The win comes a week after the Falcon boys shredded the competition in a dominant display at the season-opening Seahawk Invitational and made it two wins in two races—each accomplished by totally different runners—so far this season.

The strength, depth, training practices and mentality of the Severna Park cross country program has been chronicled before, so it’s not altogether surprising that the Falcons are able to win with their reserves.

Surprising? No. Impressive? Most definitely.

“It was an awesome day all around, and it was great to see those “B” guys get a chance to step up and shine," said Severna Park coach Josh Alcombright. “They are the future.”

The future is bright for the rest of the program too, including on the girls side: Severna Park’s winning day at Centennial was not limited to the varsity boys race, as the fresh/soph girls also won their race, as did the rest of the boys team in the boys open race.

The Severna Park fresh-soph boys took third out of 24 teams in the boys fresh/soph race, and the varsity girls, who also ran their B team, placed sixth out of 18 teams in the varsity girls race.

SEE ALSO: PHOTO GALLERY: Severna Park cross country at Seahawk Invitational, 9.2.17

In the boys open, Severna Park’ Alexander Chaisson clocked in at 17 minutes, 13.77 seconds to win the race, in which the Falcons placed a whopping seven runners in the top 10 and nine in the top 19. William Reed (second), Gavin Ivey (third), Cullen Figlioli (fifth) and Hunter Simon (sixth) contributed to Severna Park’s winning score of 17, which easily defeated second-place Howard High School (64). Connor O’Neill (ninth), Logan Lee (10th), Sam Keeler (18th) and Daniel McBride (19th) also had strong races for the Falcons in the field of 214 runners from 20 schools.

In the girls fresh/soph race, Caroline Gage led the Falcons’ winning effort by placing second in 21 minutes, 41.02 seconds, while teammates Ashley Siebenhaar (third), Cara Vandemeulebroecke (fifth), Ellie Cameron (6th) and Sofia Villa (eighth) gave Severna Park a dominant team score of 21. The finishes of Stephanie Brenneman (ninth) and Marissa Dununzio (15th), Kelsey O’Neill (16th) and Maeve Harrington (20th) could have been added to the Falcons’ point total without sacrificing their win over second-place Centennial (86 points). Brianna Johnson (22nd), Amalia Hagerty (23rd), Sarah Johnson (25th) and Olivia Wright (30th) gave the Falcons 13 runners in the top 30 in the 161-runner field. Mount Hebron’s Maria Grafov won the race in 21 minutes, 13.98 seconds.

In the boys fresh/soph race, Severna Park’s James Dennison was the winner in 17 minutes, 36.35 seconds. Conlan McConnell (12th), Holden Tatem (13th), James Louie (30th) and Matt Chaisson (36th) contributed to the Falcons’ team score of 92, good for third behind Howard (53) and River Hill (69).

Riley Leeds was the top finisher for Severn Park in the girls varsity race, taking 22nd in 21 minutes, 23.97 seconds. Chloe Salked (25th), Grace Cambon (39th), Rachel Peters (52nd), Alex Herscehlman (57th), Melanie Reynolds (65th) and Annabelle Mayo (82nd) helped the Falcons to a sixth-place team finish out of 18 schools and 123 total runners.

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