Kyle Lund figured his pace was fast but didn’t know it was quite that fast.
The Oakdale junior churned out the first mile of Thursday’s Frederick County cross-country championship race in 4 minutes, 42 seconds. Some doubts then crept into his head during the second mile of the 5,000-meter race at Thomas Johnson High.
“I’m like, ‘I don’t know if I can hold this for much longer,’” Lund said of his pace.
Bears coach Dave Lillard viewed Lund’s early aggression as a risk — something that paid off not only for Lund, who won the county title, but for all of his teammates.
“Our motto is: Superman is not a hero because he doesn’t risk anything,” Lillard said after the Bears won the boys team crown with 31 points. “Each one of my boys this year risked losing to win.”
Lillard proudly revealed that all seven of his runners ran the first mile under 5 minutes. The fact that the Bears finished second to Linganore at last weekend’s Central Maryland Conference championships after losing a sixth-runner tiebreaker, Lillard said, served as motivation for those efforts. At the county meet, the Lancers took second (44), followed by Tuscarora (100), Urbana (126) and TJ (135).
But the times don’t fully show just how much Oakdale risked.
Lund, who passed Linganore’s Michael Belmaggio about 800 meters before the finish line and won the race in 15:11.91, suffered what Lillard called a dislocated rib the previous day during training. Lillard said a trip to the chiropractor that same day, for the most part, addressed the issue.
“I was hurting a lot,” Lund said of a race in which he bettered his personal best on the Thomas Johnson course by more than a minute. “It was a fast race, but I’ve always got something left. You’ve got to give it your all.”
Lund seemed as if he had plenty of energy after winning his race on the Thomas Johnson track, immediately walking over to the finish line and raising his left index finger in the air in reaction to his training partner, Collin Dempsey, taking third with a time of 15:42.53. Dempsey, bothered by a stress reaction in his left foot, hadn’t competed in a month.
“Collin’s run today was miraculous,” Lillard said.
Then the Bears’ Collin Shriner (15:52.74), appearing to be in agonizing pain during the race’s final 20 meters, edged out Linganore’s Will Cioffi (15:53.24) by a half-stride to take fourth place.
Linganore’s Belmaggio also dealt with injury, spraining his right ankle while training on Thomas Johnson’s course prior to the CMC championships. He set a goal of finishing Thursday’s race in 15:48.
“I wasn’t expecting that time considering that I was off for a week,” said Belmaggio, who finished in 15:20.90. “I was really happy with where I was finish-wise today. ... [Lund] just had a phenomenal kick, and he just got me.”