by John Dye
PARKTON, MD 11/9/02 -- Uphill, downhill, sidehill, 90 degree turns
on a slope. . . hardly a level step the entire way. That's the cross
country course at Hereford HS, Parkton MD, 30 miles north of Baltimore.
The Bull Run Invitational and the Maryland State Meet are run at
Hereford every year. It's "only" 3 miles, but no boy has
ever broken 16 minutes, only three girls have broken 19 minutes.
Out of state fans reading these results must think there aren't
any good runners in Maryland. They haven't been here.
The infamous Dip is the centerpiece of the Hereford strength test.
The Dip is a deep ravine in the middle of the course. Runners tackle
it in the second mile, going down all the way to the bottom, where
a small bridge crosses a creek, and then climb all the way to the
top on the other side. After winding uphill, downhill, sidehill
through woods and fields, the runners return for another crack at
The Dip. Down to the bottom again and back up to the top -- this
time with 2.5 miles under their belts. As they struggle up the last
hill, you can tell who wants to win the most and who is beaten.
"It's not just The Dip," said Pat Bailey, winner of the
Maryland 4A title here today. "It's the whole course. Even
the start is a long uphill grind (about 600 meters)." His winning
time of 16:11 is one of the better times ever run here.