Casey Barr and Tyler Muse Take Home Individual Crowns
by Greg Jubb
Some of the state’s fastest junior college harriers convened in Hagerstown for the Maryland Junior College Championships. Both the men’s and women’s teams had come with the same goal in mind: to capture the team title.
But, with respect to the individual champions, the two races couldn’t have been more different.
From the very beginning of the women’s race, the field’s most dominant runner had asserted herself quickly and never looked back. Casey Barr of Hagerstown Community College amassed an early lead and only added to it throughout the race. Setting her own tempo and completed the 5k course in 20:38—more than one minute ahead of Paige Goebelbecker, who finished second in 21:43.
“I usually like to let other runners set the pace,” said Barr. “But I wanted to shoot for a PR today.”
The Hagerstown girls, who successfully executed a shutout from the perspective of team scoring, ran away with the team title. Were it not for Mary Gauvin of CCBC Essex, Hagerstown would have placed all of their scorers in the top 5.
Unlike Barr, Tyler Muse of Harford Community College, the champion of the men’s race, had to unleash a finishing kick to take the gold. The race was a tight battle for the entire 8 kilometers. Stephen Starliper of Hagerstown seized the lead for the first two miles before Andrew Parlette of Howard CC had asserted himself to the front, only a few strides ahead of Starliper, Brandon Horning of Hagerstown, and Muse. In the later stages of the race, it became a duel between Horning and Muse, until Muse implemented his finishing speed down the final straightaway. The Harford sophomore clocked a 26:34, only two seconds ahead of Horning.
Conspicuously absent from the men’s race was the favorite for the individual championship, Filagot Dinku of Howard.
“He has been having some Achilles issues,” noted Howard Coach Steve Musselman. “We’re sitting him out today to ensure that he’s healthy for nationals.”
Even Muse acknowledged that the race could have played out differently for him had Dinku spiked up for the meet.
“I’m more than happy about win,” said Muse. “I was expecting to chase Filagot, but I guess I can’t complain.”
Hagerstown, as they did in the women’s race, strutted their depth. Tallying 19 points, they walked away with the team championship.