RAMSTEIN, Germany — Patch’s Maggie Redmond and Ramstein’s Kelis Secrest set course records Saturday in what might have been a preview of the European cross country championship in two weeks.

Redmond won the girls race in 20 minutes, 45.3 seconds, breaking the 5-kilometer course record for girls by 33 seconds. It was her fourth course record of the season.

Secrest finished in 16:33.7, beating the boys course record by seven seconds.

“The top runners seem to be peaking at the right time,” Ramstein coach Dennis Edwards said. “Maggie seems to be the best female runner in Europe right now.”

Redmond led the field the entire race, finishing 1:45 ahead of runner-up Elizabeth Doe of Ramstein.

Redmond said she held back.

“I think I could have pushed a little harder,” she said.

“This course is like [the European championship] course. I think it prepared me a little, and got me mentally ready for Europeans.”

Despite Redmond’s performance, the Patch girls team finished behind Ramstein, as the Royals placed five runners in the top 10 for 28 points. Patch finished with four of the top runners and 32 points. Kaiserslautern, the defending Big Schools girls champion, finished third.

“Ramstein has a lot of strength,” Patch coach Larry Bahn said.

“It’s good for my team to run against the best competition because that makes them better.

“But I tell my kids that all these races during the season are just practice. The only one that counts is the European championship.”

He expects his team to be even stronger then.

“The whole program is about developing over the season and peaking at Europeans,” he said.

Secrest led a dominating performance by the Ramstein boys. The Royals, who have won seven straight European boys titles, placed six runners in the top seven and finished with 18 points, well ahead of International School of Brussels, with 65, and Patch, with 68.

Edwards said he feels his team is at its peak and that none of his runners were holding back before the approaching Europeans.

But he says there is still some work to do if the Royals are to make it eight in row.

“It’ll be close,” Edwards said. “I wouldn’t want to say we’re completely prepared.”

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