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Mason lets title sink in

March 06, 2000|By DAN KULIN /Staff Writer

MANHATTAN, Kan. - It's been 48 hours since Hagerstown Community College's Tim Mason became the NJCAA indoor 5,000-meter national champion.

"I had to focus on the mile, so I didn't have a lot of time to think about what happened the previous day," Mason said on Saturday.

"It was very nice to win it. Beating the guy that I did beat, it was a really, really big honor."

Mason laced up his running shoes one more time Saturday at the national championships, finishing sixth in the mile in 4 minutes, 25.09 seconds and earning himself a second All-American certificate.

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The men's 4x800-meter team of Justin Ward, Johnavin McKinley, Chris Pereschuk and Corey McClinton finished third in 7:52.62, earning all four members All-American status.

The efforts lifted HCC's men to an 11th-place finish, its best since 1982, when it finished sixth. The team finished with 24 points.

Pereschuk, the second half of the North Hagerstown combo in the 4x800 along with McKinley, started his leg in sixth, but finished it in third after a 1:57.9 effort, his personal best 800.

"It was a spectacular effort," HCC coach Mike Spinnler said. "He ran extremely well under a very fine microscope."

All nine athletes HCC took to nationals scored points, and six earned All-American status.

"We set very lofty goals, and we exceeded them," Spinnler said.

"Everybody stepped up, everybody from every event came out here ready to race," Mason said. "I don't think anybody had a bad (meet)."

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