Stoner hinges on bests

October 07, 2000

Stoner hinges on bests

By JACK HILL III / Staff Correspondent

SMITHSBURG - Smithsburg Leopards' cross country coach Jack Gest was unable to be at the Don Stoner Invitational on Saturday because he had to attend his sister's wedding at Philadelphia.


Turns out his Leopards didn't need him at all.

The Smithsburg girls got personal-best times from all seven of their runners to finish with 59 points and beat county rival North Hagerstown by four points for the team title.

"The girls did what was expected of them," said Herb Taber, the meet director who filled in for Gest. "All of the girls just did good from start to finish. Each one of them lived up to their potential and up to our expectations."

Smithsburg junior Laura Stouffer finished second in 21 minutes, 5.8 seconds. Smithsburg also got solid runs from Jordann Waldron (fifth, 21:28.4); Nikki Centofonti (11th, 22:03.8); Emily Sprankle (20th, 23:42.7); Carrie Hartman (21st, 23:44.0); Mollie Bauer (37th, 25:03.7) and Vanessa Eccard (42nd, 27:32.3).


Eccard is the only senior in the group.

Rachel Carden of Martinsburg won the girls' individual title with a time of 20:29.8.

Carden, a senior for the Bulldogs, was happy with her title.

"It was a nice race," Carden said. "I just stayed real relaxed. It was great training and the weather was outstanding. I started to pull away after the first mile. I actually started to increase my lead after I got up the hill. I was pleased with my performance. I wasn't worried about my time too much. I am running in the CVAL meet on Tuesday, so I didn't want to kill myself today."

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> Poolesville finished with a score of 71 to win the boys team title. North Hagerstown was runner-up with 93.

"We knew that North Hagerstown would be our main competition today after they beat us by one point at the Brunswick Invitational," Poolesville coach Jim Vollmer said. "We didn't have our third-best runner at Brunswick. But we had him today, even though he wasn't at full strength. He finished fifth for us."

Chris Earle of Poolesville won the individual title with a time of 17:01.6. Smithsburg's Luke Bauer came in second at 17:07.8.

"This is Chris Earle's first year of cross country," Vollmer added. "He went out strong and he led the race from the start."

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