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North boys maintain county run

October 29, 2000

North boys maintain county run



By DAN KAUFFMAN / Staff Writer


After Smithsburg's Laura Stouffer gutted out the girls individual title and the Leopards claimed the team title by the smallest of margins, Erik Lenhart and North Hagerstown's boys team made sure there was no sweep in the Hubs' own backyard at the Washington County cross country championships on Saturday.

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For the seventh straight year and the 14th time in 15 tries, North Hagerstown earned the boys team title, as Lenhart broke away from Smithsburg's Luke Bauer in the second mile and cruised to the individual title in 16 minutes, 41 seconds. Bauer finished 19 seconds back.

"I thought it'd be real close, and that I'd have to kick my heart out to win," Lenhart said. "I don't have the fastest kick in the end, so I knew I had to open it up big time."

"That was his strategy, to get out in front and go," Hubs coach Frank McAdoo said. "He was worried about Bauer, and I told him to get out and run. No one was going to catch him on this field."

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North got strong performances from Tom Hardinge (third), Steve Heagy (seventh), Tyler Snyder (11th) and Seth Werner (19th) and finished with a team score of 41 to hold off Boonsboro, which got a fourth-place finish from Brian Lewis and a sixth-place finish from Gary Markle.

The Hubs used the county meet as a tuneup for the Class 3A West Region meet next week.

"We'll be in among the big boys, but we'll take the challenge," McAdoo said. "Our main goal is to qualify for states."

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> In the girls race, Stouffer went stride for stride with Boonsboro's Anita Rhoderick throughout the second mile, then found a second gear and pulled away for the individual title in 20:41, holding off Rhoderick by nine seconds.

"It was really windy, so I just got behind her," Stouffer said. "Once I felt I could really, really go, I just took off."

"That was my strategy, but it didn't work out that way," Rhoderick said. "Right up there at the turn (in the third mile), it all hit me at once."

North Hagerstown put itself in position to win the team title when Jessica Hanlin, Stephanie Kurtz and Lindsay Zerance finished third, fourth and fifth. But Smithsburg's Jordann Waldron (seventh), Emily Sprankle (11th), Carrie Hartman (12th) and Nikki Centofonti (14th) came in ahead of the Hubs' final two runners, and it was enough to pull out a 42-43 victory for the Leopards.

"Our top girls, they've been able to run with North's girls," Smithsburg coach Jack Gest said. "Our key was how our 3-4-5 runners compared with their 3-4-5 runners."

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