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Second to none

Githens-Brewer didn't settle for runner-up

Githens-Brewer didn't settle for runner-up

October 03, 2002|by ANDREW MASON

andrewm@herald-mail.com

Second place was never an option for South Hagerstown's Chelsea Githens-Brewer.

At least not in her mind. Not even after Hedgesville's Jackie Hadley took the lead from her for the first time with just under a half-mile remaining in Wednesday's 2.91-mile, six-team cross country race at South.

"I really didn't want to come in second," said Githens-Brewer, who shot out to the early lead with a 6:38 opening mile. "Third's OK, but if it's second, I know I could have pushed harder."

But there was no second-guessing for the Rebels freshman Wednesday. Githens-Brewer found the extra gear down the stretch, reclaiming the lead and holding on for the win in 20 minutes, 39 seconds. Hadley took second in 20:45 while Eagles teammate Christy Ashley placed third in 20:59, leading Hedgesville to the girls team victory with 30 points - three points ahead of runner-up Jefferson.

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"I really pushed myself and told myself I had to finish strong. I wanted to win it," said Githens-Brewer, who knocked 84 seconds off her previous course best. "It's pretty much mind over matter. If there's any pain, I just try to push through it and keep on going."

On the boys side, Jefferson's Andy Franklin cruised to the win in 16:25. The Cougars junior took the lead pack through the mile in 5:27, before shaking off Hedgesville's Daniel Rodgers (second, 16:46) and teammate Jake Green (third, 17:02) in the middle of the race.

Hedgesville also captured top honors in the boys team standings, edging runner-up Jefferson, 32-35. Musselman rounded out the top three with 64 points, as West Virginia runners captured the top 15 individual places. (North Hagerstown rested its varsity boys and girls squads for Friday's Hereford Invitational).

"There's good competition in the Eastern Panhandle," said Franklin. "We're working hard this year."

But, for the first time in four matchups this year, the Cougars teams fell to Panhandle rival Hedgesville.

"All the kids know each other. They're friends," said Eagles coach Tim Belotte. "We're blessed with camaraderie. It makes for great competition.

"It's the first time we've beaten Jefferson all year - boys or girls. We've had a lot of injuries and now, maybe, it's starting to come together. We're cautiously optimistic about the rest of the year."

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