Wildcats capture state title

Getting all of its scoring from five freshman, Williamsport won its first girls cross country title in 20 years Saturday, claimi

Getting all of its scoring from five freshman, Williamsport won its first girls cross country title in 20 years Saturday, claimi

November 11, 2002|BY ANDREW MASON

PARKTON, MD - It might have seemed like Williamsport cross country coach Randy Buchman was getting a little ahead of himself Saturday afternoon at Hereford High School.

Not more than an hour after the Wildcats won their first Maryland Class 1A girls cross country title in 20 years, Buchman was already talking about a Williamsport dynasty.

But he probably wasn't the only one. The rest of the field definitely appears to have some work ahead of it the next few years.


Getting all of their scoring from five freshmen, the Wildcats posted a winning total of 53 points. Southern Garrett, composed of all juniors and seniors, was second with 71, while Beall took third with 107.

"It's a great accomplishment," said Amanda Breeden, who paced the Wildcats with her fifth-place finish on the hilly, 3-mile course. "It's not really even sinking in yet."

"I'm still in shock," said teammate Makenna Hardy. "I've never really won anything before."

She contributed to the big prize Saturday, finishing second on the team and 10th overall. Rounding out the Wildcats' scoring were fellow freshmen Theresa Ruland (14th), Kristin Berry (17th) and Laura Forsythe (25th) in the nine-team, 80-runner field.

None of them had ever run a cross country race before this fall.

"I knew we had some pretty good-looking runners in the beginning of the year," Buchman said "I knew we had talent, but I didn't see this."

"It's just been a wonderful experience and a fantastic year," he said. "I've coached a lot of sports and I've never had more fun."

The frosh fab five have made sure of that, even when Williamsport's varsity seniors, Brittany Kershner and Lindsey Hovermale, aren't in the best of spirits.

"The other day at practice the two seniors were having a bad day, and the five freshmen were playing choo-choo, making a train around the track," Buchman said, laughing. "They're all overgrown children."

Their blossoming over the years should only spell trouble for the competition.

"I think we're going to get better because we're young and naive freshmen," said Hardy. "We're still learning."

Buchman said there's still the top piece of that curve left to climb.

"What I'm going to tell them is that if you think in terms of the development of the program, you start as a participant, then you become a competitor and a winner and a champion and then a dynasty," he said.

"We've done the first four. The fifth is going to be the challenge."

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