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HCC cross country pins hopes on new runners

August 30, 2003|by ANDREW MASON

andrewm@herald-mail.com

Justin Myers and Jeremy Everitts went back and forth on the track all last winter indoors, culminating in a 1-2 finish in the 1,600-meter run at the Maryland 2A-1A state championships, with Myers pulling ahead for the win in the final meters.

While the battles are probably far from over between Myers, a 2003 Middletown High School graduate and three-time state champ, and Everitts, a 2003 Clear Spring grad, at least they'll be fighting for the same side.

Both are set to compete for the Hagerstown Community College men's cross country team this fall.

Combined with fellow first-year HCC athletes and former Pennsylvania prep standouts Bobby Boston, Tom Devine and Ed Rosporski and defending Region XX cross country champ Ryan Davis, a 2002 Clear Spring grad, the Hawks should be more than competitive on the JuCo circuit. Mark Eissens, Reginald Stevenson and Allen Pettner, a 2003 James Buchanan grad, round out the squad.

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"This is the biggest team I've had so far," HCC third-year coach Rich Secrest said. "I'd like to have 15 guys, but to have nine guys and have them fighting for a spot in the top five makes things more competitive.

"Poor old Davis had to do a lot of things on his own last year. Now there are at least seven guys who can step up to the plate. It's going to be really interesting to see who's on top at the end of the year. We got ninth at nationals last year with 221 points. I think if we can get under 100, we can be top five in the country."

The Keystone State trio of Boston, Devine and Rosporski should be worth a lot - or very few points in harrier terms. Boston comes in with team-leading personal bests of 4:23 for 1,600 and 9:32 for 3,200, while Devine has run 1:54.7 for 800 and Rosporski, well, he just keeps running.

"The kid who's been leading us is Ed Rosporski," Secrest said. "He's fit as a fiddle. He's run the hills of western Pennsylvania.

"He's a really nice little kid. He's built like a true distance runner, and he really likes to run distance. He can run 15 or 18 miles at the drop of a hat."

Don't look for the Hawks in the women's team standings today, when HCC opens its season at the Shippensburg University Invitational.

With only four runners on the team, they're one short of a scoring squad.

"I'd like a couple more girls, but we just need one more for a team," Secrest said. "I'm looking for anybody that can compete. We lost a lot of girls to four-year schools at the last minute."

The team is comprised of Nikki Centofonti, a 2003 Smithsburg grad, Brittany Kershner, a 2003 Williamsport grad, Lindsay Zerance, a 2002 North Hagerstown grad, and Carmisha Williams, of Baltimore.

"The whole team outlook is good, even with the women," Secrest said. "It's all positive, and we're always looking for new faces."

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