Wildcats sweep titles

October 18, 2003|by ANDREW MASON

SMITHSBURG - North Hagerstown won the battles at the front, but Williamsport came back to win the war Friday in the Antietam Conference boys race at the MVAL Cross Country Championships.

North sophomore Hemu Arumugam gapped Williamsport's Devin Hewitt in the final half-mile of the 3-mile course for the victory in 16 minutes, 52 seconds.

"He made a burst and just pulled away from me," said Hewitt, who finished 5 seconds back. "I didn't have anything left."


Hubs Cameron Hanlin (17:33) and Brandon Brown (17:52) then threw in their all-conference (top seven) jabs, sandwiching Aaron Buchman (17:41) - the Wildcats' second runner - with their fourth- and sixth-place finishes.

While Williamsport's third runner, Justin Cole, was a distant 11th (18:22), Wildcats James Fiorita, Curtis Babbie and Jerrett McCormick packed in the 16th, 17th and 18th places - just seconds ahead of 19th-place Travis Bolio, North's No. 4 man - as Williamsport edged the Hubs for the team title, 49-53.

"The old adage is true, it takes a team to win. Our sixth guy was in before North's fourth guy and that's what made the difference," Williamsport coach Randy Buchman said. "North's first three guys are really tough, and our first two guys were right with them. The thing we needed to do was make an impression on our (No.) 3 to 7 runners that they were the ones who had to win it.

"I'm just really happy for the boys because the girls team lately has been so good and has gotten a lot of the attention."

The defending Maryland Class 1A state champ Williamsport girls were front and center again Friday, capturing three of the top four places and six of the top 14 to easily top runner-up North, 29-58.

Sophomores Theresa Ruland (19:49), Laura Forsythe (19:58) and Amanda Breeden (20:16) placed second, third and fourth to pace the Wildcats.

Clear Spring junior and first-year harrier Ashley Lockard continued her winning ways, taking the Antietam crown in 19:31 - the top time of the day's three varsity girls races.

Lockard shared the lead with Ruland and North's Jenna Line, who faded to sixth, for the first half of the race, before breaking free.

"I was a little nervous early. They all got out pretty fast and were being consistent," Lockard said. "I just opened up my stride a little bit and used the hills to open it up. ... It was pretty cool."

The Antietam's other all-conference performers were Clear Spring's Jimmy Atkins (third, 17:11) and Catoctin's Jeremy Kurtz (seventh, 17:57) for the boys, and Catoctin's Jamie Wright (fifth, 20:20) and North's Jessica Hanlin (seventh, 20:34) for the girls.

  • Middletown swept the Piedmont Conference, winning both team titles.

    Lindsey Kessler (20:25) and Catherine Rohland (20:29) went 1-2 and Bonnie Kaas was seventh (21:12), leading the Middletown girls to a winning total of 33 points - 12 fewer than second-place Winters Mill.

    The Knights slipped past FSK 53-57 for the boys crown, getting top-10 finishes from John Coconis (third, 17:06) and Jon Edmands (ninth, 17:28). Walkersville's Ian Andrews (17:13) was fifth.

  • Urbana won both Chesapeake team titles.

    The Hawks' Kurt Kuehne turned in a day-best 16:16 to lead the boys, while Thomas Johnson's Marshal Lawrence was fourth (16:45).

    TJ's Chelsea Powell finished second (19:43) in the girls race.

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