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Crowning the county's best - Arumugam, Lockard win titles

October 26, 2003|by JACK HILL III

BOONSBORO - North Hagerstown sophomore Hemu Arumugam won the boys title and Clear Spring junior Ashley Lockard won the girls title in the 26th annual Washington County Cross Country Championships at Boonsboro on Saturday morning.

Arumugam finished the 3-mile course in 16 minutes, 29.8 seconds to edge out Devin Hewitt of Williamsport by 5.5 seconds.

"I was with Devin for most of the time," Arumugam said. "I started to break away from him right at the 2-mile marker. The last mile was pretty flat. I was able to run good on the last mile, and that helped me pull away."

Arumugam kept to his pace and was fresh at the finish.

"I didn't want to go out too hard during the first two miles," Arumugam said. "I wanted to make sure that I had enough saved up for the final mile. Then I just gave it all that I had for the last mile."

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Lockard didn't make a move on the lead until the final mile and ended up winning in 18:55.

"I was supposed to follow and then during the last mile I was supposed to go out," Lockard said. "The final mile felt easy. I ran with the wind. I thought that I was running even a little bit faster than what I wanted. I didn't think that anybody was around me during the home stretch, but I still wanted to go fast just to make sure that I would be able to keep my lead."

Williamsport defeated North Hagerstown for both team titles, taking the girls crown 24-59 and narrowly winning the boys title, 42-44.

"I am excited that we won both team titles," Williamsport coach Randy Buchman said. "It is the first time in school history that we have done that."

Williamsport's top five girls were Laura Forsythe (second, 19:13.2), Theresa Ruland (third, 19:26.8), Amanda Breeden (fifth, 19:52.5), Makenna Hardy (sixth, 19:58.8) and Kristin Berry (eighth, 20:18.9).

"Our girls team is very strong and they ran good times," Buchman said. "Our top five girls are the same five girls that won the state championship last year. The order with the top five runners changes around quite often. ... We are just very fortunate to have a great crop of girls right now. All of the top nine girls in our program are sophomores."

Williamsport's top five boys were Devin Hewitt (second, 16:35.3), Aaron Buchman (fifth, 17:05.0), Justin Cole (seventh, 17:32.8), James Fiorita (12th, 18:00.4) and Jerrett McCormick (16th, 18:16.2).

"I think the key to today was that our third boys' runner, freshman Justin Cole, moved up in the pack," Buchman said. "He was 10th witha half-mile to go and he finished seventh. Our top two senior runners, Devin and Aaron, showed strong leadership today."

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