Arumugam, Boening lead their teams to victories

September 30, 2004|by ANDREW MASON

No trophies or titles or other special honors were awarded at Wednesday's five-school cross country meet at South Hagerstown.

The only things on the line were the races themselves. And North Hagerstown's Hemu Arumugam is a racer.

"You have to win, no matter what the race is," Arumugam said. "That's what I'm always thinking."

Arumugam, the reigning Maryland Class 2A state champion for 3,200 meters, didn't have to tap too far into his track-speed reserve to win this one. After sharing his comfortable 5:30 first mile with seven other runners in the lead pack, the Hubs junior pulled ahead and took control.

"After I took the lead, I felt pretty confident. But I've never run against Hedgesville, so I didn't know how good their kid was," said Arumugam, who covered the 2.91-mile course in 16:28, topping Hedgesville's John Windle by 20 seconds. "I think I could have run faster, but I just wanted to run an even pace ... and win. We really wanted to win the team race."


North won that, too, placing five runners in the top 14 for 37 points. The Hubs were followed by Jefferson (53), Hedgesville (61), Boonsboro (83) and South (incomplete).

"They ran well today," North coach Terry Baker said. "We'll find out just how good they are or can be with all the important meets coming up - MVALs, counties, regions and states. All the meets up to this point have been about preparing us for those."

Individually, Boonsboro's Matt Wood (16:55), North's Brandon Brown (17:03) and Boonsboro's Andy Brabson (17:12) rounded out the top five Wednesday.

n In the girls race, Jefferson's Brooke Boening (20:37), Tara Franklin (21:04) and Alyssa Thurston (21:09) took the top three places as the Cougars ran away with the team victory with 30 points.

They were followed by Hedgesville (56), Boonsboro (82), North (82) and South (102).

"I was kind of surprised today," Jefferson coach Bob Rizzo said. "There are always some good runners in Washington County, so I just didn't know."

Boening didn't know, either.

"We didn't expect that," said the sophomore, who took the lead for good shortly before the 1-mile mark. "In the beginning, I heard spikes behind me, and no one on my team was wearing spikes."

But as the race progressed, the Cougars quietly took charge.

"I knew somebody was behind me the whole time," Boening said. "But I didn't know until the end that they were my teammates."

South's Marie Schmidt (21:47) took fourth and North's Susana Brown (22:02) finished fifth.

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