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MVAL crowns turn into three matched sets

October 16, 2004|by ANDREW MASON

andrewm@herald-mail.com

SYKESVILLE, Md. - If Noah had wanted some MVAL Antietam Conference cross country titles on his ark, North Hagerstown junior Hemu Arumugam, Clear Spring senior Ashley Lockard and the Williamsport girls team would have received boarding passes.

Following Friday's league championship races at South Carroll, each has a pair of Antietam crowns.

"It's always an honor to win," said Williamsport coach Randy Buchman, whose two-time defending Maryland Class 1A state champ Wildcats had little trouble defending their conference title Friday. "Hopefully we're on track to make another strong run at the end. We're going to try to sweep the table from here."

The Wildcats took five of the top 11 places for a winning total of 27 points. North Hagerstown finished second with 55.

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Lockard, the reigning 1A individual state champ, also made it two straight in the Antietam rather easily. She led from start to finish, covering the 3.1-mile course in 20 minutes, 42 seconds - 51 seconds ahead of runner-up Theresa Ruland of Williamsport.

"I was surprised," Lockard said. "Usually someone goes out way too fast and I just follow them, but no one did this time."

Winning came as no real shock, though.

"I knew I had a good chance of winning, but anything can happen," Lockard said. "It was pretty hilly and muddy - very, very messy - but you just have to run."

The boys race was more tightly contested, at least for the first mile. After that, Arumugam broke away from the lead pack and ran unchallenged to the finish line, defending his title in 17:44. Smithsburg's Ben Cooper placed second in 18:07 and, more to Arumugam's delight than any personal glory, Hubs Cameron Hanlin (18:11) and Brandon Brown (18:26) took third and fourth as North held off Clear Spring 43-56 for the team crown.

"The main thing was for us to win. That's all we wanted to do," Arumugam said. "This is where the season starts. Everything up to this point has been for these four meets: MVALs, counties, regions and states."

The top seven finishers in each race Friday earned all-conference honors.

Completing the All-Antietam boys team were Boonsboro's Andy Brabson (18:31), Catoctin's Matty Thompson (18:37) and Clear Spring's Josh Keyfauver (18:41).

The All-Antietam girls team included Catoctin's Jaime Wright (21:34), Williamsport's Laura Forsythe (21:49), North's Anna Lenhart (22:29), Smithsburg's Emily Ledden (22:42) and Williamsport's Jordan Atha (23:00).

· The Francis Scott Key boys, led by champion Steven Staub (17:49), posted 23 points to run away with the Piedmont Conference team title. Kyle Niemeyer (18:21) was fifth for fifth-place Middletown.

South Carroll's Lindsay Warfield (20:59) and the Winters Mill team were the girls Piedmont winners. Lindsey Kessler (22:16) and Lena Bizner (22:52) were fourth and seventh for runner-up Middletown.

· Liberty's Carl Henn (17:27) and Westminster's Trisha Repsher (20:17) turned in the day's top times in the Chesapeake races, while Urbana swept the team titles.

Thomas Johnson's Marshal Lawrence (17:33) and Frederick's Morgan Sowell (17:54) were second and sixth in the boys race. Frederick's Inna Potekhina (21:45) was sixth in the girls race.

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