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Hubs get going in homecoming

September 29, 2005|by ANDREW MASON

andrewm@herald-mail.com

North Hagerstown seniors Hemu Arumugam and Anna Lenhart didn't waste the rare opportunity to race on their home cross country course Wednesday.

Arumugam - the two-time Herald-Mail All-Area Runner of the Year - won the boys race, while Lenhart was the girls winner as the Hubs hosted South Hagerstown, Boonsboro and Jefferson in the first meet at North since 2002.

"That was definitely an experience I wanted to have before I graduated, to have a home meet," said Arumugam, who covered the 3-mile course in 17 minutes, 5 seconds - 15 seconds faster than runner-up Cory Hampshire of Jefferson.

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"I was excited. My friends finally got to see me run."

Lenhart pulled away from the lead pack early in the second mile and never looked back, winning convincingly in 20:35. Boonsboro's Hayley Harnett finished second in 21:13 and Jefferson's Alyssa Thurston was third in 21:57.

"I knew the second mile was where I had to get it done," Lenhart said. "I knew the course really well and knew I could take the lead without getting lost."

The North girls took six of the top 10 places, scoring 25 points for the team victory. Boonsboro was second with 33, while South and Jefferson were both incomplete.

For the Hubs, Brooke Pettner was fourth (22:19), Devan Zeger seventh (23:56), Susan Brown eighth (24:01), Josette O'Flaherty ninth (24:32) and Brittany Church 10th (24:35).

"I really wanted the team victory," Lenhart said. "And we all went out there and got it."

Had the boys race ended at the 1-mile marker, North would have won as Hubs had five in the top nine. But Jefferson took control in the last half of the race and finished with five of the top eight places for a winning total of 26 points. North was second with 40, followed by Boonsboro (74) and South (102).

The Cougars' scorers were Hampshire, Kory Farmer (fourth, 18:22), Neil Whitesell (fifth, 18:27), Seton Zacot (seventh, 18:41) and Will Laufer (eighth, 18:46). Hampshire, Farmer and Zacot are freshmen.

"We've got a pretty good team," Hampshire said. "I can't wait until we're seniors."

He kept the pressure on Arumugam for nearly the whole race, trailing the Hubs star by only 6 seconds at 2 miles.

"I knew he was a good runner," Hampshire said. "I just tried to stay with him."

"He was pretty strong for a freshman," Arumugam said. "It was kind of surprising. He was right there. But I definitely wanted to win and I made sure I won. I pretty much gave it my all."

Andy Brabson led the Boonsboro boys with his third-place finish in 18:07.

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