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Kids run 'country' for a day

October 02, 2005|By KEVIN SPRADLIN

Many in attendance Saturday at Eastern Elementary School predicted the fifth-grade girls race was going to come down to two people: Stacey Christy, of Fountain Rock Elementary, and whoever else showed up.

The contingent from Hickory Elementary seemed to take offense to that.

Hickory's Julia Price and Ashley Likely finished 1-2 at the 1,600-meter distance, and Christy finished third in one of six races at the Washington County Elementary Schools Cross Country meet.

"I was happy, but nervous," said Price of when both she and Likely passed Christy while cresting the final hill with about 350 meters to go. "I didn't know if she was going to come up from behind me. She can really sprint."

Price finished in 6 minutes, 55 seconds. Her teammate, Likely, had a 7:02 and Christy was third in 7:20.

Price had plenty of reason to fear Christy, who won the girls third- and fourth-grade titles the previous two years.

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Price also had little opportunity in the race's final minute to enjoy her slim lead. Price used a veteran strategy to keep possession of first place and keep an eye on her opponents.

"I could see their shadows on the ground," Price said of Likely and Christy. "My gym teacher always tells me to never look back. So I didn't."

About five minutes into the race, Christy slowed to a walk for about five meters. In the next 20 meters, she caught both Price and Likely, but slowed to a walk again.

"She started out too fast," said Fountain Rock gym teacher and coach Suzy Abeles, "and she thinks that because she's not playing soccer, she's not in shape right now. Both (Price and Likely) play soccer. It's just in her head."

Kevin Proctor, of Paramount, set a personal best to win the fifth-grade boys race. Proctor finished in 6:18, followed by Dillol Rowe of Bester (6:29) and Cody Bowman of Williamsport (6:34).

"I won last year, so I thought I'd have a good day," said Proctor, who finished under 7 minutes for the first time. "I just practiced and practiced and didn't give up."

Hickory's Chelsey Smith took the girls title in the fourth-grade run (1,200 meters) in 5:03, followed by Tayana Stewart of Salem in 5:06 and Emily Unger of Paramount in 5:13.

In the fourth-grade boys race, Tony Restek of Eastern won in 4:50. Nick Karlen of Paramount was runner-up in 4:55 and Joshua Barron of Potomac Heights was third in 4:59.

In the boys third-grade race (1,000 meters), Paramount's Preston Carey dove to the finish line to edge Adam Peyton of Smithsburg. Both were timed in 4:17. Jordan Stonebreaker of Williamsport was third in 4:30.

"He beat me," Peyton said of Carey, pointing to the winner as if to settle any debate that might ensue. "I almost won. He beat me."

Williamsport's Alexandria "Lizzie" Willis won the third-grade girls race in 4:34. Fountain Rock's Samantha Muller was second in 4:49 and Paramount's Sarah Troxell was third in 5 minutes flat.

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