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Trojans make their point

October 20, 2005|by ANDREW MASON

andrewm@herald-mail.com

CARLISLE, Pa. - After finishing second by one point at last year's Mid-Penn Conference Cross Country Championships, the Chambersburg girls team made its point Wednesday - no one in the conference is even in the same league as the Trojans this season.

The Trojans placed all five of their scorers in the top 25 in the field of 198 runners and easily topped the other 30 schools in the Mid-Penn with their 59 points. Cumberland Valley was the runner-up with 104.

"We definitely wanted to get that title back, especially after losing by a point last year," said Chambersburg third-year coach Chris Monheim, whose girls also won the title in 2003.

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Junior Sarah Morrison placed third to lead the Trojans, covering the 3.1-mile course in 19 minutes, 9 seconds. Brooke Jacobs was 10th (19:46), Cecelia Forshee 14th (20:12), Ali Lambert 18th (20:18), Sarah Osterman 23rd (20:36), Haley Thomas 36th (21:02) and Elizabeth Strickler 46th (21:24) in what Monheim described as an "off day" for his team.

"Brooke Jacobs and Sarah Osterman had their best races of the season, but the other kids were a little off," Monheim said. "Our depth was the key today. That's why we stress having seven quality runners."

Big Spring junior Lara Crofford won the race in 18:43, breaking away from Morrison and the rest of the lead pack midway through the race.

Last year, Morrison finished fifth in the conference and then came back the next weekend to win the District 3 Class AAA meet, a significantly larger race.

"She's kind of feeling like this is a bad-luck meet for her," Monheim said. "She ran OK, but she was a little off her game. She still knows she's as good, if not better, than anyone else in the district.

"I know I have a handful of girls right now who are excited to race again because they know they can run better. So we're excited for next weekend."

The district championships are Oct. 29 in Hershey, Pa.

The area's other All-Conference (top-35) performers Wednesday were James Buchanan's Lindsey Holllenshead, who placed 19th in 20:27, and Aileen Martin, who was 30th in 20:53.

- Greencastle-Antrim junior Tim Wertner ran what might have been the race of his life in the boys meet.

He has the medal - and battle scar - to prove it.

Wertner placed third out of 217 runners in 16:32, improving 23 places from his finish last year, while lacerating his right shoulder along the way.

"I have no idea how that happened, no clue," Wertner said, checking out his cut.

A little blood wasn't going to faze him in the race.

"My goal was to be one of the fastest kids in the meet and get under 16 minutes," said Wertner, who was first among small-school runners in the mixed field of Class AAA and AA teams. "But the heat and wind were pretty harsh, especially for this time of the year."

Curtis Bixler won the race in 16:07, leading Cumberland Valley to the team title.

Chambersburg was the top area team, finishing fifth. Trojans Tommy Taylor (15th, 17:16), Tommy Ausherman (31st, 17:44) and Channon Riggs (33rd, 17:48) earned All-Conference honors.

But the efforts weren't enough for Chambersburg coach John Ambrosio.

"Our goal was to be third, and I know we were second at the 2-mile marker," Ambrosio said. "You need to have a lot of courage at the end and we came up short in that department. We choked. It's pretty frustrating."

James Buchanan's Jed Yeatts finished 16th in 17:19.

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