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Lenhart follows Arumugam's example at MVALs

October 22, 2005|By ANDREW MASON

andrewm@herald-mail.com

LIBERTYTOWN, Md. - North Hagerstown's Anna Lenhart wasn't very comfortable with her status as the favorite before Friday's MVAL Antietam Conference Cross Country Championships.

Although she knew someone who was - fellow Hubs senior Hemu Arumugam.

"I've never been the one to go after before, and it was really scary," Lenhart said. "Hemu had to help calm me down because I'm not used to this and he's the pro at winning."

She and Arumugam both ran like pros Friday.

Lenhart won the girls title, covering Libertytown Park's wet and muddy 3-mile course in 19 minutes, 51 seconds - 29 seconds faster than runner-up Makennna Hardy of Williamsport. Arumugam won his third straight Antietam crown in 16:11, finishing 24 seconds ahead of second-place Justin Cole of Williamsport.

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"I just wanted to go out comfortably and then open it up after the first mile," said Arumugam, who did exactly that. "But Cole's really surprising me. He's improved a lot from last year."

The Williamsport girls team also won its third straight Antietam title, while the Clear Spring boys won their first as all of the team and individual champions from last week's Washington County championships won again.

"Once you beat people, you want to beat them again," Lenhart said.

The Clear Spring boys managed the feat rather easily, even without Josh Keyfauver, their top runner who was sick and out of action Friday. The Blazers took three of the top five places and five of the first nine for a winning total of 26 points. North was second with 64 and Williamsport took third with 79.

For Clear Spring, Ben Courter was third (16:59), Cory Horton fourth (17:00), Dustin Adams fifth (17:05), Justin Grove seventh (17:10) and Ryan Shifler ninth (17:21).

"We were a little worried. We didn't find out (Keyfauver) wasn't going to be running until today," Courter said. "We all pretty much knew we had to go an extra 20 percent, and pretty much all of us PR'd today."

The Williamsport girls were just as dominant, grabbing three of the first four spots and six of the top nine for a winning total of 23 points. North finished second with 56 and Smithsburg was third with 92.

Scoring for the Wildcats were Hardy (second, 20:20), Laura Forsythe (third, 20:28), Theresa Ruland (fourth, 20:35), Kara Hardy (sixth, 21:03) and Meghann Weaver (eighth, 21:09).

The results were especially satisfying for Makenna Hardy, who finished first on her team for the first time this year. She missed nearly all of her junior season last year with a stress fracture after helping lead Williamsport to Maryland Class 1A state titles as a freshman and sophomore. The Wildcats finished second at states last year.

"It's always nice to win," Hardy said. "We never take it for granted because of what happened last year."

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