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Arumugam turns winning into a science

January 28, 2006|By ANDREW MASON

andrewm@herald-mail.com

North Hagerstown senior Hemu Arumugam is heading to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the fall to study aerospace engineering.

Obviously, it doesn't take being a rocket scientist for him to figure out the lap splits he needs to hit at a track meet.

Actually hitting them, however, isn't always easy, even though Arumugam has a way of making it look that way.

The state champion distance runner was the lone record setter at the 15th annual Washington County Indoor Track Championships on Friday at Hagerstown Community College.

He won the 1,600-meter run in a personal-best 4 minutes, 27.9 seconds - 2.1 seconds better than the meet record he set last year.

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"That's the best I've ever felt. All the workouts are starting to pay off," Arumugam said. "It definitely feels good to be improving, especially my senior year. I'm finally getting up there."

He followed that victory with perhaps the most dominant performance of the meet in the 3,200, as he lapped everyone in the field at least once before stopping the clock at 9:49.8 - 51.6 seconds ahead of second place and just 2.7 seconds off the meet record (9:47.1) he set last year.

"Getting my old record would have been nice, but I'm glad I still did well," Arumugam said. "I at least wanted to break 10."

The team titles went to the Smithsburg boys and, for the fourth straight year, the Williamsport girls.

"If you would have told me when we got the first one that we'd win the next three, I wouldn't have believed you," said Williamsport coach Cindy Mease, whose girls scored 139 points Friday - 32 more than runner-up Clear Spring. "We've just been blessed with talented, good kids who work hard. ... It's just been awesome to watch."

Jordan Atha won the 800 (2:31.1) and 1,600 (5:53.2) to pace the Wildcats.

"We were out to get points. We really wanted to win it again," Atha said. "My key race is the 800. That's what I'm trying to do really well in. I haven't run the 1,600 that much, but they put me in it because they needed me to win it."

Williamsport also got victories from Laura Forsythe in the 3,200 (13:10.0), Sara Tritsch in the 55 hurdles (9.5), Kendal Moss, Amy Taylor, Kristin Berry and Morgan Keplinger in the 800 relay (1:54.0) and Berry, Keplinger, Forsythe and Taylor in the 1,600 relay (4:28.3).

The other girls winners were: Boonsboro's Hayley Harnett in the 300 (44.2) and 500 (1:24.2) and Sara Johnson in the shot put (31 feet, 3 inches); Smithsburg's Katy Hill in the 55 (7.4); Clear Spring's Katherine McCormick in the high jump (5-0) and Kellyann Courter, Laura Canfield, Jessey Schulz and Hillary Jardine in the 3,200 relay (11:29.0); and North Hagerstown's Anna Lenhart in the pole vault (8-6).

The Smithsburg boys scored 129 points - 21 more than runner-up Clear Spring - to win their fifth title and first since 1997.

Leopards coach Ray Shriver became the first coach to win the meet with two different teams. He guided the North boys to titles in 1998 and 1999.

"We wanted to win it for Coach Shriver," said Smithsburg senior Derek Martin, who won the 55 hurdles (7.5). "To be the best in the county, it's just a big thing. We've always had good teams since I've been here, but this is our year. We had a lot of guys show up real big for us."

None was bigger than Chad Brown, who won the 300 (37.7) - despite painfully rolling his ankle during the race - and then came back to win the 55 (6.6).

"When you're running, you can't think about anything but winning," said Brown as he limped from the finish line of the 55. "You can't feel pain."

The Leopards also got a victory from Lance Poffenberger in the high jump (5-8).

The other boys winners were: Clear Spring's Josh Keyfauver in the 500 (1:12.0) and 800 (2:09.1) and Cory Horton, Ben Courter, Justin Grove and Dustin Adams in the 3,200 relay (9:33.8); Boonsboro's Pete Frey in the pole vault (12-0); South Hagerstown's Trey Jones in the shot put (44-3); North's Tommy Evans, Ben Goodrich, Mark Dattilio and Earl Thorne in the 800 relay (1:43.0); and Williamsport's Steven Nunnally, Scott Mummert, Matt Oliver and Justin Cole in the 1,600 relay (3:47.6).

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