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Williamsport boys show off 1-2 punch

September 10, 2006|by ANDREW MASON

BOONSBORO - Williamsport has the reigning Maryland Class 1A team state champion in girls cross country and, based on Saturday's results at the 29th annual Frank Keyser Invitational, Washington County's best 1-2 punch in boys cross country.

"After the girls have been on top the last few years, Mike Lilley and I would like to finally get it for the guys," said Williamsport senior Justin Cole, who was the area's top finisher in the boys race, placing fifth in 16:14 on the 3-mile course.

Lilley, a sophomore at Williamsport, was the area's second finisher, placing 14th in 16:39 in the 93-runner, 15-school field, which included all six of the county's public-school teams.

Lilley beat Cole by more than a minute in the team's opening meet Tuesday.

"This boy's going to be my competition," said Cole of Lilley. "I thought he was going to be whipping me all season. He had me scared. It's going to be a tough race between me and him every race."

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Urbana's Dylan Bernard won the boys race in 16:00, and Gaithersburg scored 45 points to win the team title.

Clear Spring, which returns five of its top seven runners from last year's Maryland Class 1A state-championship season, finished sixth - and first among area teams - with 186 points.

"We're just having fun now," said senior Dustin Adams, who placed 16th in 16:41 to lead the Blazers. "Whatever happens happens."

The Williamsport girls, who graduated five of their top seven runners from last season, couldn't defend their Frank Keyser title Saturday, finishing seventh - but still first among area teams - with 172 points.

"I'm not worried about it. We knew it was going to happen," said Williamsport senior Jordan Atha, who led the area with her ninth-place finish in 20:26. "It's a new team now."

Heritage (Va.) won the team title with 57 points, and Gaithersburg freshman Abby Spitler was the individual champ in 19:38.

Other area runners in the top 20 were Martinsburg's Jen Emmert (17th in 21:21) and Williamsport's Kara Hardy (20th in 21:33).

Smithsburg's Corey Centofonti finished 19th in the boys race in 16:51.

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