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Boening jets to better day, crown

September 21, 2006|by ANDREW MASON

HEDGESVILLE, W.Va. - Before the start of the Hedgesville Cross Country Invitational on Wednesday, Jefferson senior Brooke Boening was having a day she wanted to forget.

"Today wasn't the best day," she said. "I had a quiz in history class I probably failed, and I forgot my uniform. I just wasn't prepared."

Once the girls race started, no one was prepared to take on Boening, who would have received an 'A' for effort. But she wasn't even tested.

Running in a uniform she borrowed from one of Jefferson's JV runners, Boening blew away the varsity field, winning by more than a minute on the hilly 3.1-mile course in 20:57.

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Loudoun Valley's Elizabeth Nesbit was the runner-up in 21:59, and Mercersburg Academy's Madi McConnell was third in 22:17. Loudoun Valley placed five runners in the top 10 for a winning total of 33 points. Jefferson was second with 55.

"In the beginning, I felt pretty good, but then I felt like I was slowing down," Boening said. "But I guess everyone else was slowing down, too. It's hard to push yourself up those hills, especially when you're all by yourself."

Her day got better before it got worse.

"I'm happy now," Boening said. "But I still have a lot of homework to do tonight."

While the competition was tighter at the front of the boys race, Cory Hampshire ended the suspense early. The Jefferson sophomore opened an early gap that was never closed, winning comfortably in 18:01.

Mercersburg's James Finucane (18:23) and Tyler Small (18:43) finished second and third.

"I didn't know much about the Mercersburg runners, but overall I was pretty confident," said Hampshire, whose team received another boost of confidence Wednesday.

After Hedgesville's Nicholas Belotte finished fourth in 18:57, Jefferson's Chris Ledden (19:06), Kory Farmer (19:13), Andrew Cassell (19:23) and Jack Conant (19:32) grabbed the next four places as the Cougars placed five in the top eight for a winning total of 27 points. Hedgesville was second with 58.

"We want to try to win our region again and try to make top five at states," said Hampshire, who plans to continue to lead the way.

"I want to make all-state (top 10) this year," he said. "I'd like to try to win."

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