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Clement - 'I'll show them all this weekend'

November 02, 2006|by ANDREW MASON

While running is running, Tony Clement won't ever confuse cross country for track.

"Cross country is a whole different mindset," the Hagerstown Community College sophomore said. "You just have to hurt - hurt for 5 miles. Whoever does that the best is going to come out on top."

Unlike in track, Clement has yet to come out on top in cross country.

He'll try to change that Saturday when he competes at the NJCAA Division I Cross Country Championships in El Paso, Texas. His goal is to be one of the top 25 Americans in the 8-kilometer (4.97-mile) race, which would earn him All-American status. He fell just a few places shy of that goal last fall.

"I should be in the top 25," said Clement, who will be HCC's lone representative at nationals. "I just want to improve from last year and run a time that lets people know I can run cross country."

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Everyone already knows he can run. In indoor track last winter, Clement placed third at nationals in the mile in an HCC-record 4:10.56. In outdoor track last spring, he ran 3:49.83 for 1,500 meters and placed fourth at nationals in the event in 3:51.94.

Those performances would usually equate to a better time for 8 kilometers than 27:11, which is Clement's best at the distance this fall.

"I should be sub-26," Clement said.

"He hasn't run to his ability in cross country yet," HCC coach Brian Ferrari said. "He has the talent and strength to run better than he has."

Clement said he's averaged 70-75 miles per week in his training this fall. His weekly mileage over the summer was even greater.

"He's done the work," Ferrari said.

Saturday might finally be his big pay day.

"I'll show them all this weekend," Clement said.

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