"He has a kick, and I don't have a lot of speed," Lilley said. "I need to learn to break the field in the middle of the race if I want to win.
"But I'm really pleased with my performance. I gave it my all. The heat was just so bad today."
Former Boonsboro cross country coach Dwight Scott, who worked as a meet official Saturday, said Boonsboro's Mike Reese was the county's last Keyser champion. Reese won the invitational in its first year in 1978.
The county boys still had a strong showing in Saturday's 13-team, 90-runner varsity field. Smithsburg senior Corey Centofonti, the reigning county champ, finished third in 16:26 - and seemed more excited about teammate David Wilson's performance.
Wilson, only a sophomore, had the race of his life, placing sixth in 16:35.
"Did you see David?!" Centofonti exclaimed, shortly after finishing. "He was right next to me the whole way."
Centofonti and Wilson led Smithsburg to a sixth-place finish - tops among area teams.
Other top-20 finishers included Musselman's Louie Talbott (11th in 16:44), Williamsport's Naseem Haje (14th in 16:49) and Clear Spring's Cory Horton (19th in 16:58).
Potomac Falls edged Thomas Jefferson (Va.) 61-62 for the boys team title.
Williamsport junior Tracey Forsythe was the only county runner to crack the top 20 in the girls race, placing 11th in 21:01.
The Smithsburg girls team, which edged Williamsport for last year's Maryland Class 1A state title, led the area with its sixth-place finish Saturday. Williamsport was seventh.
Martinsburg's Shelby Johnson was the top area finisher, placing sixth in 20:13. Musselman's Whitney Lewis was 16th in 21:27, and Martinsburg's Jen Emmert was 17th in 21:28.
Potomac Falls' Christina Lee won the girls race convincingly in 18:46, while Thomas Jefferson was the team champion.