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County drought continues at Keyser meet

September 09, 2007|By ANDREW MASON

BOONSBORO - Washington County's title drought at the Frank Keyser Cross Country Invitational finally appeared to be over Saturday in the oppressive heat at Boonsboro High School.

Halfway through the boys race, Williamsport junior star Michael Lilley had a 40-yard lead, seemingly well on his way to becoming the county's first boys champion at the Keyser Invitational since 1978.

"I thought I had it won, too," Lilley said. "I got a little past 2 miles, looked back and (Joshua Hardin of Potomac Falls, Va.) was still a good bit back."

A half-mile later, Hardin - last year's runner-up - caught and passed Lilley, winning the 3-mile race in 16:05. Lilley, who placed 14th last year, finished second in 16:10.

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"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.

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