Stars will collide again at Interstate

October 04, 2007|By ANDREW MASON

One of the races that helped Jefferson's Cory Hampshire capture The Herald-Mail's Boys Runner of the Year honor as a sophomore last fall was the Interstate Classic at Clear Spring.

Hampshire won the race for the second straight year, holding off, in order of finish: Northern Garrett's Ryan Bowser, who won the Maryland Class 1A state title later in the season; Williamsport's Justin Cole, who went on to win the MVAL Antietam race; Williamsport's Mike Lilley, who claimed Maryland 1A gold in the 1,600 last spring; Smithsburg's Corey Centofonti, who went on to win the Washington County crown last fall; and Clear Spring's Dustin Adams, who led his team to its second straight 1A team title at the Maryland state meet the following month and then swept the indoor and outdoor 3,200 state titles.

Hampshire will be racing for the Interstate Classic three-peat Saturday at Clear Spring. The girls varsity meet begins at 3 p.m., followed by the boys varsity at 3:45. Twenty-five schools have entered teams.


"I think it's going to be exciting," Clear Spring coach and race director Jaime Mason said. "Some of the best runners from our area and beyond are going to be there. It's going to be interesting to see who comes out on top."

While Cole and Adams now are both competing for Hagerstown Community College and Bowser's Northern Garrett team chose not to compete Saturday, Lilley and Centofonti - the top runners in the county this fall - will both be there, each trying to capture his first big victory of the season. And they'll have other stars, such as Urbana's Dylan Bernard, to contend with.

Each of the varsity races will be divided into big- and small-school divisions afterward for awards - if that matters to anyone.

"We break them out to make it fair," Mason said. "But truly the person who wins is the winner. Those top runners are so aware of that. Most of them aren't there to run for second."

While the Interstate Classic likely will have at least some influence again on our postseason honors, the major meets are still to come.

Right now, Berkeley Springs' Lenny Roach, Mercersburg Academy's James Finucane and Lilley are the frontrunners for the Runner of the Year honor. Each is undefeated against area competition this fall.

Lilley beat Centofonti at the Frank Keyser and Brunswick invitationals and Hampshire at the Oatlands Invitational last weekend. Finucane turned back Hampshire last week at the Hedgesville Invitational. And Roach beat Hampshire at the Forest Festival Invitational and Centofonti last weekend at the Bull Run Invitational.

Unfortunately, Roach, Finucane and Lilley aren't scheduled to race against each other this fall.

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