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Centofonti's best gets 2nd

November 11, 2007|By ANDREW MASON

PARKTON, Md. - While Corey Centofonti didn't get the state title he so desperately wanted Saturday, the Smithsburg senior probably won't lose much sleep over it.

There is not much for him to second guess and not much he could have done differently in his attempt to dethrone Northern Garrett senior star Ryan Bowser at the Maryland State Cross Country Championships.

Bowser won his second straight Class 1A boys title in 16:39 on Hereford High School's infamously hilly 3-mile course, pulling away from Centofonti on the final climb with about a half-mile remaining.

"I'm happy with how I did," said Centofonti, who finished second in 16:49. "I may have lost, but at least I pushed the pace."

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Centofonti and Williamsport's Michael Lilley passed the 2-mile mark together in 11:13, trailing Bowser by 7 seconds.

"At the 2-mile mark, I was like, 'Bowser has a great kick. I've got to go now,'" said Centofonti, who left Lilley behind as he caught Bowser and quickly opened a 5-meter lead.

"I was a little worried, but thankfully he wasn't able to pull away," Bowser said. "Then I just dropped the hammer going up the hill."

There wasn't much Centofonti could do about it.

"Bowser's just way too strong," he said.

"(Centofonti) took it to him. He wasn't afraid," Smithsburg coach Ray Shriver said. "He knew it was going to take the race of his life to beat Bowser, and he almost did."

Centofonti finished third last year in 17:32.

Lilley, a junior, finished third Saturday in 17:07 - 27 seconds and one place better than last season.

"I wanted to break 17, but I'm happy with the place," Lilley said. "Both those guys are seniors, so I think next year will be my year."

Glenelg topped the 19-team Class 1A boys field with 77 points. South Carroll was second with 93, Smithsburg was third with 102 and Mountain Ridge - which edged Smithsburg for the West region title last week - was fourth with 119.

"That's third place two years in a row," Shriver said. "It's nothing to sneeze at, but we had our sights set a little higher."

Had it been a race between the counties, Washington County would have won easily, taking five of the top 10 places.

Cory Horton placed sixth in 17:31 and Ben Courter was seventh in 17:33 for Clear Spring, while David Wilson finished 10th in 17:40 for Smithsburg.

"It's a great county to run in," said Centofonti, the two-time county champ. "We stack up pretty well."

Clear Spring, which entered the meet as the two-time defending state champ, finished sixth. Horton and Courter were the Blazers' only returning scorers from last season.

"We knew winning was not likely today," Clear Spring coach Jaime Mason said. "We came in with realistic goals, and we achieved them. We wanted to finish in the top seven, so it was a good day."

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