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Wildcats' Forsythe was 'quietly fierce'

December 11, 2007|By ANDREW MASON

Williamsport cross country coach Randy Buchman describes Tracey Forsythe as a "quietly fierce competitor."

The Wildcats junior lets her racing shoes do the talking for her. And they had plenty to say this fall.

Forsythe posted a pair of dominant victories at the MVAL Antietam Conference and Washington County championships and, for the second straight year, was the area's top girls performer at the Maryland state meet, placing ninth in Class 1A.

It should come as no surprise that she's The Herald-Mail's 2007 Washington County Girls Runner of the Year.

"She's a matter-of-fact person in the way she carries herself and the way she is as a runner," Buchman said. "She just goes out and does it.

"She's a tough kid. She comes from a farm family, and they're just very hard-working, diligent people in everything they do. And she just exemplifies that."

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Among Forsythe's season highlights are a small-school victory at Clear Spring's Interstate Classic, a runner-up finish at the Brunswick Invitational and a third-place finish at the West region championships.

"Some of the races she lost were more impressive than some of the races she won," Buchman said.

Forsythe said her best race of the season came at the West region meet, where she ran 19:53.8 on her home course, breaking 20 minutes for 3 miles for the first time.

"I think it's been way over 20 years since one of our girls has done that on that course," Buchman said.

After crossing the finish line at states, Forsythe said she was disappointed. She had hoped to improve on her fourth-place finish from 2006 on Hereford's extremely challenging course.

But her time was 21:35 - 31 seconds faster than she ran the year before.

"It's just amazing to me that she could run that much faster and place five places lower," Buchman said. "Watching, it looked like she was having a bad day. But then when I saw the times, I was like, 'Wow.'

"Running has really gotten better in the state of Maryland."

Forsythe hopes to continue to improve. She said her next goal is to crack 12 minutes for the first time in the 3,200-meter run on the track.

"She's just the kind of kid you want on your team - quiet, strong, diligent," Buchman said. "She's one of the first kids at practice every day, standing in the hall ready to go."

Joining Forsythe on the All-County First Team are:

· Chelsea Connelly, Smithsburg - The senior placed second at the county championships. She also was eighth in the MVAL Antietam, 10th in 1A West and 15th in Maryland 1A.

· Stephanie Breen, Smithsburg - The sophomore placed third at the county championships. She also was 10th in the MVAL Antietam, 13th in 1A West and 26th in Maryland 1A.

· Kara Hardy, Williamsport - The senior placed fourth at the county championships. She also was ninth in the MVAL Antietam, 12th in 1A West and 17th in Maryland 1A.

· Brooke Pettner, North Hagerstown - The junior placed fifth at the county championships. She also was third in the MVAL Piedmont, seventh in 2A West and 41st in Maryland 2A.

· Natalie Mancini, Smithsburg - The senior placed sixth at the county championships. She also was second in the MVAL Antietam, ninth in 1A West and 28th in Maryland 1A.

· Katie Marshall, Boonsboro - The junior placed seventh at the county championships. She also was 11th in the MVAL Antietam.

All-County Second Team

Allison Harrell, So., North Hagerstown

Taryn Shank, Jr., North Hagerstown

Taylor Donley, Jr., Smithsburg

Anna Law, Sr., Smithsburg

Christine Brugh, So., North Hagerstown

Jess Johnson, Sr., Williamsport

Julie Lewis, So., Smithsburg

The All-County runners were determined by the county championships. The Runner of the Year was chosen by The Herald-Mail sports staff.

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