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Early-season result doesn't match Hampshire's midseason standards

September 09, 2008|By ANDREW MASON

CLEAR SPRING - "I got this."

That's what Cory Hampshire said he thought before the start of Monday afternoon's 15th annual Interstate Classic cross country invitational, which was held about a month earlier than usual.

As for the course record: "I thought I would smash it," the Jefferson senior said.

His prerace confidence was as understandable as his postrace disappointment.

Hampshire - who entered as the meet's three-time defending overall boys champion and the course-record holder - finished fourth overall Monday and third in the big-school division. He covered Clear Spring's 3-mile course in 16 minutes, 54 seconds - 63 seconds slower than his record run last year.

"It was hot. ... I had dead legs. ... It's just frustrating," said Hampshire, who led the first half of the race. "When I got passed, that really turned me off.

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"Oh, well, it's early. It's just our second meet of the year."

Overall, the Jefferson boys looked sharp, finishing a close second (45-51) to River Hill, the reigning Maryland Class 2A state champion. While River Hill got a 1-2 finish from Craig Morgan (16:01) and Sean Kirby (16:33), Jefferson placed three in the top 10. Brandon Doughty was fifth (17:05) and Kory Farmer was eighth (17:16) for the Cougars, who are aiming for a podium finish at the West Virginia state meet later this fall.

"We were third last year," said Jefferson coach Scott Biola of the state meet. "If you get top two, you get on the podium and you get a lot of recognition.

"Everyone always wants to talk about the boys, but the girls have just as much potential to make a good run at the end and surprise some people."

The Jefferson girls finished third in the big-school division Monday with 61 points. Thomas Johnson edged River Hill 50-53 for the team title. Preston's Ari Kasprowicz was the overall champion, winning by more than a minute in 18:49.

The Cougars had a trio of top-10 finishers - Alyssa Boucher (third, 20:32), Andrea Nickerson (sixth, 20:49) and Elisabeth Rust (10th, 21:27).

In the girls small-school division, defending champ Smithsburg was edged 47-48 by Mountain Ridge for the team title. But Leopards coach Ray Shriver said he was not disappointed.

"Actually, I'm very happy," he said. "Top two is great for this time of the year for us, especially with how young we are this season. It's a great sign."

Mountain Ridge's Sierra Wassel won the small-school girls title in 22:31. Smithsburg's Stephanie Breen was the runner-up in 23:46. North Hagerstown's Alison Harrell was the top Washington County girl, finishing 15th overall in 21:57.

The top county boy was Smithsburg's David Wilson, who was the small-school runner-up and 10th overall in 17:21.

Jack Strabo was the small-school winner and third overall in 16:37 for Landon School, the small-school team champ.

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