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Mountain Run loses its luster with some top runners idle

September 18, 2008|By Andrew Mason

WOODSBORO, Md. - If you traveled to the Mountain Run cross country invitational Wednesday to see Washington County at its best, you wasted your time.

That's because several county runners weren't allowed to waste their efforts in the 19-school meet.

With even larger meets looming this Saturday, Williamsport rested its standout varsity boys team, while North Hagerstown's top boys and girls merely ran the JV races as training workouts.

"We have a huge meet (the South Carroll Invitational) on Saturday, and I don't want them to have dead legs for it," North coach Lindsay Zerance said. "Today was just a fun day."

But it was a serious day for many teams, indicated by the efforts displayed on the hilly 3-mile course, where the MVAL conference championships will be contested later this season.

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Medals were awarded to the top 20 in each varsity race, and two county athletes each won one.

Clear Spring senior Cory Horton captured a medal for the fourth straight year at the meet, placing 11th in the boys race in 17 minutes, 54.4 seconds. Williamsport senior Tracey Forsythe, the reigning county and MVAL Antietam champ, placed 14th in the girls race in 21:55.0.

"It was all right, but not what I wanted," said Horton, who was in second place at the 1-mile mark, which the runners reached at the peak of the toughest climb.

"I got to the top of that hill and, I don't know, down the hills my legs were too tight and I couldn't pick it up."

There were 121 finishers in the varsity girls race and 129 in the varsity boys.

Williamsport coach Randy Buchman, whose Wildcats are set to compete at the highly competitive Oatlands Invitational on Saturday in Virginia, said Forsythe's run was only "a 90-percent effort."

"It was just a fast workout with a uniform on, a nice steady race, just to learn the course for later this season," he said. "I'm really happy with what Tracey accomplished. A half-mile into the race she was 36th, and she ended up 14th."

Other top-50 finishers included Williamsport's Kellie Quinn (31st, 23:06.6) in the girls race, and Boonsboro's Jordan Acton (27th, 18:27.4) and Evan Moser (38th, 18:44.3) and South Hagerstown's Brandon Mauck (33rd, 18:38.0) in the boys race.

Maura Linde won the girls race in a course-record 19:13.2 for team-champion Century, while South Carroll's Jake Zamostny won the boys race in 16:40.8. Winters Mill was the boys team champ.

Williamsport senior star Michael Lilley could only watch from the sidelines.

"I think I definitely would have been up with the leader. I think I could have won," Lilley said. "But I know Saturday that I'm going to have my work cut out for me, so I'd rather wait until then."

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