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Lilley sets record at Keyser meet

October 05, 2008|By Andrew Mason

BOONSBORO - Michael Lilley's victory never was in doubt Saturday at the 31st annual Frank Keyser Invitational.

The Williamsport senior took charge early on the 3-mile course, running a 4:56 opening mile and finishing in a course-record time of 15:18.

"I just ran my own race," said Lilley, who shaved 2 seconds off the previous record set by Potomac's C.W. Moran in 2002. "At the 2-mile mark, I looked back and knew I was safe."

But he was surprised to see who was closest to him - teammate Naseem Haje, who finished second in 15:42.

"I knew he'd be up there," said Lilley, who also set a course record at the Brunswick Invitational earlier this season. "But I didn't know he'd run 15:42. That's amazing."

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It was the best race of Haje's life.

"I was talking to (Lilley) on the bus ride here and said, 'I want to go 1-2,'" said Haje, a senior. "But realistically, I didn't think it could happen. But then I was like, 'I can do this.'

"I think I finally learned how to race."

The 1-2 showing helped Williamsport to a fourth-place finish in the field of 24 schools. The Wildcats were the top Washington County team.

"Our team's been training real hard," Lilley said. "We hadn't had a race in two weeks, and we've just been grinding it out. We were ready to race today. We were sharp."

Smithsburg junior David Wilson finished third in 15:50, giving the county an impressive sweep of the top three spots. The only other county runners in the top 25 were Clear Spring's Cory Horton (16th, 16:38), Williamsport's Rio Ferrario (23rd, 16:55) and North Hagerstown's Ben Koefet (25th, 16:57).

In the girls race, Stephanie Bryan led Thomas Johnson to the team title with her course-record 18:37.

Behind her, there was a changing of the guard in Washington County, as junior Alison Harrell (19:45) and senior Taryn Shank (19:49) finished sixth and ninth for North. Williamsport senior Tracey Forsythe, who has dominated the county in recent years, finished 11th in 19:53.

"(Forsythe) is a really good runner, and I just always try to get up with her," Harrell said. "I'm just trying to push myself harder every race."

The Hubs finished third as a team, well ahead of their county competition.

"We're getting pretty strong," Harrell said. "It's pretty exciting. We're pushing each other."

Other top-20 finishers included Shelby Johnson (20:10) and Karena Moran (20:11), who took 12th and 13th for seventh-place Martinsburg.

South Lakes (Va.), the alma mater of U.S. mile record-holder Alan Webb, was the boys team champion.

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