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Wilson places second in 1A

November 09, 2008

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PARKTON, Md. -- David Wilson shocked everyone, including himself, by turning in Washington County's top performance Saturday at the Maryland State Cross Country Championships on Hereford High School's hilly 3-mile course.

"I'm exhilarated," said the Smithsburg junior, who finished second (17:11) to South Carroll's Jake Zamostny (16:58) in the Class 1A boys race. "I almost felt like I was dreaming."

The Williamsport boys must have felt like they were having a nightmare.

Wildcats senior Michael Lilley, the prerace favorite in 1A, finished a disappointing third in 17:30.

And Lilley's team, trying to win Williamsport its first boys team title since 1975, also finished third with 98 points -- just seven points behind champion Bohemia Manor.

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"I don't know, it's just a hard sport," Williamsport coach Randy Buchman said. "It's so hard to win -- to have a day when everything comes together just right.

"It's the best shot we've had in years. But I guess it's better to have a shot than to just come down here and compete without one. But it sure makes it hurt worse."

While Williamsport's Naseem Haje held his own by placing fourth (17:33), the race for the team title unraveled behind him. The Wildcats suffered a big blow when Jesse Buchman -- who was their No. 4 man last week when they won the West region title -- dropped out of the race.

"I saw Jesse being carted off, and I was just like, 'Oh, darn, this cannot be good,'" Haje said.

"He said he just completely and totally cramped up," said Randy Buchman, his father. "He just had a total blowup today. I don't know, maybe he's getting sick."

Williamsport got the rest of its points from Rio Ferrario (16th, 18:20), Nathanial Clark (35th, 18:56) and Evan Clark (49th, 19:37).

"It's a five-man sport," Randy Buchman said. "And we always say to have five good runners, you need seven good runners. And to have seven good runners, you need 10. We just ran out of depth."

Wilson, meanwhile, had the race of his life. Last week, he finished third at the West region meet -- 37 seconds behind Lilley, the champion, and 15 seconds behind Haje, the runner-up.

"I never expected this," Wilson said. "I was just hoping to beat (Haje), and I wasn't sure I could even do that. I didn't expect to be anywhere close to Lilley."

Lilley went through the first mile in 5:10, leading Zamostny by a stride, with Wilson and Haje each seven seconds back.

At the two-mile mark, Zamostny had an eight-second lead on Lilley, who was about to be passed by Wilson.

"I felt really relaxed the first mile," said Lilley, who hadn't been beaten in Maryland all season. "When Zamostny passed me, I just thought I'd hang on and get him later. And then Wilson passed me and I just lost focus."

Lilley, a three-time state champ in track, had to settle for third place for the second straight year.

"Zamostny and Wilson ran really well," he said. "I just didn't have a good day. It's very upsetting that it happened here. I just need to go back and look at my training and see what I did wrong. Hopefully I can do things better in track."

For the second straight year, Williamsport's Tracey Forsythe was the county's top performer in the girls competition. She placed ninth in the 1A race in 22:04.

Forsythe, who placed ninth last year in 21:35, said she was very disappointed that she didn't improve on her place or her time.

"I wanted to be in the top five and I wanted to be under 21 (minutes), at least low 21s," she said. "I just couldn't get a rhythm going. I don't know what was wrong."

Kellie Quinn also earned a medal for fifth-place Williamsport, finishing 14th in 22:52.

The North Hagerstown girls, who were aiming for a top-two team finish in 2A, were eighth. River Hill and Century practically turned the race into a dual meet, with River Hill prevailing, 47-48. The Hubs finished with 210 points. Only 22 point separated them from fourth place.

"It was great competition," North coach Lindsay Zerance said. "I'm not disappointed at all. We had a great season and everyone did their best."

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