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Boucher, Nickerson took turns leading

December 09, 2008|By ANDREW MASON

While Alyssa Boucher and Andrea Nickerson spent the fall separating themselves from the competition, there was little separation between the two Jefferson juniors.

"It was really hard to distinguish who was better," Nickerson said.

That's why they're sharing The Herald-Mail's top honor as the 2008 All-Area Girls Cross Country Co-Runners of the Year.

"That's good," Boucher said. "I think either of us would have felt guilty if one of us got it and the other didn't."

But both said there were no hard feelings when one beat the other this past season.

"You're out there to run and do your best, but at the same time, you want your team to do even better," Boucher said. "If one of my teammates is more capable, then more power to them. It just makes the team better, and that's what we're all about."

Boucher won individual titles at the Hedgesville, Musselman and Washington invitationals, while Nickerson won the Apple Valley League and Potomac Valley Conference championship races.

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At the West Virginia Region II Class AAA meet, Boucher was the runner-up, while Nickerson was one second back in third.

Both then achieved all-state status by cracking the top 10 at the West Virginia championships. Nickerson placed sixth on the 3.1-mile course at Cabell Midland in 19:14, while Boucher was eighth in 19:21 as they led the Cougars to a fifth-place team finish.

"I think we had the best 1-2 punch in the state," Jefferson coach Scott Biola said. "It was like having two No. 1 runners."

Both made significant improvements from last season, especially Boucher. At last year's state meet on the same course, Nickerson placed 15th in 20:19 and Boucher was 55th in 22:22.

"At first I had trouble dealing with it because last year I was the No. 1 runner on the team, and I was used to that," Nickerson said. "But she made me a lot better by pushing me to go faster."

They'll be back at it again as seniors next year.

"We're just going to shoot for the stars," Boucher said.

Joining Nickerson and Boucher on the All-Area First Team are:

Tracey Forsythe, Sr., Williamsport

Forsythe was the Washington County champion for the second straight year and the MVAL Antietam runner-up. She placed third at the Maryland 1A West meet and ninth at states.

Alison Harrell, Jr., North Hagerstown

Harrell was the MVAL Piedmont champion. She placed third at the Washington County championships and 10th at the Maryland 2A West meet.

Whitney Lewis, Jr., Musselman

Lewis was the Apple Valley League runner-up. She placed third at the Potomac Valley Conference meet and was seventh at the West Virginia AAA Region II race.

Mackenzie Riford, So., Mercersburg

Riford placed fourth at the Mid-Atlantic Prep League championships and 13th at the Pennsylvania Independent Schools state meet.

Taryn Shank, Sr., North Hagerstown

Shank was the runner-up at both the MVAL Piedmont and Washington County championships. She placed ninth at the Maryland 2A West meet.

All-Area Second Team

Abby Colby, Fr., Mercersburg

McKenzie Doyle, So., Chambersburg

Lindsey Hash, So., Jefferson

Macy Houck, Fr., Berkeley Springs

Shelby Johnson, Jr., Martinsburg

Alayna Merkle, Jr., Chambersburg

Kellie Quinn, Sr., Williamsport

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