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Wilson to play 'catch me if you can' with county

August 31, 2009|By ANDREW MASON

David Wilson is the man to beat this cross country season, and he knows it.

"I'm not worried about it," said the Smithsburg senior. "I like leading races."

He's now poised to win a few more of them, too.

Wilson was the runner-up last season at both the Washington County and Maryland Class 1A state championships. The guys who beat him at those races -- Williamsport's Michael Lilley and South Carroll's Jake Zamostny -- have graduated.

The titles, however, still have to be earned. That's why Wilson spent his summer training harder than he ever had.

"He's been running like a mad man, and he's been in the weight room all summer working on his strength," Smithsburg coach Ray Shriver said. "He's focused. He sees the prize in his grasp and he wants to leave nothing to chance."

Wilson also finished second to Lilley in the 3,200-meter run last spring at the Class 1A outdoor track state meet, recording a personal-best time of 9:46.92.

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"I feel even faster than I did at the end of outdoor," he said. "I trained a lot with the (Hagerstown Community College) guys over the summer, just a lot of good, quality mileage. Now it's just a matter of not getting injured and holding it."

Smithsburg might also be the team to beat in the county. The Leopards return five of their top seven runners from last year's team that placed second to Williamsport in the county. They have the county's top returnee in Wilson and the No. 2 returnee in senior Jacob Shriver, the coach's son.

Jacob Shriver placed eighth in the county and 18th at states last fall.

"Jacob has been much more focused this summer as well. He's worked harder than he ever has," Ray Shriver said. "I've seen a big maturation in him."

Boonsboro



The Warriors return four of their top seven from last year, including junior Evan Moser, the No. 3 returnee in the county after Smithsburg's Wilson and Shriver.

Coach Becky Walter said junior Eric Ryberg, a JV runner last year, has significantly improved and could be the team's No. 2 man.

Of the dozen boys on the roster, Daniel Powell is the only senior.

Clear Spring



While all of the members of the Blazers' state champion teams from 2005 and 2006 are finally gone, Clear Spring still has six runners with varsity experience.

Junior Brandon Schildtknecht and sophomore Scott Hovermale are the top returnees.

Hancock



The Panthers have seven boys on their roster to start their first cross country season since 2002 under Jeff Spielman, Hancock's longtime track coach.

Senior captain Billy Johnson, a hurdler and sprinter in track, is expected to lead the way.

North Hagerstown



This is a rebuilding season for the Hubs, whose entire varsity squad from last season has graduated.

Of the seven boys on this year's roster, five are freshmen. Daniel Rutherford is the lone senior.

Saint James



Third-year Saints coach Mike Spinnler said he expects "significant improvements" from last year, when his team finished last in the seven-team Mid-Atlantic Conference.

The Saints' entire varsity squad from last year has returned. Seniors Zach Abeles and Chris Cobb and sophomores Woo Jae Park and Michael Knable are the top returnees. Spinnler said senior newcomer Christian Thomas, who played football last year, shows a lot of potential.

South Hagerstown



There's only one direction to go for the Rebels, who finished last in the county last year.

Four of their top seven runners are back, not including senior Sam Jones, their probable No. 1, who was injured most of last season.

Williamsport



The Wildcats are the defending county and Class 1A West region champs. However, they return only one runner -- junior Graylon Wright -- from last year's top seven.

But senior Danny Quinn, who won an indoor state title last winter in the 4x800 relay, is back and leading the way after being sidelined last fall with an injury. Another key member of Williamsport's mammoth team of 40 boys is first-year runner Evan Hardy, who ran the 1,600 in 4:49 as a freshman last spring.

Runners to Watch



Evan Hardy, Williamsport

The sophomore newcomer didn't run like a freshman last spring, clocking 4:49 in the 1,600.

Evan Moser, Boonsboro

The junior finished third among nonseniors at last year's county championships.

Danny Quinn, Williamsport

The senior was a member of the Wildcats' state-champion 4x800 relay team indoors last winter.

Brandon Schildtknecht, Clear Spring

The junior is the Blazers' top returnee, seemingly poised for a breakout season.

Jacob Shriver, Smithsburg

The senior finished second among nonseniors at the county championships last fall.

David Wilson, Smithsburg

The senior is the top returnee in Maryland 1A, after finishing second at states last fall.

Graylon Wright, Williamsport

The junior is the lone returning varsity runner from the Wildcats' county and region championship runs last season.

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