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Hereford hills, 1A field between Wilson, undefeated season

Hereford hills, 1A field between Wilson, undefeated season

November 13, 2009|By ANDREW MASON

David Wilson has an idea for Saturday's Maryland State Cross Country Championships at Hereford High School.

"I sort of wish they'd take all the top people and just run them together," the Smithsburg senior said.

Since that's not going to happen, Wilson can at least try to win the Class 1A boys race with the day's top time of all four classes.

"That would be really cool," he said.

Expectations are justifiably high for Wilson, who is undefeated this season through 10 races. He set three course records (at Clear Spring, Smithsburg and Williamsport) and smoked the elite boys field at the Bull Run Invitational on Sept. 26.

At the Bull Run -- held on Hereford's infamously grueling 3-mile, state-meet course -- Wilson won with a time of 16:29. At states last year, only two boys ran faster, both in the Class 4A race.

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"He is just that focused," Smithsburg coach Ray Shriver said of his star senior. "Winning has been his goal, and he's let nothing stand in the way of that this season."

The top two returnees from last year's Class 1A boys state race are Wilson, who was second, and Allegany junior Ian MacFawn, who was fifth.

Wilson and MacFawn met for the first time this season at last week's West region race at Williamsport. Wilson won in 15:42, while MacFawn, who was previously undefeated this fall, finished a distant second in 16:20.

"Anything can happen at states," MacFawn said. "I'll be trying hard, not that I didn't try hard (at the region race)."

MacFawn is right. Anything seemingly can happen on the Hereford hills.

Last year, then-senior Michael Lilley was the heavy favorite to win the 1A boys title, as was his Williamsport team. Both wound up finishing third.

"We're due to have some good luck at the state meet," said Williamsport coach Randy Buchman, whose boys will enter as the two-time defending West region champs.

The West region girls title was won last week by Smithsburg.

"I have a really good feeling about states this year," Smithsburg sophomore Lauren Johnson said. "I don't want to necessarily say we're going to win, but we have a good shot at it."

Bohemia Manor swept the girls and boys Class 1A team titles last year. And Shriver and Buchman both said that Bohemia Manor -- which swept the North region titles last week -- is the school to beat in both races Saturday.

"Bohemia Manor is amazing," Shriver said. "But our girls will be ready. If Bohemia Manor makes a mistake or two or three, we'll be there to take advantage."

In Class 2A, the North Hagerstown girls -- the two-time reigning Washington County champs -- will be looking to improve on last year's eighth-place state finish.

The Hubs finished third behind Century and Liberty at last week's West region meet. North coach Lindsay Zerance said she wouldn't be surprised if the top three teams at states end up being the top three from the West.

"The toughest team, the team that wants it the most, is going to win states," she said. "We're just super excited to race that course."

The Boonsboro boys will join the Williamsport boys and the Smithsburg and North girls as Washington County's only complete teams at states. Runners from other county teams qualified individually.

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