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Centofonti, Wilt carry HCC banner at nationals

May 20, 2010|By ANDREW MASON

HAGERSTOWN -- Corey Centofonti has made his run at local greatness. He has been a two-time Region XX cross country champion for Hagerstown Community College, after being a two-time Washington County cross country champ for Smithsburg High School.

While the HCC sophomore is heading to the University of Maryland in the fall, he said there's not a roster spot left for him on the Terps cross country team. He's not sure about the track team.

That's why Centofonti's future is now.

He's set to compete this evening in the 10,000-meter run at the NJCAA Division I Track & Field Championships in Hutchinson, Kan. It's his final meet as a Hawk -- perhaps even the final one of his college career.

"It's been a great two years here," Centofonti said. "All my friends are here. It's going to be a little emotional."

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Last spring at nationals, he placed 13th in the 10,000 in 33 minutes, 5.28 seconds, earning Coaches' All-American honors for being one of the top six U.S. citizens.

"If I can repeat that, but with a better time, that would be cool," said Centofonti, whose personal record in the event is 32:43.64. "I'm hoping to break 32:00. I just better be faster than last year.

"I've been feeling really good the past week and have had some good workouts."

Centofonti also is set to run the 5,000 on Saturday with sophomore teammate Jeremiah Wilt, a former Pennsylvania high school standout.

Wilt's best time in the 5,000 this season is 15:09.48, while Centofonti's is 15:28.21.

"Hopefully I'll be under 15:00 and a Coaches' All-American," said Wilt, who was a Coaches' All-American last fall when he led the Hawks to a 13th-place team finish at cross country nationals.

"The 10,000 is the race I have the best chance in," Centofonti said.

Rend Lake's Stephen Sambu, a Kenyan, is seeded first in both the 5,000 (13:51.59) and 10,000 (29:09.34).

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