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Daigneault, Zielinski win 1A West titles

November 03, 2011|By ANDREW MASON | andrewm@herald-mail.com
  • Smithsburg's Luke Daigneault makes his way to the finish line to win the boys race at the Maryland Class 1A West Cross Country Championships at Smithsburg on Thursday afternoon.
By Ric Dugan/Staff Photographer

SMITHSBURG — Luke Daigneault had a lot to consider during the boys race at the Maryland Class 1A West Cross Country Championships on Thursday.

While the Smithsburg junior wanted to help his team qualify for next weekend’s state meet, he didn’t want to dig too deep with the biggest race of the season just around the corner.

“I wanted to win for the team, but I didn’t want to go in that well,” said Daigneault, who accomplished the mission while seemingly playing it safe.

Daigneault pulled away from Mountain Ridge’s Hlynur Andresson and North Carroll’s Kody Wilson during the second half of the race and won by a comfortable margin in 17:13.5 on Smithsburg’s 3.04-mile course. Andresson finished second in 17:31.2, and Wilson was third in 17:42.5.

“I just wanted to stick with them until the hill in the second mile,” Daigneault said. “That’s where I made my move and put them behind me.”

The top five teams advanced to states, and Daigneault led the Leopards to a fourth-place finish.

“Today was about the team,” he said.

But it also was a nice change for him to be able to soak up some of the spotlight after running in the shadow of Williamsport star Evan Hardy all season. With Hardy and the mighty Wildcats competing in the 2A West region meet Thursday at Middletown, Daigneault seized the opportunity to shine.

“I didn’t want to settle for less today,” said Daigneault, who finished second to Hardy at last week’s Washington County championships. “I’ve been riding behind Evan all season. We get that great competition all season from the Williamsport crew, but it felt good not having them in the race for once.”

Southern Garrett won the boys team title with 52 points, while Boonsboro was second with 76. Sean Snyder placed fifth in 18:01.9 to lead the Warriors.

Smithsburg also got a top-10 finish from Brian Garcia (eighth, 18:22.1) in the field of 70 runners.

Boonsboro junior Sarah Zielinski cruised to victory in the girls race in 20:07.5, while Smithsburg senior Lauren Johnson was second in 20:38.6.

“I felt really good,” Zielinski said. “I didn’t expect to have such a gap over Lauren. I just assumed she’d be right behind me.”

Zielinski also led Boonsboro to a third-place finish, as the county-champ Warriors overcame the absence of their No. 2 and No. 3 runners — Kortney Cunningham and Ella Hawkins — to qualify for states. Cunningham and Hawkins didn’t run because they were playing soccer for Boonsboro in a 1A West semifinal at Brunswick on Thursday.

Mountain Ridge (56 points) and Southern Garrett (65) both finished ahead of Boonsboro (81) in a race the Warriors likely would have won at full strength.

“It was just about qualifying, and I’m thrilled with how everyone did,” said Boonsboro coach Becky Walter, who also got an eighth-place finish from Katie Rickerds in the girls race. “Today was all about advancing to states.”

The top five girls teams also advanced, and Smithsburg just made it by placing fifth, as both the Leopards and Warriors will have both their boys and girls squads competing next weekend.

“We live to fight another week,” Smithsburg coach Ray Shriver said.

At states, Boonsboro should have its full lineup since the girls soccer team was eliminated by Brunswick.

Md. 1A West championships
Girls results
Teams: 1. Mountain Ridge 56; 2. Southern Garrett 65; 3. Boonsboro 81; 4. Manchester Valley 95; 5. Smithsburg 120; 6. Fort Hill 174; 7. North Carroll 182; 8. Brunswick 202; 9. Clear Spring 210. Incomplete — Hancock, Allegany.
Top 20: 1. Sarah Zielinski (Bo) 20:07.5; 2. Lauren Johnson (Sm) 20:38.6; 3. Alexis Devault (MR) 20:58.5; 4. Abby Culp (MV) 21:31.6; 5. Karisa Weissgerber (SG) 21:37.0; 6. Madison Offstein (MR) 21:51.9; 7. Emily Stone (MV) 22:13.1; 8. Katie Rickerds (Bo) 22:13.5; 9. Hannah Boudreau (NC) 22:14.5; 10. Chelsea Reikie (FH) 22:25.2; 11. Lauren Keefer (SG) 22:27.2; 12. Nicole Walch (SG) 22:28.5; 13. Madison Lawrence (MR) 22:28.8; 14. Leah Yazdani (MR) 22:42.0; 15. Gina D’Andrea-Penna (Br) 22:45.5; 16. Emily Rund (NC) 22:48.3; 17. Shelby Shrader (MV) 23:02.2; 18. Kambrie Bosley (SG) 23:06.7; 19. Lexi Foreman (Ha) 23:11.2; 20. Samantha Gittere (SG) 23:14.0.
Boys results
Teams: 1. Southern Garrett 52; 2. Boonsboro 76; 3. Mountain Ridge 81; 4. Smithsburg 82; 5. North Carroll 93; 6. Manchester Valley 146; 7. Fort Hill 187; 8. Clear Spring 235; 9. Brunswick 241. Incomplete — Hancock, Allegany.
Top 20: 1. Luke Daigneault (Sm) 17:13.5; 2. Hlynur Andresson (MR) 17:31.2; 3. Kody Wilson (NC) 17:42.5; 4. Rhett Poland (MR) 17:55.4; 5. Sean Snyder (Bo) 18:01.9; 6. Wyatt McBee (SG) 18:17.9; 7. Zak Thomas (SG) 18:21.2; 8. Brian Garcia (Sm) 18:22.1; 9. Jaredun Twigg (FH) 18:25.7; 10. Brandon Redmond (MR) 18:26.5; 11. Josh Testa (Bo) 18:27.2; 12. Jasper Tasker (SG) 18:28.0; 13. Anthony Moon (SG) 18:32.6; 14. Aaron Shotwell (SG) 18:33.5; 15. Evan Rodeheaver (SG) 18:37.4; 16. Nick Porter (Sm) 18:42.7; 17. Matt Mitzel (NC) 18:43.2; 18. Tom Kersting (Bo) 18:44.0; 19. Grant Dell (NC) 18:47.3; 20. Walker Magrath (Al) 18:52.8.

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