“Consistency,” “character,” “coachable,” “cheerful.”
Williamsport cross country coach Randy Buchman used a lot of “C” words when recently talking about his star runner, senior Evan Hardy.
“Content” wasn’t one of them, not surprisingly.
Hardy always wants more — to be faster, stronger and better than before.
Relative to his competition this season, though, he was all of those things.
Hardy is The Herald-Mail’s Washington County Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year for the second straight year.
He won seven of his 10 races this season, taking home titles from the Interstate Classic, Bull Run, Frank Keyser and Don Stoner invitationals before adding to his collection at the MVAL Antietam, Washington County and Maryland Class 2A West championship meets.
“I’m still a little disappointed. I wanted to get at least one course record,” said Hardy, whose many convincing victories were never quite fast enough.
His other three races included a pair of third-place invitational finishes and, much to his disappointment, a second-straight second-place finish at states.
“But I think I learned a lot about getting second place,” Hardy said. “I need to work harder and run harder. There’s plenty of room to improve.”
He ran as many as 80 miles a week over the summer in training. Perhaps now he’ll run even more. If there still are any stones left unturned with his preparation, he likely will find them eventually.
“He’s almost always the last guy out of the weight room,” Buchman said. “He’s religiously detailed about things like stretching, just the small things, the fine points. He gives attention to every last small point, and just the accumulation of that separates him.”
Hardy takes the same approach to the classroom, where he is a straight-A student.
“If you’re given an opportunity, why not work hard?” he said. “If you have to be there, why not work hard and do your best at it?”
If Hardy is anything, though, he’s a team player. The Williamsport boys were a force to be reckoned with this season, and he was their leader.
As disappointed as Hardy was with his state race, he couldn’t have been more pleased with the Wildcats’ second-place team finish — their best result at states in more than three decades. He said that was the highlight of his season.
“We really did our best and put it all on the course,” he said. “I’m just glad to be a part of it, running with a group of guys and finishing out the season on a high note.”
He has two seasons left with Williamsport — indoor track this winter and outdoor track in the spring. As a junior, he swept the Class 1A state titles in the 1,600 and 3,200, both indoors and outdoors. And he hopes to do the same this school year, this time in 2A, now that the Wildcats have moved up in classification.
“It’s not going to be easy in any sense of the word,” Hardy said. “I’ll just work hard and give my best and try to help my team score some points.”
Then he’ll be off to college. He said his No. 1 choice is Virginia Tech.
“I want to run Division I and go to a good engineering school,” he said.
Joining Hardy on the all-county first team are:
Cody Bowman, Williamsport
The junior placed 13th in 2A at states after finishing 12th in 2A West, fifth in the county and 11th in the MVAL Antietam.
Daniel Christiansen, Broadfording
The junior held his own at county invitationals, placing third at the Interstate Classic and seventh at Frank Keyser in the small-school races and sixth at Don Stoner.
Luke Daigneault, Smithsburg
The junior was the Maryland 1A state runner-up and West region champion. He placed second in the county and sixth in the MVAL Antietam.
Bryan Durboraw, South Hagerstown
The junior won the Hagerstown City Championship, placed third in the county, 12th in 3A West and 32nd in 3A at states.
Cody Grams, Williamsport
The junior was fourth in the county, 17th in the MVAL Antietam, 18th in 2A West and 31st in 2A at states.
Mitch Swope, St. Maria Goretti
The junior won the Independent-Parochial School League title and was the runner-up at the Hagerstown City Championships.
ALL-COUNTY SECOND TEAM
Caleb Buchman, Jr., Williamsport
Patrick Jones, So., Goretti
Scott Long, Jr., Williamsport
Drew Merrill, Sr., South Hagerstown
Austin Schetrompf, Jr., Williamsport
Clayton Smith, So., Williamsport
Sean Snyder, So., Boonsboro