second-place Southern Garrett. Smithsburg took third with 78 points, while Boonsboro claimed fourth with 90 points.
“It’s completely amazing,” Jack Franceschina, the group’s only senior, said. “[Two years ago], we got second place but we
got completely blown out of the water by Southern Garrett. Last year, it was just really tragic.”
Laird finished in 16 minutes, 50.18 seconds, ahead of Longeway (17:05.16), Grant Franceschina (17:14.14) and Jack Francechina (17:27.94). The teammates ran alongside one another at the outset of the race, stayed as a pack for the ascent up the large hill known as ‘The Dip,’ and crossed the finish line with mere seconds
Smithsburg’s Will Merritt (15:54.56) took first, while Southern Garrett’s Declan Horner (16:19.89) placed second.
“Going up that last part of the hill, I just knew that I was so close to the finish and it was going to hurt bad but I knew I had to do it because everyone else out there was doing the same thing and hurting just as bad,” Laird said. “We were coming up as a team like that, as a group,
and I just knew I had more in me and I wanted to try to make a push. I ended up just blocking out the pain because it hurt a lot. I kept going until I finished.
“We knew coming into this that Souther Garrett was one of our main competitions because they were coming up on us,” he added. “It [was] definitely nerve-wracking.”