2017-08-16 / Sports

State Cross Country Champion Lenny Hovermale enters

BSHS Athletic Hall of Fame
by Jamie Harris

One of the most decorated male athletes in Berkeley Springs athletics history has rightfully taken his place in the Berkeley Springs High School Athletic Hall of Fame. Lenny Hovermale (formerly Roach) who was the 2008 State Cross Country Champion in WV Class AA along with a state runner up finish in 2007 and a sixth place finish in 2006 and 13 all state finishes in track which gave him 16 all state place honors will join the Class of 2017.

Hovermale burst onto the running scene his sophomore year in 2006 for the Berkeley Springs High School Cross Country Team under the guidance of Coach John Rowland. Hovermale who was a standout football player his freshman year gave up the gridiron for the open cross country courses and the track and the switch paid off with huge dividends.

As a freshman Hovermale captured his first two state medals as part of the Indians 4x800 meter relay team’s state runner up finish and the 4x400 meter relay’s sixth place finish in 2006.

As a sophomore, Hovermale finished in sixth place at the Class AA WV State Cross Country Championships. In the spring of 2007, Hovermale captured all-state honors at the WV Class AA State Track & Field Championships with a fifth place finish in the 800 meters and second place finishes in the 1600 and 3200 meters.

Entering the fall of 2007 cross country season Hovermale turned in an outstanding performance with a solid second place finish at the WV Class AA State Cross Country Championships. That loss led to his eventual success the following fall. Again in the spring of 2008, Hovermale racked up some state medals with a third place finish in the 800 meters and second place finish in the 1600 and a third place finish in the 3200 meters. Hovermale added another state medal with a fifth place finish with the Indians 4x800 meter relay team.

The fall of 2008 was a season to remember as Hovermale a senior entered the cross country season as the #1 ranked runner in Class AA. With a bullseye target on his back he lived up to the hype as he continued to win meets throughout the fall. Entering the WV Class AA State Cross Country Championships Hovermale was the odds on favorite to finally capture the elusive individual state championship. On top of that, Hovermale and his Tribe teammates were actually favored to knock off eight time defending state team champion Ravenswood.

Hovermale did not disappoint as he jumped out to an early lead and from there never looked back as he cruised to a 32 second victory.

Recap of the run

At the first 0.7 miles into the race Hovermale held a small lead over Pike View’s Brent Roark and Webster’s Skyler McCoy. At the one mile mark Hovermale had edged his lead to a four second cushion. About 1.4 miles in Hovermale had opened up a much more comfortable lead.

Two miles in Hovermale was out in front of Ronald Read (Weir) by 19 seconds. As the final mile dwindled and as the runners entered into the track area Hovermale owned the day as he had put the field away and crossed the finish line at 16:15 capturing Berkeley Springs High School Boys Cross Country Team’s second individual state championship.

As a team the Indians could not stop the Ravenswood dynasty from capturing their ninth straight Class AA WV State Cross Country Team Championship. The Tribe had to settle for a second place finish losing to Ravenswood by only four points.

Later that spring, Hovermale closed his high school running career with four more all state medals at the WV Class AA State Track & Field Championships. Hovermale finished fifth in the 1600 meters, fourth in the 3200 meters, sixth in the 4x400 meter relay and a fourth place finish in the 4x800 meter relay team.

Hovermale had left a mark on the Berkeley Springs track records as he broke and held the school records in the 800, 1600 and 3200 meters. This past spring Hovermale's records were broken by Steven Shetler (800 meters) and Matt Chapman (1600 & 3200 meters).

Upon graduating from Berkeley Springs High School Hovermale attended Alderson Broaddus College on a full ride where he ran cross country and track and earned All-Conference honors. Hovermale graduated Alderson Broaddus with a B.S. in Math. From there Hovermale got his Geographic Information System (GIS) certification from Slippery Rock University. Hovermale is currently employed at The Thrasher Group in Clarksburg as an Environmental Technician.

“It is a great honor receiving this award with people who have inspired me such as Shaun Spielman and Coach John Rowland,” stated Hovermale .

Berkeley Springs High School and the Athletic Hall of Fame welcomes Lenny Hovermale to the Class of 2017.

The Berkeley Springs High School Athletic Hall of Fame will have their induction ceremony on Saturday, September 9 at 5:30 p.m. at the high school auditorium. On Friday, September 8 the Class of 2017 Hall of Fame members will be introduced at half time of the BSHS Indians and Francis Scott Key football game around 7:45 p.m.

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