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Cougar girls cruise to indoor track title

February 08, 1997

By KEVIN SPRADLIN

Staff Correspondent

Middletown coach Rusty Moore couldn't have predicted the meet to be closer. Not much closer, anyway.

"I thought it was going to be one point, one way or another," Moore said. "It ended up being a tie."

Thanks in part to a rule clarification after the conclusion of the Region 2A-1A West indoor track championships, a half-point swing left the Knights and Fort Hill tied with 72 points each for the boys' region title. Catoctin easily won the girls' title with 104 points, outdistancing Smithsburg (61), Middletown (60) and Urbana (49).

It seemed as if Fort Hill had won after the 800-meter run, in which the Sentinels' Bobby High raced to a second-place finish. It gave Fort Hill a double-digit lead heading into the final event, the 1,600-meter relay. Middletown earned 10 points by winning the relay (3:42.1), and the Sentinels got two points for a fifth-place finish.

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Nick Covati won the 300-meter run in 37.9 seconds for the Knights. John Normoyle took second in the 1,600 (4:40.7) and Marty Hamilton did the same in the 3,200 (10:24.8).

Fort Hill had only 13 competing male athletes, but made the most of it. High led the Sentinels' charge by winning the 1,600 (4:38) and placing second in the 800 (2:04.3). High also anchored the fifth-place 1,600-meter relay team that eventually clinched the tie.

"Bobby probably had the best night of his life," Fort Hill coach Charlie Albright said. "He had super races, one after another."

Kathy Messner was a quadruple-winner for the Cougars, claiming regional championships in the 55 (7.3), 300 (41.6), 500 (1:25.6) and high jump (5-foot-6). Liz Lowrie won the 800, 1,600 and 3,200 for fourth-place Urbana.

Smithsburg's Randy Hoffman won the 55 (6.5), was second in the 300 (38.2), fourth in the pole vault (11-6) and anchored the Leopards' second-place 800-meter relay team (1:37.0). Tim Mason, of Clear Spring, won the 3,200 in 10:18 and Boonsboro's Ryan Suter won the shot put with a throw of 46-8.

For the girls, South Hagerstown's Erica McCann won the 55 hurdles in 8.8 seconds and Smithsburg's girls won the 800- and 1,600-meter relays.

The Smithsburg boys finished third with 66 points. Boonsboro was fourth with 62.

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