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Verdeyen nails down a pair at state track meet

May 24, 1998|By RON SOMERS / Herald-Mail Sports Editor

CATONSVILLE, Md. - Meagan Verdeyen's victory in the shot put at the state track and field championships Saturday was a nail-biter.

--cont. from front page--

Not in the traditional sense of the expression. It was hardly tense at all. The North Hagerstown High junior won the Class 2A event with a throw of 39 feet, 8 1/2 inches, 1 foot and 5 inches better than runner-up and teammate Nicole Ruby.

North assistant coach Glenn Cross, who works with the shot-putters, put a different spin on the expression. He glanced at Verdeyen, sensed her intensity and said, "She could bite through a nail right now. Look at the competitor she is.''

The shot victory gave her two state titles in two days. She won the 2A discus on Friday with a throw of 131-5.

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Cross went on and on about Verdeyen's ability and work ethic. So did North head coach Ray Shriver.

"She's real determined," Shriver said as he urged her to "bust one'' on her final throw. "She's a good technician, and she can focus everything into that 30 seconds that it takes to do well.''

Verdeyen was not nearly as effusive as her coaches.

"It was a good way to end the season,'' she said, forcing a smile onto a face that still bore the intense look of competition.

Verdeyen's twin wins helped North finish fifth with 43 points among 28 teams in the girls 2A division. Middletown was fourth with 52 points behind the efforts of pole vaulter Natalie Dye, who won with a leap of 10-0, and Randy Buzzell's first in the 1,600 meters (5:08.16), second in the 3,200 (11:19.46) and third in the 800 (2:22.04).

The Smithsburg girls won the 1A state championship, scoring 74 points to 67 for runner-up Oakland Mills. South Hagerstown's girls made a strong 1A showing, taking third with 51 points.

South's boys took seventh in 1A, and Middletown's boys took third in 2A, while North's boys placed 10th in 2A.

Erica McCann and Emilie Bonano sparked the South girls. McCann won the 100 hurdles in 15.78, getting off to a quick start and leading all the way.

"I've waited four years for this,'' she said, before adding a second in the 300 hurdles in 47.35.

Bonano took fourth in the 100 in 13.17 and third in the 200 in 26.66.

McCann and Bonano teamed with Julie O'Rourke and Tiffany Burns to win the 400 relay in 51.37.

The area produced several other state championships.

Boonsboro's Ginger Robertson won the 2A high jump with a leap of 5-3, and Williamsport's Ryan Mease won the 1A 800 in 2:05.80.

Clear Spring's Tim Mason, who won the 1A 3,200 on Friday, was upset in the 1,600 Saturday, falling to Wes Heistand of Col. Richardson. Heistand clocked 4:32.75 to 4:33.54 for Mason.

South's Matt Peters picked up a second in the 1A discus with a toss of 148-6.

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