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Zuspan's vision is crystal clear

April 17, 1999|By KRIS GILLASPY / Staff Correspondent

SMITHSBURG - Athletes come into a track and field meet with many visions.

Some imagine themselves winning the race.

Some have visions of setting a personal best.

Others just want to finish their race.

Yet there are some that have a steady stream of vision that guides them beyond the finish, beyond the personal record, and right into the next person's place.

Some people claim their own place. They thrive on competition of every kind.

That's the stuff that Boonsboro's Amber Zuspan is made of.

Reflecting on the completion of her 13.1-second 100-meter race Saturday, Zuspan said, "That South girl, I love looking at her back. I seem to see it alot. Hopefully, by the end of the season that will change.''

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That girl is Emily Bonano who won the race in 12.8 at Smithsburg's Second Annual Charas Heurich Invitational. Zuspan, a junior, went on to say, "It's nice to have the competition. If I had to choose between winning all the time and being cocky or being proud of doing my best and losing, I'd choose to lose.''

That's a twist on the competitive spirit.

No matter the outcome of a race, Zuspan walks away with a hunger for more competion. After being beaten by Smithsburg in a neck-and-neck chase for second in the 4x200 relay,

Zuspan responds with, "It was great, though. It was good. I got competition (from) running.''

"She always anchors all of our relays. And she wants to anchor them. She asks to," said Boonsboro coach Bernie Semler. "She's a nice girl, yet when she competes, she really goes after it.''

Zuspan's presence on Boonsboro's team was a surprise this year. In the fall, she transferred from Spotswood, Va., where she also ran track.

"This is probably my best year so far. It's a great team. I get to help a lot of people. I love working with a freshman on our team, Mary Clark," Zuspan said.

Clark is a sprinter, running 13.8 in the 100. She is on the 4x200 and 4x100 relays with Zuspan.

"Well, she's the best. She gives me alot of encouragement and competition," Clark said of Zuspan. Clark and Zuspan push each other in practices.

Zuspan also competed in the long jump Saturday. She was third, with a jump of 15 feet, 8 inches. But you can bet she's got her eye on North Hagerstown's Meagan Verdeyen, who placed third with 15-8 3/4.

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