Leopards take close county title

May 14, 1999

All County TrackBy KRISTEN GILLASPY / Staff Correspondent

photo: JOE CROCETTA / staff photographer

CLEAR SPRING - Life is full of close calls, close games, close shaves.

But for Smithsburg and North Hagerstown's girls track teams, Thursday's race for the Washington County championship title was too close for comfort.

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After nine events at Clear Spring High School, about halfway through the meet, Smithsburg led by five-tenths of a point over North Hagerstown. The final result was two teams who dominated the field, both scoring over 200 points each for the first time in meet history. Smithsburg won the championship with 225.5 points, giving it the title for the ninth time in the past ten years. North finished second with 216 points. It was everything everyone expected.

"It's going to be close between North and Smithsburg," North coach Ray Shriver said before the meet. "Our girls are focused and know what they need to do. But I know Buddy (Orndorff, Smithsburg coach) has got his girls ready too."


Being focused didn't seem difficult for North's Kari McCarty, who took three victories.

Or maybe it was. Despite her first place time of 5 minutes, 27.2 seconds in the mile, McCarty wasn't sharp in her first event.

"I wasn't really focused. I just got here from a four hour AP calculus test," she said.

Her test session must have gotten her into accomplishment mode, as she claimed the wins in the 3,200-meter run with a time of 11:40.7, and the 800 in 2:26.4.

To counter those points, Smithsburg's Laura Stouffer placed second in the mile and the 800, and teammate Katie Bauer placed third in the two-mile. North struck back with a second place from Katherine Edmonds in the 3,200 and a third in the 800 by Ellery Hanlin.

Hanlin began her evening by anchoring the 3,200 relay, out-kicking Smithsburg in the last 100 yards.

"She was still 100 yards ahead of me and someone shouted, ' Oh ya, you got her!' I had nothing on my mind but, 'Gotta catch her,'" Hanlin said.

Another key for Smithsburg was a healthy Heather Jenkins, who has been battling a hamstring problem throughout the season. Jenkins won the 400 in 58.7, and the 200 in 26.4.

North's Meagan Verdeyen won the shot put and the discus, breaking her county record (39 feet, 3 1/2 inches) in the shot with a new throw of 42-10.

* On the boys side, Williamsport beat North, 208-168, behind the double victories of J.J. Delinois and Clint Crowell.

Delinois won the long jump (20-1 1/2) and the high jump (5-10), while Crowell took the 100 (11.2) and 200 (22.9).

It was too much for North's Alex McAbee, who pulled off his own double in the mile (4:35.2) and 3,200 (9:52.8).

North lost despite a 1-2 in both distance events as Chris Pereschuk followed his teammate across the line.

"We try to help each other in practice and stuff. But in races, it's every man for himself," said McAbee.

Though North also won the mile and two mile relays, Williamsport racked up the points in the triple jump with Greg King's first place jump of 40-8, Delinois' second place in the triple, and its 400 relay win.

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