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Area track athletes bring home state titles

February 23, 2000|By DAN KAUFFMAN

BALTIMORE - South Hagerstown senior Emilie Bonano came to the Baltimore Armory on Wednesday hoping to finish her high school career with a state championship.

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By the time she left, Bonano had two.

Bonano claimed the girls 300-meter title in 43 seconds to edge out Oakland Mills' Shade Smith.

Bonano earned her second title of the event by beating Smith by a head in the 55-meter dash finals in one of the closest races.

Two other individuals won state titles at the Maryland Class 1A/2A championships. Boonsboro's Jenn Frey won the girls high jump with a leap of 5 feet, 4 inches, while Williamsport's Sarah McDonald broke the state record in the pole vault with an effort of 10 feet, 7 inches.

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Williamsport's boys 3,200 relay team also won a state title.

"I'm just very happy," an exuberant Bonano said after winning the 55-meter dash. "The 300, I was ranked first, but the 55, I was ranked third. I knew the other girls were fast ... I just went for it."

In her previous state meets, Bonano finished second in the 300 meter her sophomore year and placed third in the 55 meter last year. Bonano said she learned from those experiences.

"I've run here four years now, so I'm used to it," Bonano said. "I know what to expect."

Bonano's win in the 55-meter dash came at the end of an indoor track season in which she lost both the MVAL and West Region races to Francis Scott Key's Jackie Kram. But at the biggest meet, Bonano wasn't to be denied.

"It's my last state meet," Bonano said. "I made it worthwhile."

Frey gave credit for her state title to a higher power.

"I spent a lot of time praying to God about it," Frey said about her trip to states. "He helped me to soar like the eagles."

The title comes at the end of a year in which Frey broke the school record with a leap of 5-5 at the regional meet.

Frey overcame both her opponents and a psychological battle with the Armory floor, which is slippery.

"I was a little nervous because of the floor," Frey said.

The Williamsport boys 3200 relay team of Nick Sapp, Nathan Buchman, Chris Jackson and Ryan Mease won in 8:35.3.

Buchman broke free from the pack in the second leg for about a 15-meter lead, and Jackson held on to the lead most of the way through the third leg, giving Mease a chance to win it at the end.

Mease fell back slightly through his first three laps, but had something at the end and surged forward through the final lap for the victory.

"Chris did a great job finishing the third leg strong," Williamsport coach Andy Ulmer said. "Ryan pushed (his leg) early, and Oakland Mills had to stay with him. It was a good fight."

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