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Indoor track notes - Season now in full swing

January 11, 2001

Indoor track notes - Season now in full swing



Officially, the indoor track season has been underway for a little over a month now. But while developmental meets serve a purpose, the Monocacy Valley Athletic League meet at Hagerstown Community College last Saturday kicked off the real season.

Needless to say, there was more than one storyline. Several individuals stepped into the spotlight - a few who have been there before, and a few who found it a whole new experience.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> North Hagerstown's Steve Heagy isn't even considered the best of the Hubs' long distance runners - teammate Erik Lenhart wears that crown.

But in the boys 1,600, Heagy was the top dog after chasing down Middletown's Matt Harrell in the final lap, finishing in 4:44.

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"I was a little surprised," Heagy said. "I felt a little bad in the last lap, and I tried to use guts to get around him."

Heagy's goal entering the race was simple - try to keep in contact with Harrell with the chance of outkicking him in the end.

"He was going really fast and was starting to pull away," Heagy said. "I wasn't sure I was going to catch him."

But he did, and that's what matters.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> Boonsboro hurdler Brett Morrell was on his way to big things last year as a freshman - until a training accident left him with an injured arm and hand and took him out of the major outdoor meets.

The injury now in the rearview mirror, Morrell made the rest of the field in the boys 55 hurdles appear smaller, bursting out of the blocks and holding the lead across the finish line in 7.7 seconds.

"It's a great way to start off the big meets of the year," Morrell said. "We haven't been able to use blocks in the first couple of meets, and using them made a big difference."

Morrell was on track for a state meet appearance last spring in outdoor track, and the only thing that will make Morrell happy is a spot in the state indoor track meet in late February.

"That's really the only goal I have, to do well in states and hopefully win them," Morrell said.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> Middletown's Randy Buzzell has long been recognized as an outstanding middle and long distance runner - she was The Herald-Mail girls cross country runner of the year in 2000, and she holds MVAL records in the 800- and 1,600-meter runs, also set last year.

But the senior struggled at the end of 2000. Despite finishing fourth in Maryland Class 2A girls cross country race, Buzzell was clearly not at full strength.

But she regained at least a measure of confidence on Saturday, cruising to a win in the girls 1,600 in 5 minutes, 22 seconds - 16 seconds slower than her record time from last year, but still a performance she felt good about.

"It's a good starting point, a good place to take off from," Buzzell said. "I wanted to look good in the first meet and get some confidence, but this is definitely a starting point."

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> It's not that Paul Dorsey is a forgotten man on the Knights' track team. He gets noticed - it's just that with a program as strong as Middletown's, so does everyone else.

Not that Dorsey minds the lack of attention. He's perfectly content to do his part and watch from the shadows as long as the Knights keep winning.

"We're expected to win the MVAL," he said. "We're all looking to states, and this is a step along the way."

Personally, Dorsey took a big step at the meet, winning the 300 (37.8 seconds), the 500 (1:11.0) and the 800 (2:08.1) all in one evening.

"The 300 (win) I didn't expect, but the 500 and 800 I felt pretty confident about," Dorsey said. "This is probably the last time I run the 300."

Not necessarily. Boyer was more than happy with Dorsey's 300 time, saying that with a quicker start, he could be running in the low 37-second range. That might be enough to encourage Boyer to encourage Dorsey to run the 300 a few more times.

If it helps the team, Dorsey won't mind the extra work one bit. The ironic thing is, it may also get him a little more attention.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> South Hagerstown's Melissa Wynn was glad for the chance to show her talent in the 55-meter dash after running behind Emilie Bonano the last three years. Boonsboro's Troy Webb just wanted to finish in his typical, wild style.

Missions accomplished.

Wynn held off the challenge of Williamsport's Nicki Witman in 7.3 seconds, while Webb exploded in the last 15 meters to clock an MVAL record 6.4.

Wynn, a senior, finally has her chance to shine for South, as Bonano - a four-time state champion last year - graduated.

"I knew I could accomplish it (an MVAL victory), and with her gone, it makes me want to accomplish it more," Wynn said.

Webb used his late burst to win by three-tenths of a second - a huge margin of victory in such a short sprint.

"That was the key," Webb said. "That's what I needed, that explosion."

This week's notebook was compiled by staff writer Dan Kauffman.

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