Track Notebook - Youth no disadvantage for Boonsboro's Morrell

May 11, 2001

Track Notebook - Youth no disadvantage for Boonsboro's Morrell

Of all the numbers Boonsboro's Brett Morrell posted in winning three events at the Monocacy Valley Athletic League championships last Friday - 14.9 seconds in the 110-meter high hurdles, 39.5 seconds in the 300 hurdles and 21 feet, 2 1/2 inches in the long jump - his most staggering number is 10.

Morrell is only a sophomore, a fact often lost in his performances.

"He's probably one of the best all-around athletes in the states," Warriors coach Jason Orendi said. "He's naturally physically fit, and he's very mature for a sophomore ... and that's a scary thing."

Morrell arrived on the scene as a freshman last year, finishing second in both hurdles events and fourth in the long jump at the 2000 MVAL meet.

But a training accident prior to regionals left Morrell with a broken elbow, cutting short his season while making him hungry for this season.


This year's MVAL meet was a proving ground for Morrell. He was expected to win the hurdles and did so easily, beating Middletown's Greg McCormick by six-tenths of a second in the 110 high hurdles and Williamsport's Mike Bond by 2.8 seconds in the 300 hurdles.

"I'm very confident this year, especially in the hurdles," Morrell said. "I'm getting better every week. My goal (at states) is two gold medals in hurdles."

However, Morrell's breaking of the 21-foot barrier in the long jump - turning back McCormick again - was a surprise.

"It was a personal best, but I've been consistently over 20 (feet)," Morrell said. "With McCormick out there, he put up a 20-7, and I wanted to beat him."

"He's done it before in practice ... his goal is 21, and he got 21," Orendi said.

Tierney hurdles new event

It's instantaneous. At the mention of Maggie Tierney, the hurdles come to mind thanks to the Boonsboro senior's long-standing rivalry with Smithsburg's Beth Sprecher.

Tierney has only gotten better in the hurdles, setting an MVAL meet record by clocking 45.2 in the 300 hurdles last week.

But she may be even better in a race with no hurdles at all - the 400.

"It all started indoors when she got tired of hitting hurdles," Orendi said. "She needed to get more physically fit."

So in the early stages of the outdoor season, Tierney ran in the 100 and 400. She switched back to the hurdles events in the last two weeks and has discontinued the 100, but her times in the 400 have sparkled.

Finally, on Smithsburg's fast track at MVALs, Tierney broke the 1 minute barrier with a time of 59.5.

"We always knew she could do it," Orendi said. "It was just a matter of what she could do in it. ... She's finally focusing away from the hurdles."

Tierney's strong showing in the 400 - she blew away the field by almost two seconds - left her as a serious contender for her first gold medal at states.

"Oh my gosh, I want it," Tierney said. "I need a gold."

There's a strong possibility that Tierney could finish in the top three in three events at states - the 100 and 300 hurdles and the 400.

"If I finish in the top three (in all those), I've had a successful season," Tierney said.

200 reasons to smile

Brunswick takes its track success 200 meters at a time.

The Railroaders finished fifth in both the boys and girls team standings at MVALs, but no other team got a sniff at victory in the 200.

Elizabeth McCallum edged out South Hagerstown's Melissa Wynn by one-tenth of a second in the girls race, before Brandon Dykes turned back the challenge of Boonsboro's Troy Webb in 22.2, an MVAL meet record.

Taking it one step further, Brunswick also won both the boys and girls 800 relays by more than one second. The girls beat Williamsport in 1:47.9, while the boys beat Francis Scott Key in 1:32.6.

Records are meant to be ...

The MVAL meet girls 3,200 relay record of 10:10.1, set by North Carroll in 1986, had stood for 15 years until not one, not two, but three schools shattered the mark last Friday.

Middletown holds the current mark after clocking 9:51.9, while North (9:52.7) and Smithsburg (9:59.0) also broke 10 minutes. The three schools hold the area's second, third and fourth best times in the event.

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