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Area gears for state track meet Monday

February 18, 2002

Area gears for state track meet Monday



By DAN KAUFFMAN
kauffman@herald-mail.com

Area Qualifiers

Boys

Boonsboro - Todd Bowman, shot put; Brett Morrell, 55 hurdles; Chris Robertson, pole vault; Dan Robinson, 55 hurdles, high jump; Troy Webb, 55 dash; 800 relay.

Brunswick - Mike Aaron, 55 hurdles, 800; Tom Czeh, pole vault.

Clear Spring - Ryan Davis, 3,200.

Middletown - David Chesney, pole vault; Mark Gouker, high jump, pole vault; Justin Myers, 1,600, 3,200; Terry Palmer, shot put; Jamison Parker, 3,200; Ryan Waldt, 500; Faycal Zaanoun, 800, 1,600; 1,600 relay; 3,200 relay.

North Hagerstown - Nick Reid, high jump.

Smithsburg - Adam Dick, 300; Miguel Forero, 55 dash, 300; Pat Haupt, high jump; Steve Kurz, 1,600; Dave McDougal, high jump; Ben Neumann, 55 hurdles; Dustin Sier, 55 dash; 800 relay; 1,600 relay; 3,200 relay.

South Hagerstown - 800 relay.

Walkersville - Eric Crawford, 300; Christopher Weddle, shot put.

Williamsport - Mike Barnes, 800; Mike Bond, 300; Phil Taylor, 500; 800 relay; 1,600 relay; 3,200 relay.

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Girls

Boonsboro - Sarah Hensley, 55 hurdles; Brittany Strite, 3,200;

Brunswick - Liz McCallum, 300; Erin Murphy, pole vault; 800 relay.

Clear Spring - Lindsay Banister, 3,200; Kim Wandover, shot put; Erin Weller, high jump; Ashley Lockard, 1,600;

Middletown - Allison Jarkey, pole vault; Lena Kotani, pole vault; Rocky Morgan, 1,600, 3,200; Erica Young, 55 hurdles, 300; 800 relay; 3,200 relay.

North Hagerstown - Sharnay Burnett, shot put; Stephanie Kurtz, 3,200; Jessica Hanlin, 1,600, 3,200; Paige O'Flaherty, 55 hurdles, high jump; Kaylynn Shoop, pole vault.

Smithsburg - Carrie Hartman, 500; Laura Stouffer, 800, 1,600; Kyley Thompson, 55 dash; 1,600 relay; 3,200 relay.

Walkersville - K.T. Hessler, high jump; Shanita Lyles, high jump; Sylvia Torres, 3,200;

Williamsport - Brittany Kershner, 500; Lexi Paza, pole vault; 1,600 relay.



Smithsburg sprinter Miguel Forero has a long-awaited 55-meter state title in his sights.

Boonsboro's Brett Morrell and Dan Robinson may find their toughest battle in one another in the 55 hurdles.

continued

And Middletown's boys have a chance to win the Class 1A/2A team title today in the MPSSAA Indoor Track Championships at the Prince George's Sports and Learning Complex.

There are literally a dozen area storylines going into today's meets - the 2A/3A championships will also be held - as 53 area individuals and 16 relay teams head to states. Events are scheduled to begin at 11 a.m.

The Knights won the 1A/2A West Region boys team title convincingly and has a chance going in.

Everyone knows about Middletown's traditionally-strong distance corps, featuring Justin Myers, Faycal Zaanoun and sensational freshman Jamison Parker. But Mark Gouker's performances in the high jump and pole vault, and Middletown's 1,600- and 3,200 relay teams, could go a long way in determining where the Knights finish.

Forero will find himself smack in the middle of what promises to be one of the most competitive events at states - the 1A/2A boys 55 dash. There are a half-dozen athletes, including the typical Oakland Mills stable, with a legitimate shot at the title.

"I know what I can do ... I know what I'm capable of," Forero said following regions. "I know if I do my best, I'm capable of running in the top five."

Forero, who will also run in the 300 and hasn't lost in either event in area competition, insists he's not letting success get to his head.

"I'm not the kind of guy who's unbeatable," Forero said. "I know people can beat me. I'll do my best, and if I win, I win, if I lose, I lose."

Morrell and Robinson finished second and third at states in the 110 high hurdles outdoors in 2001 - a race Morrell would have won had he not stumbled over the second-to-last hurdle. That stumble is a nagging memory.

"It would have been different if I had just lost the race (cleanly)," Morrell said. "I knew I could have won it, and I just made a mistake."

This season, Robinson has been right on Morrell's heels - he lost to Morrell by inches at regions, and has improved by leaps and ... well, more leaps.

"He didn't really have the form last year, just the feel," Morrell said of Robinson. "He's become a real hurdler now.

"I'm fighting for my own spot now, instead of him just fighting for number two."

Other area athletes to watch are Boonsboro's Todd Bowman in the shot put, Walkersville's Eric Crawford in the 800 and North Hagerstown's Nick Reid in the 2A/3A high jump. All of them won regional titles.

Smithsburg's 800 relay has an outside shot at a title, but will have to battle Oakland Mills. The Leopards and Williamsport are both teams to watch in the 1,600 relay.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> The girls side is marked by three area athletes who will have their hands full in quests for individual titles.

Middletown's Rocky Morgan is the best bet of the three. She won the 1A/2A West 1,600 title and finished second in the 3,200. In both races, she battled Poolesville's Janelle Thompson. She'll have to do the same at states.

North's Jessica Hanlin finished second in 2A/3A West in both the 1,600 and 3,200, but was behind the winner by more than 10 seconds in both. Something to keep in mind: Last year outdoors, she shaved an amazing 38 seconds off her personal best in the 3,200 in one race.

Smithsburg's Laura Stouffer has been somewhat overshadowed this indoor season, but she's an experienced runner with that little thing coaches call "guts". Overlooking her in the 800 or 1,600 would be a mistake.

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