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Leopards double the 1A West field

May 20, 2002|BY DAN KULIN /Staff Writer

kauffman@herald-mail.com

WILLIAMSPORT - They're the Zonis champions, Monocacy Valley Athletic League queens, Washington County titleists and, as of Friday night, the Class 1A West girls champs.

All that's left for Smithsburg to achieve is the goal the Leopards had all along - a seventh straight state championship.

Smithsburg rolled out of its weapons - from seniors Laura Stouffer, Carrie Hartman and Michelle Feiser, to underclassmen Corina Campbell and Samantha Schweinhart and, for good measure, star throwers Tara Knable and Detra Mackey - and rolled past everyone in the team race, scoring a mind-boggling 181 points and topping second-place Williamsport by 90.

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Next up for Smithsburg? The state championships and a long-anticipated showdown against indoor champion Poolesville, beginning Thursday at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County.

"We've really become close this year," Stouffer, the team leader of the Leopards who has already been on three state champion teams, said. "There's a lot more seniors, we're all really close and we've brought the underclassmen with us.

"It's a lot of pride," Stouffer said about wearing the Smithsburg uniform. But showing a humble side, she added, "It's not really in my head. I know anybody can beat us."

No one has knocked off the Leopards thus far, and no one came close Friday night.

Stouffer won the 800- 1,600-meter runs, Campbell and Feiser went 1-2 in the 100 hurdles and switched places in the 300 hurdles, Knable and Mackey went 1-2 in the discus and shot put, Schweinhart pulled off a surprise victory in the pole vault and Hartman finished second in the 400, third in the 800 and anchored the 1,600 relay team to third and the 3,200 relay team to second as Smithsburg showed off its balance against an overmatched field.

"I think it's senior leadership," Leopards assistant coach Ray Shriver said. "Our seniors are not a bunch of rah-rahs. They're not afraid to take the younger ones to the side and straighten them out, and the younger ones respond to that ... and they know they can contribute.

"I've seen the potential grow in some of these kids," Shriver, who coached many of them indoors, added. "We knew they had the talent. The credit goes to the seniors, because they led the way."

Melissa Wynn (100, 200) won twice for South Hagerstown, while Brittany Kershner (400, triple jump) won twice for Williamsport.

n Not to be outdone, Smithsburg's boys won a region title of its own, getting the best of Boonsboro, 128-115 1/2, and avenging a loss to the Warriors in the county meet.

"They're so close, whoever clicks or who gets the breaks ends up winning," Leopards coach Buddy Orndorff said.

Dustin Sier (100, 200) and Corey Brown (high jump, triple jump) won twice for Smithsburg. Brett Morrell (300 hurdles, long jump) won twice for Boonsboro, breaking the 22-foot mark in the long jump in 22-3 1/2.

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