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County has four champions

May 24, 2002|BY DAN KAUFFMAN

kauffman@herald-mail.com

Smithsburg's Tara Knable wanted a Maryland Class 1A girls state title in the discus. The Leopards needed it.

Knable delivered for both herself and her team Thursday evening, throwing 114 feet, 5 inches to win the event and, along with teammate Detra Mackey's third-place finish, giving Smithsburg much-needed help in a tight team race with Poolesville and Rising Sun.

"We needed to get two (places) in the top three," Knable said. "That's what we were expected to do, and that's what we did."

Facing a challenge from Lisa Lee of Bohemia Manor, Knable made the winning throw on her second attempt.

"I knew that girl was going to come after me, so I was nervous," Knable said. "I settled down and did what I had to do."

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Three other county athletes did what they had to do to win state titles Thursday.

n Smithsburg's Corey Brown soared to a personal-best 6 feet, 6 inches to win the 1A boys high jump title.

"First time I ever did it," Brown said. "It surprised me, too. I hit the bar really hard, and it was shaking."

It shook, but it stayed up, allowing Brown to beat Havre De Grace's Richard Simpson.

"The last two years, I was ranked first and got beat by someone else," Brown said. "I've never had an individual gold, and it hasn't sunk in yet."

n Boonsboro's Brett Morrell started off his quest for three state titles on the right foot, leaping 22 feet, 4 3/4 inches to easily win the 1A boys long jump.

"Corey, he's been competing with me all year, and it's not like I've been head or shoulders above him," Morrell said about Brown, who finished third. "I just had to compete."

Morrell will look for two more titles, in the 110-meter hurdles and the 300 hurdles, on Saturday.

n Boonsboro senior Todd Bowman - at times a forgotten man in the throwing events - turned the snub into success and won the 1A boys shot put with a distance of 49 feet, 8 1/4 inches, edging South Hagerstown sophomore and top-seed James Price by 3 1/4 inches.

"In the paper, it said (Williamsport's Ryan) Martin was a shoo-in in the discus and Price in the shot," Bowman said. "It was (motivation). I knew I could get it."

Bowman hit his winning mark on his second of three attempts in the finals, then waited as Price couldn't pass the mark on his final attempt.

"I had a (51-foot) warmup, so I felt comfortable and I was relaxed," Bowman said. "I knew I was up, I just had to wait for it. I was a little nervous, but I figured what happens, happens."

"He wanted it more than I did," Price said. "He's a senior, it's his last throw, and he surprised us all."

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