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Smithsburg girls finish first in track

May 28, 2002|BY DAN KAUFFMAN

kauffman@herald-mail.com

CATONSVILLE, Md. - When Smithsburg's girls track team needed a hero Saturday at the Maryland track championships, the Leopards didn't find one.

They found several.

Michelle Feiser won the 100-meter hurdles and the 300-meter hurdles. And while Laura Stouffer, Corina Campbell and Jessica Yu didn't find individual gold, their contributions left Smithsburg golden once again as the Maryland Class 1A champions at University of Maryland-Baltimore County.

Four other Washington County athletes won individual state championships in Saturday's competition.

Smithsburg won the 1A girls title for the seventh consecutive year, the longest active streak and second all-time streak behind Central's 12 straight team titles from 1981-92. The Leopards scored 104 points to hold off Poolesville, which finished with 91 points after winning four events Saturday.

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"You talk about a team win," Leopards coach Buddy Orndorff said. "It had to be a team effort to beat Poolesville. ... I know how good Poolesville is. All I can say is 'wow.' "

Feiser - looked to by the Leopards for first in both the 100-meter hurdles and 300-meter hurdles - handled the pressure and got both golds, winning the 100-meter in 15.90 seconds and the 300 in 46.70.

"At states, there's always pressure," said Feiser, who also won the 100-meter hurdles last year. "There's teams right behind us, and you have to do the best you can."

"All those years Michelle sacrificed and gave up individual titles for the team; for her to still help the team as usual and get her two titles is great for her," Orndorff said.

Stouffer, a senior who won the 1,600-meter run last year, ran a personal best 5 minutes, 18.64 seconds this year for second, then gutted out a much-needed second in the 800-meter run in 2:23.45, giving the Leopards 16 huge points.

Teams get 10 points for first place, eight for second, six for third, four for fourth, two for fifth and one for sixth.

"Now that I'm done and I can look back on what I've done, it's an adrenaline rush," Stouffer said. "Everybody has done their best."

"What a leader," Orndorff said. "She's been doing that for us forever. She knew what she had to do and she did what she was supposed to."

Campbell finished third in the 100-meter hurdles and fourth in the 300-meter hurdles, giving Smithsburg 30 points in the two events.

"I think as a team we have (met our goals)," Campbell said.

Yu finished third in the last event of the competition - the high jump - with a leap of 6 feet, 2 inches, the first time she has cleared 6 feet. Her six points were the icing that topped Smithsburg's victory.

"I didn't feel the bar at all," Yu, a sophomore, said of her 6-2 leap. "I looked up and the bar was still there."

And the Leopards were still champions.

"Isn't that just neat?" Orndorff said. "It comes down to the high jump; we're seven (points) up, Jessie gives us that insurance and went ballistic."

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