Morrell is good for three

May 28, 2002|BY DAN KAUFFMAN

CATONSVILLE, Md. - Boonsboro junior Brett Morrell accomplished what he wanted to all along at the Md. track championships on Saturday. He just had to wait a year to do it.

Morrell finished the state track meet with three golds, winning the 110 hurdles and putting the ghosts of last year's close second behind him, before edging out Smithsburg senior Ben Neumann in a 1A record time of 39.17 in the 300 hurdles at University of Maryland-Baltimore County.

Morrell won the long jump on Thursday, giving him five state titles the past two years.

"I've been waiting for this for two years," Morrell said of his three gold medals. "I thought it was my year last year, but it's not bad waiting a year if you get it."


Morrell had a step on Neumann coming out of the turn in the 300 hurdles and held onto the lead through the final stretch to break the old mark of 39.21 set by Stephen Decatur's Pete Duncan in 1978.

"If it weren't for Ben, I wouldn't be running the times I've been running," Morrell said.

"I think being in the same county, we're privileged to run against each other," Neumann said. He added he had no disappointment in his second-place finish. "My first motivation is to run for God, that's more important than first or second. I wanted to come off the track, no matter the outcome, pleased with the race. If I gave it all I have, I'd be satisfied."

n Morrell's teammate, junior Sarah Harris, repeated as the 1A girls high jump champion, clearing 5 feet, 2 inches.

Harris was one of three competitors to clear the height, along with Smithsburg's Jessica Yu and Rising Sun's Meghan Walsh. Because Harris cleared 5-2 on her first attempt, while Walsh did it on her second and Yu her third, Harris won.

"(Clearing) 5-4 would have definitely been more relaxing for me," Harris said. "The first time for me, I thought it would stay up, and the third time for Rising Sun, I thought for sure it would stay up."

But the bar fell, giving Harris the title.

"I'm very, very happy," Harris said.

n South Hagerstown senior Melissa Wynn finally got the gold she's always wanted, winning the 100 in 12.85 and turning back the challenge of Century's Stephanie Dickerson by .08.

"I had a bad start out of the blocks, but I always knew I was going to win it," Wynn, who also finished second in the 200 in 26.20, said. "I just had to catch that Century girl.

"I really wanted the 100, I got it and I'm happy. I accomplished my goal, and it feels good."

n Williamsport junior Ryan Martin did as expected, successfully defending his 1A boys discus title with a throw of 160 feet even as the top seed.

"There's still some nerves involved," Martin said of his heavy favorite status. "Anything can happen at these meets. You've got to take it like you're the last seed. ... People (set personal bests) by a lot at state meets, so you still have to act like there's somebody on your tail."

Martin put distance between himself and his challengers, making the winning throw on his second of six attempts. He'll have a chance for a three-peat next year as a senior.

"We'll see what God has planned," Martin said. "What God decides is what will happen."

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