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Wildcats' Troxell gets off to flying start

April 11, 2003|by ANDREW MASON

andrewm@herald-mail.com

Williamsport's Rhet Troxell isn't wasting much time this season - not on the calendar or stop watch.

In a dual meet with North Hagerstown on April 2, Troxell won the 800-meter run in a stunning and area-leading 1:57.8 - a personal best by nearly five seconds and, more notably, a school record by almost a full second.

The previous mark of 1:58.6 was set by Barry Brown in 1981.

"Rhet ran an outstanding race that day," said Wildcats coach John Bailey. "And Barry just happened to be there to congratulate him because his son runs for North. It was nice. It wasn't meant to be that way, but it was an interesting sidebar."

With a time that would have placed him second in last year's Class 1A state meet already under his belt, the Wildcats junior said he's ready to raise the bar.

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"I'm definitely going for the state title. It's definitely a goal for our 4x8 as well," said Troxell, who ran the leadoff leg of Williamsport's state champion 3,200 relay team indoors this winter. "We want to do everything we can to get there."

They're off to good start.

Aaron Buchman, who anchored the indoor title run, is currently topping the area's 1,600 charts at 4:35.8, while Mike Barnes and Matt Rouse, the other legs, are also standing out individually - as their relay team has remained unbeaten. Devin Hewitt, a state silver medalist in wrestling for the 'Cats last month, who could also find his way into the mix.

The state championships are still more than a month away, but Williamsport's distance coach may have a crystal ball.

"A lot of the credit goes to Taylor Oliver. He's like a prophet," said Troxell. "Stuff he says ... we have a hard time believing that we can do it. And then it happens."

Time will tell the rest.

*The Wildcats aren't the only ones who've been standing out early in the season.

Middletown's Boris Roslov has practically been jumping out of stadiums. He's already cleared 6 feet, 5 inches in the high jump and is tied with Boonsboro's defending 1A state long jump champ, Brett Morrell, at the top of the area long jump standings at 20-10 1/2.

Morrell, who's also the two-time defending state champ in the 300 hurdles, is - no surprise - leading the 300s (40.6) and 400 (51.0). ... Smithsburg's Dustin Sier has dashed out to area bests in the 100 (10.9) and 200 (23.1), while Waynesboro's David Green, regarded as one of the top all-around throwers in Pennsylvania, has already gone 51-10 in the shot put, 162-7 in the discus and 181-7 in the javelin.

* On the girls side, Chambersburg's Kylee Schuler is practically lapping the early 3,200 leaders at 11:19.4 and has area bests in the 800 (2:26.5) and 1,600 (5:18.5). The Trojans junior also runs a leg of the top 3,200 relay (10:19.4). ... No one's close yet to Frederick's Imani White in the 200 (26.0) and 400 (1:00.0). Same is true for the Cadets' 800 relay (1:46.9). ... The Eagles are soaring over the Eastern Panhandle. Jennifer Hoffman, Miranda Reed and Ashley Copenhaver are the only three area girls who've cleared 15 in the long jump, while Copenhaver also has a share of the high jump lead (5-2) and teammate Tracey Regalbuto has a piece of the pole vault lead (8-6).

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