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HCC track duo bound for Texas

May 08, 2003|by BOB PARASILITI

bobp@herald-mail.com

Ryan Davis and Carmisha Williams have a big weekend ahead of them.

The pair will represent Hagerstown Community College in the NJCAA National Track and Field Championships at South Plains College in Levelland, Texas.

The trip is one of high expectations and gives the athletes a chance to show what long hours of training can do.

"For most high school kids, it's a rude wake-up when they realize they have to adjust to train for nine to 10 months per year," HCC coach Rich Secrest said. "We have to turn the switch off and on several times a year to get them ready. Carmisha has worked hard, but hasn't had the chance to face tough competition on an 80-degree day. And Ryan has run well, but has only just turned on the light after logging 70 to 80 miles a week since January."

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Davis, a Clear Spring graduate, has qualified for the 10,000-meter run while Williams is slotted for 100 high hurdles. Williams also will compete in the long jump, while Davis may attempt to run the 5,000 meters, too.

It will be only the third time Davis has run the 10,000, but his first two attempts carried some emphasis. The first try was a 32:43 - 15 seconds below the qualifying time - at the Raleigh Relays. The second was at the Region XX championship meet.

"The first 10K, we went out with the plan to use it to run for pace," Davis said. "After that, I had been running all kind of distances, like the 5,000, 1,600 and 800. Now that's why I want to get to the nationals. It will test my endurance and my abilities."

"Hopefully, this will be a building block for next year," Secrest said. "Ryan is the first Washington County athlete to qualify to the nationals for HCC in my two years here."

Davis is confident he can put in a good time in the competition, but isn't sure where it will fall in the field of international competitors.

"There will be no slack," Davis said. "A lot of them, I've seen at the cross country nationals. I'm looking to finish at least in the top 10, but I'd like to finish in the top 6."

For Williams, it will be the chance to stretch things out and reach for the sky.

Williams qualified with a 15.0 at Bucknell University. That time got her in the door, but she will need to knock off at least six-tenths of a second to have a chance to win the national title.

And in Williams' mind, there isn't any other outcome she is willing to accept.

"I like to get someone in front of me so I have to get in my stride and run them down," Williams said. "I was fifth and an All-American in indoor. I want to be All-American now and to be No. 1."

Those intents have eliminated much of the margin for error Williams has to work with. With only 100 meters consisting of a short sprint, a number of hurdles with three steps in between to a short closing sprint, everything has to work just right.

"I have to try and keep my focus," she said. "All the ladies competing are really good and I can't have any mistakes. I can't be scared. I have to get off on the gun and I can't lose them."

The mission is simple in this meet.

"There are going to be a lot of people there and a lot of scouts from four-year schools," Williams said. "If I can get over the first hurdle, I'm there. I have to cut .6 seconds off my time and the only way for me to do it is with competition. All-American is a goal, but I want to be No. 1."

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