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Leopards turning county title into start of big things

May 10, 2003|by ANDREW MASON

andrewm@herald-mail.com

BOONSBORO - No one would call the Washington County Track & Field Championships the most important meet of the season.

But with regions and states right around the corner, it was probably the most crucial one so far.

"Every meet now is big," said Smithsburg sprint ace Dustin Sier. "It's always important to come out and run hard, but now that it's crunch time, it's even more important."

"This is the last high school hurrah," added fellow Leopard Corey Brown. "We just want to build on it."

The two seniors practically constructed Smithsburg's county title on their efforts alone, as the meet's only quadruple winners.

After anchoring the winning 800-meter relay on Thursday, Sier came back and captured the 100 (11.4) and 200 (22.8) and anchored the winning 400 relay (45.3) on Friday. Brown, who took home wins in the triple jump and 800 relay Thursday, added long jump (22-1 1/2) and high jump (6-0) titles to the pile Friday.

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Smithsburg finished with 155 points, while Williamsport was a close second with 145 and defending champ Boonsboro finished third with 71.

The girls team crown also came down to the Leopards and Wildcats, with Smithsburg prevailing, 151-141. Defending champ North Hagerstown was third with 112.

Tara Knable paced the Smithsburg girls in the field events - where both Leopards teams dominated with depth - adding a shot put title (34-11) to Thursday's one in the discus.

"You have to take advantage of the events where you're stronger and get multiple points there," said Smithsburg coach Buddy Orndorff. "Williamsport has tremendous middle-distance and distance runners, but we were able to catch them in the field."

Even Williamsport weights star Ryan Martin couldn't outdo the Leopards in the discus, despite winning it convincingly in 163-10 for 10 points. Smithsburg answered with second, third and fifth for 17.

While Williamsport's boys entered Friday with a one-point lead, its girls trailed by 18. They made a valiant comeback effort with wins from Catie Witman in the 100 (12.8) and 200 (13.1), Laura Scuffins in the 400 (1:02.0), Kristen Berry in the 800 (2:25.8), Brittany Kershner in the triple jump (33-8 1/2) and their 1,600 relay (4:13.9).

The Williamsport boys also got victories from Rhet Troxell in the 400 (52.4), Mike Barnes in the 800 (2:01.0) and their 1,600 relay (3:37.2) on Friday. Troxell strained his hamstring on his way to the win and was done for the day, but he said he should be able to practice by Monday or Tuesday.

North senior Paige O'Flaherty, who's headed to Towson University on a full athletic scholarship, once again kept the Hubs in the girls mix. Friday she won the 100 hurdles (15.6) and 300 hurdles (47.0).

"Even though I've already been accepted, I still want the coaches down there to see that I'm still working hard," said O'Flaherty. "I won the two events I love at my last county meet. That's something I really wanted to do."

Boonsboro, no surprise, dominated the boys hurdles, with junior Dan Robinson winning the 110s in a meet- and personal-record 14.5 and senior Brett Morrell taking the 300s (39.8).

Robinson, who broke Morrell's mark of 14.6 from 2001, credited his performance to a disappointing third-place finish at the MVAL meet last week - his first loss in the 110s this year.

"That helped me a lot. I needed a little depression to get better," said Robinson. "It gave me incentive to practice hard every day. I worked for it."

Clear Spring flexed its muscle over four laps Friday. Ashley Lockard, who won the 3,200 Thursday in her first attempt at the event, took the 1,600 in 5:25.6, while Jeremy Everitts won the boys 1,600 in 4:34.0.

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