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Leopards spot 2 titles

Smithsburg's boys and girls track teams sweep Class 1A West Region titles as warmup to state meet.

Smithsburg's boys and girls track teams sweep Class 1A West Region titles as warmup to state meet.

May 18, 2003|by ANDREW MASON

andrewm@herald-mail.com

SMITHSBURG - There wasn't a rainbow in sight during the Maryland Class 1A West Track & Field Championships on Saturday.

But that certainly didn't prevent competitors from looking for the magical unicorn - next week's state championships.

For most of the athletes competing in Saturday's unspringlike conditions, earning the season-extending ticket - either by placing in the top four of an event or meeting a qualifying time - was the name of the game.

"States is a big deal. Everyone wants to get there," said Smithsburg senior sprinter Dustin Sier. "It's kind of like that unicorn everyone looks for."

For the second straight year, Sier had no trouble finding the mystical creature. By now, it's probably even chained to a post in his backyard.

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Just as he did at the MVAL and Washington County meets the previous two weeks, Sier won the 100- and 200-meter dashes (11.3 and 23.0) and anchored the winning 400 and 800 relays (45.3 and 1:33.4).

Combined with teammate and fellow quadruple winner Corey Brown's victories in the high jump (6-0), long jump (20-11), triple jump (40-9) and 800 relay, the Smithsburg boys were well on their way to defending their region title.

"I was just battling the weather," Brown said. "On a day like this, I was just looking to qualify and score as many points as I could for my team."

The Leopards finished with 115 points - 12 more than runner-up Williamsport and 44 more than third-place Allegany.

The seven-time defending state champ Smithsburg girls also defended their region crown with a winning total of 122 points. Williamsport was second with 109, while Boonsboro took third in the 11-team field with 97.

"This does a lot for us going into states," said Tara Knable, who led the Leopards girls with wins in the shot put (36-3 3/4) and discus (112-3). "We want it again this year. Winning this meet shows we're ready to compete."

The Smithsburg girls also got wins from Jessica Yu in the high jump (5-3), Samantha Schweinhart in the pole vault (8-9) and their 800 relay team (1:50.1) of Shannon Fowkes, Katy Hill, Corina Campbell and Courtney Brown. David Guinther added a win in the pole vault (9-11) for the Leopards boys.

"It's been the same thing all season - Corey, Dustin, relays, field events and the kids working hard," said Smithsburg coach Buddy Orndorff. "They just really go out after it."

Brittany Kershner helped keep the Williamsport girls a close second, winning the 400 (1:02.3) and triple jump (32-1) and anchoring the first-place 1,600 relay (4:18.0). The Wildcats also got victories from Catie Witman in the 200 (26.9) and their 3,200 relay (10:19.3), which is undefeated on the season.

The Williamsport boys also kept their unbeaten streak alive in the 1,600 relay (3:33.6), as did Ryan Martin in the discus (164-6). Williamsport also got wins from Phil Taylor in the 400 (51.1) and its 3,200 relay (8:15.1).

The day's most tightly contested race was between Boonsboro's Kara Wastler and Williamsport's Theresa Ruland and Kristen Berry in the girls 800. One tenth of a second separated the three in a photo finish, with Wastler winning in 2:28.8.

Clear Spring's Ashley Lockard dominated the girls distance events, taking the 1,600 (5:31.8) and 3,200 (11:50.4).

Allegany's Jordan Davis shut Washington County out of the boys distance races in a showcase. He won the 1,600 (4:30.3), 3,200 (9:52.9) and 800 (2:00.4) - in that order - before anchoring his 1,600 relay team from third to second to close the meet.

The top performance, however, probably came from Boonsboro star Brett Morrell, who smoked the 300 hurdles in an area-leading 38.7 to match his career best.

"I was hoping for a warm day," said Morrell. "Hopefully when I get one, I can really fly."

Boonsboro's Dan Robinson also equaled his personal best in the 110s, edging Morrell in 14.5.

The Boonsboro girls also got wins from Sarah Harris in the 100 (12.9) and long jump (15-7), Sarah Hensley in the 100 hurdles (15.5) and 300 hurdles (46.8) and their 400 relay (51.5).

South Hagerstown's James Price won the boys shot put in 49-7, his season best.

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