Area athletes going for gold

May 22, 2003|by ANDREW MASON

If A is greater than B and B is greater than C, then A is greater than C.

What may be true in math class, however, doesn't always pan out that way on the track.

The Smithsburg girls will have their hands full trying to win an eighth straight Maryland Class 1A track and field title this weekend at University of Maryland-Baltimore County, where the championships begin today for 1A and 2A and conclude Saturday.

Brunswick, which knocked off the Leopards 101-89 at the MVAL meet earlier this month, fell 184-149 to Poolesville - last year's state runner-up - last weekend at the 1A South championships.

So Poolesville has to be the favorite to win it all this year, right?

"Anything can happen at states. There are lots of years we could have lost," Smithsburg coach Buddy Orndorff said. "It's not always the best team that wins, it's the team that performs the best. It's not how many kids you take down, it's how the kids you take down do.


"The trick is to stay close and compete because you never know what's going to happen to the person in front of you. ... We don't go away."

However, two of the Leopards' top scorers from last year - hurdler Michele Feiser and distance runner Laura Stouffer - have gone away via graduation.

"We lost important seniors from last year, and we know that we have to pick up the slack," said Smithsburg junior Tara Knable, the defending state champ in the discus. "But we have good, overall athletes this year who go out and try to do what it takes to win."

The Smithsburg boys, fresh off 1A West and Washington County titles, also know what it takes, at least at the local level. But they haven't won a state crown since 1978. The Leopards finished third last year.

"We've been close three or four times," Orndorff said, "but we just couldn't get it."

"If we go out and compete, we have as good a shot as anybody," said Smithsburg senior Dustin Sier, who's undefeated in the 100- and 200-meter dashes this season. "I think, big-meet-wise, that this is the best team I've been on."

While Sier will have to get it done on the track, Corey Brown, who swept all three jumps at regionals, will have to get it done in the field. Brown is the defending champ in the high jump.

Washington County's other returning 1A boys champs are Boonsboro senior Brett Morrell (long jump, 110 hurdles, 300 hurdles) and Williamsport senior Ryan Martin (discus). Boonsboro senior Sarah Harris is the defending 1A champ in the girls high jump.

Morrell, who set a 1A record in the 300s (39.17) last year, will be going for third-straight titles in the 300s and long jump. No one's touched him in the 300s all season, but he's had his hands full with Brown in the long jump and teammate Dan Robinson in the 110s.

"The 300s are my best chance. I'm going to have to really earn the other two," Morrell said. "I'm just pretty determined to go out strong at the last meet. It's been a good four years, and I want to end it on a good note."

The area's other returning champs are Brunswick senior Kacie Escamilla (1A girls shot put), Thomas Johnson junior Tierra Lucas (4A girls discus) and Frederick seniors Anna Routzahn (4A girls high jump) and Ronnie Beard (4A boys 110 hurdles).

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