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'Cats track titles

January 31, 2004|by ANDREW MASON

andrewm@herald-mail.com

Apparently, it takes more than a week of snowed-out practices to slow down Washington County's top indoor track and field athletes.

"We didn't have scheduled practices, but a bunch of us got together and ran this week," said Rhet Troxell, a triple-winner Friday for Williamsport, which successfully defended its boys and girls team titles at the county championships. "We got out there and did what we needed to do. It was pretty brutal out there, but we made it."

Five meet records were set at the Hagerstown Community College athletic complex - Clear Spring's Ashley Lockard in the girls 1,600- and 3,200-meter runs (5:29.1 and 11:53.9), Smithsburg's Jessica Yu in the girls high jump (5 feet, 5 inches) and Boonsboro's Dan Robinson in the boys 55 hurdles (7.4) and Kristen Waters, Sarah Hensley, Hayley Harnett and Kara Wastler in the girls 1,600 relay (4:25.1).

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"I'd call today really successful," said Lockard, the defending 1A-2A 1,600 state champ. "I really wanted to win the 1,600 because that's my main event. The 3,200 was just for fun, just running for time."

Yu broke the county's longest standing meet record, topping North Hagerstown's Tish Campbell's 1992 mark by half an inch.

"I was wondering what the meet record was, but I didn't know. I just wanted to break the school record (5-2)," Yu said. "Since all the snow days and stuff, I haven't practiced in a week. Maybe that helped. My knees and shins didn't hurt like they usually do."

Robinson said the lack of practice left him feeling "off-balance" Friday.

"Practice makes perfect," he said. "It always hurts to miss practice."

But Robinson, the two-time defending 1A-2A state champ in the hurdles, didn't miss his goal of breaking 7.6, the previous record.

"I'm overwhelmed," he said. "All I wanted to do was break that record. My dad, my uncle, everyone wanted me to do it. I really feel like I accomplished something, setting the standard higher."

Williamsport ran away with the boys title with 136 points, 53 more than runner-up North Hagerstown. The Wildcats edged Boonsboro 140-125.5 for the girls crown.

"We're blessed with a lot of depth and a lot of dedicated kids," Williamsport coach Cindy Mease said. "It's just a joy."

The Williamsport boys received wins from Devin Hewitt in the 1,600 (4:39.4) and 3,200 (10:32.1), Troxell in the 500 (1:10.4) and 800 (meet-record-tying 2:02.4), Chris Cornwell in the pole vault (11-3) and their 3,200 and 1,600 relays (9:42.7 and 3:52.9).

"We're pretty strong in almost every area," Troxell said. "When you dominate the distances and sprints, you come away with a lot of points. And our guys in the field events really stepped it up today."

The Williamsport girls got wins from Catie Witman in the 55 (7.3), Jess Clingan in the 300 (43.3), Kristin Berry in the 800 (2:31.6) and their 3,200 and 800 relays (10:42.9 and 1:52.8).

The other individual girls champs were: Boonsboro's Harnett in the 500 (1:24.2) and Hensley in the 55 hurdles (8.6), Smithsburg's Sam Schweinhart in the pole vault (8-0) and North's Sharnay Barnett in the shot put (34-4 1/2).

The other individual boys winners were: Smithsburg's Chad Brown in the 55 (6.5), North's Darail Porter in the 300 (37.5) and Nevelle Pierre in the high jump (6-2) and South's Tyler Jones in the shot put (43-6 1/2).

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