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Williamsport boys run away with region crown

February 14, 2004|by ANDREW MASON

andrewm@herald-mail.com

Williamsport took the long route to the boys team title at the Maryland Class 2A-1A West Indoor Track & Field Championships on Friday night at Hagerstown Community College's athletic complex.

The Wildcats swept the middle-distance and distance events, getting victories from Devin Hewitt in the 3,200-meter run (10:31.1), Aaron Buchman in the 1,600 (4:40.3), Rhet Troxell in the 500 (1:11.2) and 800 (2:03.9) and their 3,200 and 1,600 relays (8:38.7 and 3:44.8), and picked up a win from Chris Cornwell in the pole vault (11 feet, 4 inches) on the way to a winning total of 100 1/2 points.

Winters Mill was the runner-up with 51, while Smithsburg was third with 45 1/2.

"We're so deep, it's amazing" said Hewitt, who anchored both winning relays.

All Williamsport really was trying to do, like most teams Friday, was advance athletes to Monday's state meet at Prince George's Sports & Learning Complex in Landover, Md. The top four finishers in each event automatically qualified for states.

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"I told them to approach it more like a preliminary heat than a championship event," Wildcats distance coach Taylor Oliver said. "This is the meet to get to the real meet. The real wins come Monday."

Hewitt said he's ready to finally switch gears in the 3,200.

"My goal was to run 10:30 today and qualify, and that's exactly what I did," he said. "Monday, I'm going to try to go sub-10. That's been my goal all year."

Led by middle-distance star Erin Moore, Poolesville won the girls team title with 88 points. Williamsport was second with 55 1/2, while Boonsboro was third with 52 1/2.

Clear Spring's Ashley Lockard, the defending state champ in the 1,600, once again was lights-out in the distances, winning the 1,600 (5:28.7) and 3,200 (11:45.0). But as much as she might prefer it, Lockard can't run races in the dark.

"I don't like all the attention. I embarrass easily," she said. "But the winning's great."

Smithsburg's Corina Campbell was the area's other double winner for the girls, teaming with Katie Seifarth, Katy Hill and Courtney Brown to capture the 800 relay (1:51.5) and edging Boonsboro's Sarah Hensley, the defending state champ in both outdoor hurdles, in the 55 hurdles (8.5).

"I wouldn't call that a major upset, but it certainly was a minor one," Smithsburg coach Ray Shriver said. "Corina's been working hard all season and things are finally starting to fall into place for her."

Smithsburg also got wins from Jessica Yu in the high jump (5-2) and Samantha Schweinhart in the pole vault (8-6).

For the Leopards boys, Chad Brown added to his sensational freshman season, leading teammate Justin Thompson to a 1-2 finish in the 55 dash (6.7).

"I'm out to win every race," Brown said. "I just can't wait to see what happens the next few years."

He'll get his first peak at the state's best Monday.

"I'm pretty pumped up," he said, "but pretty nervous, too."

Boonsboro's Dan Robinson, the two-time defending state champ in the boys 55 hurdles, is still looking for competition in the event. He won easily Friday in 7.7 to remain unbeaten on the season.

"I try to run like I am defeated," said Robinson, who also won the high jump (5-5), "like I am going to be defeated so that I keep working harder and harder for it."

The Williamsport girls picked up their lone victory in the 3,200 relay, and they did it convincingly. Theresa Ruland, Laura Scuffins, Laura Forsythe and Kristin Berry combined for a winning time of 10:21.4, nearly 15 seconds ahead of runner-up Poolesville.

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