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Poffenberger adds pop to Leopards

May 14, 2004|by ANDREW MASON

andrewm@herald-mail.com

CLEAR SPRING - An hour after the Smithsburg girls closed out the track events at the Washington County championships with a win in the 1,600-meter relay, the Leopards still had more business to attend to in the field.

Heading into the triple jump - the final event of the meet - defending champ Smithsburg trailed Boonsboro, 160-158 1/2.

"We needed points," said Smithsburg's Kristen Poffenberger, who earlier won the long jump.

She gave the Leopards 10 more, turning in a winning leap of 32 feet, 8 3/4 inches on her final jump, forcing Boonsboro's Kristie Johnson to settle for a close second (32-8 1/2). Smithsburg's Katie Seifarth and Kenzie Bowen finished third and fourth and the Leopards prevailed, 179 1/2-172. Williamsport was third with 132 1/2.

"All our girls in the triple jump had to get what they got," Smithsburg coach Buddy Orndorff said. "They rose to the challenge."

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Smithsburg also defended its boys team crown, beating MVAL Antietam champ North Hagerstown 156-133 1/2 for top honors.

"It's wild. From meet to meet, it's interesting," Orndorff said. "It's just who places what people where and how they match up. Apparently, the matchups went our way."

The Leopards got wins from their 400 relay (44.3) and Chad Brown in the 100 (11.3) and used their depth to take advantage of the meet's scoring system, which, unlike most meets, awards points to the top eight places, rather than six in each event.

"It's nice because it gives more kids a chance to score and contribute," Orndorff said, "and it rewards a team that has depth."

The Smithsburg girls were rewarded with plenty of blue ribbons.

"Coach always wants to win everything," said Courtney Brown, who won the 100 (13.1), 200 (26.4) and anchored the winning 400 relay (51.2) for Smithsburg. "He wants as many points as possible, and I like winning."

The Leopards also received wins from Tara Knable in the shot put (37-3) and discus (126-9), Sam Schweinhart in the pole vault (9-0) and Corina Campbell in the 300 hurdles (46.2).

It all made for a sweeter 16th birthday for Smithsburg sophomore Shannon Fowkes, who, after being disqualified in the 400 for false-starting, came back to run strong legs of the 400 and 1,600 relays.

"I was devastated," said Fowkes, who probably would have placed at least second in the 400. "I felt like I let the team down, not even being able to place. So I definitely had a lot of motivation coming into the relays."

Boonsboro's Hayley Harnett turned out to be the star of the girls 400, lowering her area-best time to 59.3 unchallenged. Also for the Warriors, Kara Wastler won the 1,600 (5:34.0) and 800 (2:25.7) and Sarah Hensley took the 100 hurdles (15.4) and anchored the winning 800 relay (1:48.0).

For the Boonsboro boys, who finished third, Dan Robinson won the 110 hurdles (14.9) and 300 hurdles (39.6) and Brian Smith claimed the 400 (52.0) and 800 (2:04.0).

Hancock's Jordan Sterner finished second to Robinson in both hurdles, pushing the Warriors senior to the area's first sub-40 of the season in the 300s with a swift 40.5.

"That's exactly what I needed," Robinson said. "It always helps to have a partner."

For the North boys, Jack-of-all-track Nevelle Pierre won the high jump (6-0), triple jump (43-11) and anchored the winning 800 relay (1:32.9), while Hemu Arumugam pounded out the laps, taking the 1,600 (4:36.9) and 3,200 (10:30.1).

"Nevelle gets most of the points for us. He's crazy," Arumugam said. "I just try to help out in the distance area, because that's all I can do."

The other individual boys winners were North's Darail Porter (long jump), South Hagerstown's Ronald Jackson (200) and James Price (shot put) and Williamsport's Matt Daveler (discus) and Chris Cornwell (pole vault).

North's Jessica Hanlin (3,200) and South's Jen Schoolfield (high jump) were the other individual girls winners.

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