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Hubs' Hanlin hangs in, wins 2A West 3,200

May 21, 2004|by ANDREW MASON

andrewm@herald-mail.com

MIDDLETOWN, Md. - North Hagerstown's Jessica Hanlin wasn't feeling very optimistic heading into the girls 3,200-meter run during first-day action at the Maryland Class 2A West Track & Field Championships on Thursday.

"I wasn't feeling too good, just general achiness. I came down with something earlier this week," Hanlin said. "I thought I might have to drop out after one lap. But I wasn't going to make any excuses."

She didn't have to.

Hanlin took the lead at the end of the third lap and cruised the next five, winning easily in 12 minutes, 5.1 seconds. Middletown's Lindsey Kessler finished second in 12:17.8.

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"My plan was just to go in and sit until the last lap, but your plan has to be flexible," Hanlin said. "During the second lap, I started feeling good and decided I was just going to go with it."

North's Hemu Arumugam won by an even larger margin in the boys 3,200, breaking the tape in 10:00.1 - 15.6 seconds ahead of runner-up John Conconis of Middletown.

"I ran a pretty even race," said Arumugam, who broke free from Coconis after the fifth lap. "I went through (four laps) at 5:01. That's my main goal, to try to run even races."

Six of the 18 events for each boys and girls were completed Thursday. The region championships conclude Saturday at Middletown, beginning at 11 a.m.

The Middletown boys, going for a sixth straight region crown, lead the team standings with 46 points. Francis Scott Key is second with 29; North is third with 26.

"Anything can happen. Nothing's a given," Middletown coach Don Boyer said. "But if we keep it together and can just be close to our top performances of the year, we should be OK."

The Knights got wins Thursday from David Chesney in the pole vault (12 feet, 7 1/4 inches) and their 3,200-meter relay team (8:33.5) of Kyle Eccard, Brent Follin, Chet Fearon and Kyle Manning.

Century leads the girls field with 42 1/2 points. Middletown, which got a win from Amanda Spickler in the triple jump (34-3 1/4), is second with 31 1/2; Winters Mill is third with 29.

The boys shot put was the day's most competitive event. While the top four in each event automatically qualify for next week's state meet, eight advanced in the shot put by beating the advancement standard of 46-1 3/4. Only four athletes or relay teams advanced from each of the other events Thursday.

Fort Hill's Joshua Root won the shot put at 54-4. South Hagerstown's James Price, who won the 1A state title last year, was fourth (50-1 1/2), while South's Tyler Jones (48-5 3/4) was seventh.

"Everybody said this region's pretty good, so fourth isn't too bad," Price said. "I just need to work harder for states."

After posting the top time of the day in the preliminaries of the girls 100 hurdles (16.0), South's Jen Schoolfield won the high jump in 4-11 - 5 inches off her winning jump at last week's Washington County championships.

"I wanted to get that same height as last week, or at least get 5 feet," Schoolfield said, "but I just got done running the 100 hurdles so there wasn't that much of a break."

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