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Harnett's poise leads Warriors to 1A title

May 30, 2004|By DAN KAUFFMAN

BALTIMORE - Hayley Harnett grabbed the Class 1A girls 400- and 800-meter runs by the throat Saturday and, with the poise of a senior, pulled Boonsboro to a state team title.

Lucky for the Warriors, she's only a freshman - and that's unlucky for everyone else.

Buoyed by Harnett's two state titles, the Warriors edged Smithsburg 97-96 to win the Class 1A title at the Maryland State Track & Field Championships at Morgan State University.

In her first trip to the circuslike atmosphere that surrounds the outdoor state meet, Harnett hid her nerves with two superior efforts.

Harnett took control of the 400 early and built a sizeable lead out of the final turn. Tuscarora's Jasmine Ingram made a late push but fell short by a couple of strides as Harnett finished in 59.48 seconds.

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"That girl from Tuscarora ran a great race," Harnett said. "I had trouble holding her off."

In the 800, Harnett did battle with two familiar foes - Williamsport's Theresa Ruland and Boonsboro teammate Kara Wastler. Harnett made her move entering the final turn to pass both runners and finish in 2 minutes, 24.81 seconds. Ruland was second in 2:25.44 and Wastler took third in 2:25.99.

"I didn't want to get boxed in, so I started picking it up," Harnett said.

-- Middletown junior Amanda Spickler won the Class 2A 300 hurdles in 45.58 seconds.

Spickler had a 10-meter lead entering the final stretch, but had difficulty with the final two hurdles. Nonetheless, she easily beat Edgewood's Kamil Maclin (46.20) and Glenelg's Elaina Christmas (46.24).

"I thought I heard them," said Spickler, who added she had no idea how big her lead was coming out of the final turn. "Once I hit the last hurdle, I thought they'd pass me for sure.

"I tried to push the pace. I didn't want to hold anything back. There's nothing to lose, so why not?"

Spickler, who also won the 2A West and Frederick County titles in the event, earned her first state title.

"It hasn't hit me yet," she said. "It's awesome. It's what I always wanted."

-- The Knights placed two athletes in the pole vault. Allison Jarkey finished second by clearing 9 feet, 6 inches - the same as event winner North Harford's Rachel Knapstein, who had fewer misses to win the title. Lena Kotani tied for fourth by clearing 8-6.

-- Thomas Johnson's Chelsea Powell finished second in the Class 4A 1,600 in a blazing 5:04.17. Lauren Centrowitz of Broadneck won the event in 4:55.75.

Powell also finished third in the 4A 800, clocking 2:16.07. Centrowitz won in 2:13.73.

-- Though Brunswick sprinter Rachel McCallum failed to win a state title, she still had an outstanding day.

McCallum finished second in the 100 (12.47) and 200 (25.90)and was third in the 400 (1:00.40).

Other top finishers for the Railroaders were Chris Shortz, who finished third in the 300 hurdles (48.20), and Laura Rupprecht, who finished fourth in the 800 (2:27.15).

-- South Hagerstown's Jennifer Schoolfield finished second in the Class 1A high jump by clearing 5 feet, fourth in the 100 hurdles in 16.17 and fifth in the long jump in 16-5 1/2.

-- Smithsburg's 400- and 1,600-meter relay teams both placed second. The 400 team finished in 51.96 seconds and the 1,600 team finished in 4:10.60.

-- Frederick's Susanna Merrill placed fourth in the Class 4A 800 in 2:23.10.

-- Walkersville's Rachael Hepburn took fourth in the 2A shot put with a throw of 37 feet, 1/2 inch.

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