Warriors go after indoor title

February 20, 2005|by ANDREW MASON

Call them the "H" factors - Hensley, Harnett and health.

At least two of the three are on the Boonsboro girls track team's side.

Paced by Sarah Hensley and Hayley Harnett, the Warriors edged Smithsburg 97-96 last spring to win the Maryland Class 1A outdoor state title, ending the Leopards' eight-year reign as champions.

Boonsboro, still led by Hensley and Harnett, now is aiming to turn a similar trick indoors against four-time defending Class 2A-1A state champ Poolesville at Monday's state meet at Prince George's Sports & Learning Complex in Landover.

"Winning the state championship is attainable," Boonsboro coach Dave Long said. "I just don't know if our health will allow it. Illness is our problem right now.


"I hate to sound like I'm giving an excuse already, but they're sick and I don't know how they'll be Monday. They've missed some quality workouts this week, and I'm concerned."

Poolesville scored 83 points to run away with the team title last year at states. Boonsboro was second with 36 1/3 points.

"We should at least close the gap," said Long, whose team recently fell 71-60 to Poolesville for the West region crown. "Finishing in the top three is our goal."

Considering the Warriors only are sending six girls to states, that still seems like a lofty goal. Considering two of those girls are Hensley and Harnett, maybe it's not.

Hensley, a senior, won state gold in the 55-meter hurdles last year and is Washington County's only defending individual state champ. At the region meet two weeks ago, Hensley won the 55 hurdles and high jump and teamed with Harnett, Jessica Robertson and Hannah Walla to win the 800 and 1,600 relays.

"Sarah Hensley is a very quiet kid, but she can turn on the fire," Long said. "She's one of those kids who won't say anything, but when she does, you tune into it."

Harnett, a sophomore, will anchor both relays Monday and compete in the 500, in which she won state silver last year.

"Hayley is like the fox and the hound. She needs the fox in front of her to run well," Long said. "She hasn't run enough races yet to know her pace. She needs someone in front of her to be effective. That's why she's anchoring both relays. If someone's in front of us, she'll go after them."

Also competing for Boonsboro are Sarah Murto (pole vault) and Sara Johnson (shot put). Murto advanced by placing second in the region, while Johnson placed fourth, qualifying on her final throw.

Back on track

In his first season of indoor track, North Hagerstown junior Hemu Arumugam has gone a long way toward putting his last cross country race behind him.

Arumugam, a strong contender for the Class 2A state title in November, struggled to the finish line in 28th place.

"Yeah, I definitely want to do a lot better this time at states," said Arumugam, the reigning 2A outdoor state champ in the 3,200. "Everyone has those off days. You just have to put that behind you."

He's put his competition behind him all winter, most recently winning 3A-2A West titles in the 3,200 and 1,600. He set personal and meet records in both events (9:47.1 and 4:30.0) at the Washington County championships.

Arumugam said his goal is two state golds Monday. He's seeded first in both events.

"I'm trying to get my times down a lot more," he said. "There's going to be a lot of people running really fast. ... I've been working a lot on the mile - more speedwork - trying to get better because that's my weaker event."

n Other top seeds include North senior Sharnay Burnett in the 3A-2A girls shot put and Clear Spring senior Ashley Lockard in the 2A-1A girls 3,200. Lockard won an indoor state title in the 1,600 as a sophomore and outdoor state titles in the 1,600 and 3,200 as a junior.

Complete seedings were unavailable at press time.


The 3A-2A and 2A-1A championships will begin at 10 a.m. Monday. The 4A-3A championships are set for Tuesday in Landover, beginning at 4 p.m.

If inclement weather causes any change to the meet schedule, that information will be posted at by 7:30 a.m. Monday.

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