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Twyman shows her powers

April 14, 2005|by ANDREW MASON

andrewm@herald-mail.com

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. - It's a bird. It's a plane. No ... it's Jefferson senior Shardal Twyman.

"They have Superwoman on their team," Berkeley Springs coach Dave Mundey said.

Twyman - the 2004 Herald-Mail Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year and owner of five West Virginia Class AAA gold medals - put on another cape-crusading show Wednesday at the Apple Valley League girls championships.

Twyman won the 100-meter dash in 12.4 seconds, the 200 in 25.7, the long jump with a leap of 16 feet, 5 inches and anchored the Cougars' 400 relay to a come-from-behind victory over Musselman as Jefferson successfully defended its team title with 130 points. Hedgesville scored 73 points to take second in the five-team field.

"She amazes me," Jefferson coach John Serian said. "I've been at Potomac State, Fairmont State and West Virginia Wesleyan as an assistant football coach, and she might be the purest athlete I've ever seen. She's unreal the things she can do. I could put her in any event."

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While Twyman has leapt taller buildings than the ones she did Wednesday in a single bound, her focus never changes.

"I get nervous every meet, whether it's two schools or 21, because you just never know," she said. "I take it meet by meet."

If Berkeley Springs freshman Rachel Buser didn't already own a membership card to the Hall of Justice, she would have earned one Wednesday.

Buser - the 2004 Herald-Mail Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year and reigning West Virginia Class AA-A state cross country champion - anchored the winning 3,200 relay (10:19.0) before capturing the 1,600 in 5:23.0 and the 3,200 in a school-record 11:32.0.

"I felt good," Buser said. "My goal was to get that record today."

Not more than 15 minutes after setting the record, she finally received her first real challenge of the day. Anchoring the 1,600 relay, Buser got the baton with a 5-meter lead on Jefferson's Amy Reynolds, who won the 400 earlier in the day in 1:04.2.

With 150 meters left, Reynolds passed Buser and appeared to be on her way to the victory.

"My legs were really whooped from the doing the 3,200 and the mile and the 4x8," Buser said. "I didn't think I had her at the end."

Think again.

In perhaps the most exciting moment of the meet, Buser passed Reynolds in the final meters for a split-second victory - 4:22.1 to 4:22.3.

"That was pretty exciting, wasn't it?" Mundey said. "I think it's a testament to all the girls on the team. Rachel was given a lead."

The other individual winners were: Hedgesville's Nicole Phillips in the 800 (2:39.0) and Tasha Redman in the high jump (5-4); Jefferson's Meredith Hankins in the 100 hurdles (16.5) and 300 hurdles (51.9); Musselman's Molly Grove in the discus (102-2); and Martinsburg's Ashley Winston in the shot put (34-3).

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