Leopards fall short of goal

February 21, 2006|by ANDREW MASON

LANDOVER, Md. - With stars Chad Brown, Derek Martin and Jamal Campbell and three decent relay teams, Smithsburg thought it could score enough points Monday to at least make a run at the boys team title at the Maryland Class 2A-1A State Indoor Track Championships.

North Hagerstown's Hemu Arumugam equaled the Leopards' total all by himself, winning the 1,600- and 3,200-meter runs, as the Hubs and Leopards tied for sixth place with 20 points each. Forestville won with 58.

While North got nearly all the points it could have hoped for, Smithsburg - the Washington County and MVAL Antietam champion - had reason to hope for a lot more.


"Quite a few disappointments today," Brown said. "It's just not our day. Jamal and I are juniors, but Derek is a senior. This was his last chance. I feel really bad for him."

Brown's teammates felt badly for him after the 300. Brown had second place locked up in the race, before he locked up in the final meters and crashed to the track. He crawled across the finish line in last place.

"I just ran out of gas," Brown said. "I was that close, inches from the finish line. It was devastating."

He came back to place third in the 55 in 6.65 seconds.

"In the 55, I just felt like I had to show what I could do," Brown said. "But I still didn't perform the way I wanted to."

Martin, who placed sixth in the 300, had visions of going 1-2 with Campbell in the 55 hurdles, as they did so many times this winter.

But Martin never made it to the finals. He was disqualified in the preliminaries because of a mishap with one of the hurdles.

"I heard three different reasons," Martin said. "I heard I touched the hurdle, that I failed to clear it and that I went around it. But I know I didn't do it.

"What can you do? I can't change it now. You can't fix it."

Campbell went on to finish second in the hurdles in 8.05 seconds.

"I really wanted to win because we wanted to get 1 and 2," Campbell said. "I don't know. I tried."

The Leopards placed in all three relays, taking fifth in both the 4x400 (3:40.66) and 4x800 (8:47.48) and sixth in the 4x200 (1:37.69).

Second again

Clear Spring's Josh Keyfauver had to settle for the silver medal in the boys 800 for the second straight year. Monday, he finished second in 2:02.51 - 1.99 seconds behind Forestville's Christopher Anderson.

All things considered, Keyfauver will gladly take it.

"At 300 to go, I had pretty much settled for fourth," he said. "But on the last lap, I just took off, but I couldn't catch (Anderson)."

Minutes earlier, he was flat on his face on the track. Because he fell in the first 50 meters, the race was restarted.

"I was running and next thing I know I was on the ground," Keyfauver said. "It's hard to recover from something like that, here especially."

Also for the Blazers, Dustin Adams placed fifth in the 3,200 (10:19.22) and ran a leg of the fourth-place 3,200 relay (8:46.56).

The Clear Spring girls scored all 14 of their points in the high jump as Katherine McCormick won with a jump of 5 feet and Lindsey Mizell took fourth at 4-10.

New heights

North senior Anna Lenhart, a 2005 All-Area first-team cross country runner, was absent from the distance events this winter. But she wasn't missing from the medal stand Monday.

Lenhart placed second in the pole vault at 8-6.

"She's really been working on her pole vault, and she's still getting in weight workouts and everything," North coach Craig Bathgate said. "It's a nice rest for her legs. She'll be ready to go this spring. It shouldn't take her long to get into shape."

Washington County athletes took four of the six placewinnings in the girls pole vault. Williamsport's Kendal Moss took third (8-6), Boonsboro's Jessica Shives placed fifth (7-6) and Smithsburg's Caitlin Henney was sixth (7-6).

Glory to God

Boonsboro's Pete Frey finished second in the boys vault, despite reaching the same height (12-3) as champion Jordan Wike of Winters Mill.

"I had more misses than him so he won," Frey said. "I just came out to vault and give God glory. That's all I wanted to do, so I'll take whatever He gives me.

"I'm happy with second. I'm just giving God all the glory."

Aaron Hauber, Frey's teammate, placed fourth at 10-3. Boonsboro also got a fourth-place finish from Tommy Jefferies in the 55 hurdles (8.16).

County muscle

Boonsboro's Sarah Johnson and South Hagerstown's Trey Jones showed the rest of the state that they've been hitting the weights.

Johnson took first place in the girls shot put with a throw of 32-5 3/4, while Jones won silver in the boys shot put with his heave of 46-9 3/4.

For the South girls, Desiree Johnson took third in the 55 hurdles (9.31).

Wildcats' strength

Led by its middle-distance runners, Williamsport was the top area girls team, placing 10th.

Jordan Atha was fifth in the 800 (2:29.27), Amy Taylor was sixth in the 500 (1:23.59) and the Wildcats placed third in the 3,200 relay (10:14.63) and sixth in the 1,600 relay (4:20.26).

Justin Cole placed sixth in the 1,600 in 4:44.66 for the Williamsport boys.

Bye-bye hoops

Arumugam had to give up basketball last year as junior to run indoor track, which seems like a smart move now.

He won his second straight indoor 3,200 state title in 9:53.57, maintaining his undefeated record in the event over his two indoor seasons.

"I think I enjoy this a little more than basketball," said Arumugam, who won his first 1,600 title in 4:33.40. "This is what I want to do in college so I had to make a choice."

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