Prep notes-Track & Field

April 28, 2006|by ANDREW MASON

McConnellsburg junior Chris Snyder already has had a splendid spring. He's set school records for 800, 1,600 and 3,200 meters with times of 1:59.0, 4:35.2 and 9:58.0.

But he can't call himself the best distance runner in the history of McConnellsburg boys track. If he did, he'd probably have to answer for it at home.

"Actually, I'm second best," Snyder said, shortly after winning the 1,600 at the Tri-State Invitational at Clear Spring on Wednesday. "My dad has all the records in yards - the 2-mile (9:48), mile (4:16) and 880 (1:56). I have all the metric records."

Snyder's father, Robert Snyder, graduated from McConnellsburg in 1974 and went on to star at Penn State University, clocking a 4:00.2 mile as a Nittany Lion. Now he's guiding his son as the Spartans' distance coach.


"Chris was kind of slow coming out, but he's been running steady for a year-and-a-half and that's what it takes," Robert Snyder said. "This has been his year. He's only a junior. We're hoping for good things."

Robert Snyder's 4:16 mile still ranks near the very top on the Tri-State's all-time list of performances.

"That was a long time ago," he said. "That was back in Terry Baker time. We butted heads a few times."

Baker time

Clear Spring coach and former Williamsport star Terry Baker still holds the all-time Washington County record in the boys 3,200 - 9:14.44, set in 1973.

He said he wouldn't mind seeing it finally get broken.

"Oh, sure," Baker said. "Let someone have the same enjoyment and pleasure I've had with it."

For now, though, his mark seems fairly safe.

"For now," he said. "But Hemu, you never know what he's capable of doing."

North Hagerstown senior Hemu Arumugam, the reigning Maryland Class 2A state champ in the event, has the Tri-State's top 3,200 time this spring (9:55.1).

At Auburn University, Baker set the school record for 10,000 meters at 28:55.54 in 1977. That mark stood until last month, when Auburn's Andrew Heath ran 28:55.48 at the Stanford Invitational.

Baker wasn't so pleased to see that mark get erased.

"I held that record for 29 years. It hurts," Baker said. "He broke it by six-hundredths of a second. That's what hurts more than anything."

Tri-State rankings

The Herald-Mail does not have official Super 7 team rankings for prep track and field.

Here's how the teams rank when the most recent Tri-State leaderboard - which includes results from the vast majority of the region's meets - is scored like a track meet.

Girls top seven: 1. Chambersburg (149); 2. Jefferson (64); 3. (tie) Berkeley Springs, Williamsport (60); 5. Hedgesville (53.5); 6. Mercersburg Academy (34); 7. Musselman (33).

Boys top seven: 1. Chambersburg (112); 2. Greencastle (77); 3. Smithsburg (75.5); 4. Jefferson (74.5); 5. James Buchanan (56); 6. Mercersburg Academy (30.5); 7. Waynesboro (27).

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