Leopard boys, 'Cats girls show who West is won

May 19, 2006|by ANDREW MASON

SMITHSBURG - If Washington County is going to get its 11th straight Maryland Class 1A state team title in girls track and field, it will be brought home by Williamsport next weekend.

No one else in the county is even close to the Wildcats, who scored 210 points to easily win the West region title Thursday evening. Smithsburg, which won eight straight state titles from 1996 to 2003, was the runner-up with 86.5. Boonsboro, the two-time defending state champ, was third with 72.5.

"I don't like to toot my own horn, but we have a little more depth this year," Williamsport coach John Bailey said. "Our goal was to win this meet and get as many kids as we can to the state meet."

The Wildcats took first place in nine events and qualified athletes to compete in all 18 events at the state meet, which begins Thursday at Morgan State University in Baltimore.


"We're definitely going to give it a good shot at states," said Williamsport senior Lacie Johnson, the two-time defending state champ in the pole vault, who cleared a personal-best height of 9 feet, 8 inches to win Thursday's competition. "We have teammates pushing each other and depth and all the talent in the world to go at it."

The Smithsburg boys also are loaded enough to make a run at their first state title since 1978. They clearly weren't taking it easy Thursday as they racked up a winning total of 169.66 points.

Even Leopards star Derek Martin wasn't allowed to relax for a moment. After winning the 300-meter hurdles (39.2 seconds) for his third victory, he took a seat in the grass to catch his breath. That prompted Smithsburg coach Buddy Orndorff to ask Martin if something was wrong.

"I'm just tired," Martin said to his coach.

"Well, untire," Orndorff replied.

Martin quickly returned to his feet to prepare for the 400 relay, which the Leopards won in 44.1 seconds.

"The key to winning states is the week before. It's all about qualifying," said Martin, who also won the 110 hurdles (14.5) and teamed with Chad Brown, Dustin Mitchell and Josh Edwards to win the 400 and 800 relays.

Brown also won the 100 (11.1) and 200 (22.5) and teammate Tyler King swept the jumps - long (21-4.5), triple (42-6) and high (6-1).

"We've got it all coming together," said Brown, the defending state champ in the 100. "I'm pretty pumped."

The Smithsburg girls were led by Katy Hill, who won the 100 (12.5) and 200 (26.9) and anchored the winning 400 and 800 relays.

"The whole idea was just to make states," Hill said. "But it's my senior year, so I just wanted to put it all out there and see what I could do."

Jordan Atha and Jessica Palmer starred for the Williamsport girls. Atha won the 1,600 (5:35.7) and 800 (2:26.1), Palmer won the 400 (1:01.7) and 300 hurdles (48.3) and both ran legs of the winning 1,600 relay (4:10.9).

In the 400, Palmer edged defending champ Hayley Harnett of Boonsboro.

"That was like the most exciting thing," Palmer said. "Last year I wanted to be where she was because she was always winning. Now I'm right there with her. All the practice and hard work really pays off."

The Wildcats also got victories from Kristin Berry in the high jump (5-0), Cayla Broadwater in the long jump (16-5.5) and Sarah Tritsch in the triple jump (32-8).

Other girls winners included Boonsboro's Sarah Johnson in the shot put (31-0), Smithsburg's Erin Kittel in the discus (93-7) and Boonsboro's 3,200-relay team (10:16.2).

Other boys winners included Williamsport's Scott Mummert in the 400 (52.6) and Boonsboro's Pete Frey in the pole vault (13-0).

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