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County teams shoot for state track titles

May 25, 2006|by ANDREW MASON

If there's one thing Smithsburg track and field coach Buddy Orndorff wants to make clear, it's that the Leopards are the ones who've won the 10 Maryland Class 1A girls team titles in his 16 years at the helm - not he.

"It's about Smithsburg High School, not Buddy Orndorff," he said. "Nowhere on their uniform does it say Buddy Orndorff. I want the kids to be their best for Smithsburg High School. I don't care if anyone knows I even coach there."

Rumor has it Orndorff won't be coaching track there next season, that this weekend's state meet will be his last.

"I'm not going to talk about it until after the season," he said. "I don't want to be a distraction."

But he might help give the Leopards some motivation. The Smithsburg boys team, champion of the 1A West region, will be contending for its first team title since 1978 when the state championships begin today for classes 1A and 2A at Morgan State University in Baltimore. Classes 3A and 4A begin Friday, and all four classes conclude Saturday.

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"It's his last year. I want to win it for him," Smithsburg senior Derek Martin said. "Look at all those girls titles. It's been since '78 for the guys. It's time for the guys to do something."

Martin, who took home three state medals last year as the Leopards finished fourth, will have to do his part for them to win. He won the 110- and 300-meter hurdles and ran legs of the winning 400 and 800 relays at last week's region meet.

Major contributions will also be needed from sprinter Chad Brown and jumper Tyler King. Brown, the reigning state champ in the 100, captured four state medals last season and won four region golds last week. King won region titles in the long, triple and high jumps.

"We've got some good kids," Orndorff said. "As long as we do what we're capable of, we should be in the running. It's time to put up or shut up."

The Williamsport girls, who won nine events in their total domination of the 1A West meet, are aiming to bring the state title back to Washington County for the 11th straight year. Boonsboro is the two-time defending champ, and Smithsburg won eight straight before the Warriors' reign.

"It's up for grabs," said Williamsport coach John Bailey, who will have girls competing in all 18 events this weekend. "You just have to do your best and try to get as many points as you can."

Two county seniors will be going for their third straight outdoor titles in individual events today - Williamsport's Lacie Johnson in the 1A girls pole vault and North Hagerstown's Hemu Arumugam in the 2A boys 3,200.

Johnson is seeded first with her personal-best performance of 9 feet, 8 inches from the region meet.

"I haven't vaulted well all season, but it's all coming together at the end," Johnson said. "I'd like to win it again. It's my senior year, and it'd be the way to go out with a bang. But a team championship would be just as nice."

Arumugam, who won the 2A West 3,200 in 10:00.2 last week, will have his hands full today as the fifth seed. The top three seeds all have times superior to Arumugam's personal best in the event. Atholton junior Andrew Revelle, the runner-up to Arumugam last year, is seeded first at 9:30.53.

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