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Second to none

Williamsport girls, Smithsburg boys capture county indoor track titles

Williamsport girls, Smithsburg boys capture county indoor track titles

January 28, 2007|by ANDREW MASON

Second place is never even given a second thought by the Williamsport girls indoor track team.

"It's never an option," Williamsport coach Cindy Mease said. "But we don't emphasize winning. We emphasize personal bests. And if you give your best, winning comes with that."

The Wildcats were at their best Saturday, scoring 157 points to run away with their fifth straight team title at the 15th annual Washington County championships at Hagerstown Community College. North Hagerstown was the runner-up with 83 points.

The Smithsburg boys won their second straight title and sixth overall, outscoring second-place Williamsport 130 1/2 to 98 1/2.

Williamsport's Amy Taylor and Smithsburg's Chad Brown starred for the champions.

Taylor won two individual events - the 500-meter dash in a meet-record 1:21.7 and the 55 hurdles in 9.6 - and teamed with Morgan Keplinger, Jordan Atha and Jessica Johnson to win the 1,600 relay in a meet-record 4:20.6.

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Taylor dominated in the 500, winning by 8.2 seconds while breaking Boonsboro senior Hayley Harnett's two-year-old record by 1.1 seconds. Harnett won the 300 (44.0) and finished second in the 55 (7.6) Saturday, but decided not to race in the 500.

"I was going for 1:21 and looking to run against Harnett, but she dropped out," Taylor said, "so I was just running against the clock."

Brown equaled two meet records with his victories in the 55 (6.4) and 300 (36.5) and anchored the Leopards to a meet record in the 800 relay (1:37.2).

North's Jarell Hasan, who dealt Brown a rare loss in the 300 at the recent MVAL Antietam meet, was the runner-up in the 55 (6.6) and 300 (36.6).

"Defeat is definitely the biggest motivator," Brown said. "It made me work a lot harder in practice and push my own limits."

Jamal Campbell won the 55 hurdles (7.6) for the only other victory for the Smithsburg boys, who used their depth to prevail in the points-generous meet.

"When you score eight places, depth's the key," Smithsburg coach Ray Shriver said. "You need to have two or three people score in every event to win a meet like this."

The Williamsport girls captured their fair share of first-place points, as they also got victories from Johnson in the 800 (2:36.8), Atha in the 1,600 (5:46.5) and Kara Hardy in the 3,200 (12:45.1). Each of those three also ran a leg of the winning 3,200 relay (10:49.4) to open the meet.

"We came to win," Taylor said.

Williamsport's Justin Cole was the most decorated athlete of the meet, winning the 800 (2:06.7) and 1,600 (4:48.3) and anchoring the winning 3,200 relay (8:55.3) and 1,600 relay (3:49.5).

"I was a perfect 4-for-4. I went out my senior year with a bang," Cole said. "That's all I wanted, and I had to step up and do it."

In one of the day's most tightly contested races, Clear Spring's Dustin Adams pulled away late from Williamsport's Mike Lilley to win the 3,200 in a milestone 9:58.6 - Adams' first time under 10.

"I've dreamed about breaking 10 every night for the past year," Adams said.

Lilley, who sat on Adams' shoulder for most of the race before making his own breakaway attempt on Lap 11 of 16, was the runner-up in 10:03.3.

"I thought Lilley was going to get me at the end," Adams said. "He's an awesome runner. We were trying to break 10 together."

Other individual boys champs were Williamsport's Jesse Buchman in the 500 (1:11.3), South Hagerstown's Trey Jones in the shot put (47-3 1/4) and Boonsboro's Robert Kornides in the high jump (5-10) and Aaron Hauber in the pole vault (11-6).

In other girls action, North's Tia Scott won the 55 (7.5) and anchored the winning 800 relay (1:52.9); Clear Spring's Katherine McCormick, the reigning 2A-1A state champ in the high jump, won the event in a personal-best 5-2; Boonsboro's Sarah Johnson, the defending 2A-1A state champ in the shot put, threw a season-best 32-8 for the win; and Boonsboro's Katie Farr cleared 8 feet to win the pole vault.

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