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North's Hasan turns big pain into major gain with 300 record

February 20, 2007|by ANDREW MASON

LANDOVER, Md. - The 300-meter dash was more than North Hagerstown senior Jarell Hasan had bargained for in the beginning of the winter.

After all, the all-state receiver only joined the Hubs' indoor track team this season to improve on his speed for football. Suffering wasn't part of the plan.

"When (North coach Craig Bathgate) first had me run the 300 this season, I was like, 'This is horrible. This is just too much work,'" said Hasan, who hopes to play football at Shepherd University. "But my mentality changed.

"Now I'm going home with a medal on my neck and a state record."

Hasan won the 300 at the Maryland Class 2A-1A state championships in a 2A-record 35.45 seconds Monday at Prince George's Sports & Learning Complex. The previous record was 35.54, set in 2003 by Bladensburg's Aaron Marshall.

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"For the past three weeks, Bathgate's been training me hard for the 300, because he said that was my best chance for winning," said Hasan, who also placed fifth in the 55 dash Monday. "He said, 'Listen, this is your shot. This is your chance. You're a senior.'

"This is just my year," Hasan said. "In football, I had 16 touchdowns. Now I'm in the books for both sports."

Hasan was one of four Washington County state champions Monday.

Boonsboro senior Sarah Johnson won the girls shot put for the second straight year, while Williamsport sophomore Tracey Forsythe and Clear Spring senior Dustin Adams swept the 3,200 titles.

Johnson came from behind to edge Century's Auriel Reeser by a quarter of an inch, unleashing a personal-best throw of 34 feet, 1 inch for the victory.

"I thought I was done for," Johnson said. "I wasn't really expecting to beat her, but then I threw 34-1 and I was like, 'Oh, my gosh.'"

Johnson's previous best was 34-0, which came outdoors. Her best throw this indoor season was 32-10, which placed her third in the West region.

"I had no confidence at all," Johnson said. "I wasn't expecting to get first today. I was thinking third or fourth.

"I didn't think I had a PR in me today, but I was hoping."

She easily won last year's state title with a throw of 32-5 3/4.

"This is a lot better than last year," she said. "I really feel like I earned it. Last year, I didn't feel like I had any competition."

Forsythe passed Poolesville's Jenny Reid just meters before the finish line to win the girls 3,200 by a fraction of a second in 12:27.09.

"I didn't think I could do it. I don't know how I did it," Forsythe said. "I just wanted to stay with her until the end, and I just wanted to go for it."

Adams pulled away from Williamsport's Mike Lilley, his season-long nemesis, in the final 400 to win the boys 3,200 in 10:02.25.

"He just took off, and I couldn't go with him," said Lilley, who finished second in 10:09.83. "I just didn't have anything left."

Adams had more on his mind than just the victory.

"I really wanted to break the 1A state record (9:49.50)," he said. "But when I came through the mile in 5-flat, I knew I wasn't going to do it. So I just let Lilley get in front of me and figured I'd outkick him at the end."

Smithsburg's Corey Centofonti finished third in the 3,200 in 10:20.33 to make it a county sweep of the medals.

Chad Brown, the reigning state champ in the 100 and 200 outdoors, had to settle for a pair of silvers Monday. The Smithsburg senior placed second in both the 55 (6.55) and 300 (35.88).

"Not exactly what I wanted, but definitely an improvement over last year," said Brown, who last year finished third in the 55 and crashed to the track and finished last in the 300.

"In the 300, that was my best time, a school record. But in the 55, I thought I could do better."

In the girls high jump, Clear Spring senior Katherine McCormick, last year's state champ in the event, finished in a three-way tie for third at 4-10.

Boonsboro sophomore Morgan Holmes - who went 4-9 to place fifth at the region meet, barely qualifying for states - shocked everyone by taking second Monday in 5-0, three inches higher than she'd ever cleared.

"I'm just so surprised," Holmes said. "I was just so happy to even go to states."

Williamsport's Jordan Atha, the defending state champ in the outdoor 1,600, appeared to be on her way to a matching gold in the indoor 1,600 - until Parkside's Amanda Wright passed her right before the finish line.

"I could hear people screaming, but I didn't have anything left," Atha said.

South Hagerstown's Trey Jones finished third in the boys shot put in 48-10 1/2. Brunswick's Ben Horner, who finished second to Jones in the region meet, won in 51-1 1/4.

"I could have done better, but it was all right," Jones said. "I have to settle with it. It's over."

Boonsboro's Aaron Hauber placed third in the boys pole vault in 11-6 - six inches off his personal best.

"I should have gotten 12 today, but I had too soft of a pole," Hauber said. "But what matters is that they beat me."

Other medal winners included Boonsboro's Vince Van Orden, who placed third in the boys 55 hurdles (8.19), and Boonsboro's Katie Farr and Smithsburg's Anna Law, who took second (8-0) and third (7-6) in the girls pole vault.

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