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'Cats girls on their own plateau

April 21, 2007|By CHRIS CARTER / Staff Correspondent

The Williamsport girls track and field team was dominant Friday night, winning 11 of 14 events to cruise to the Harrison Lanham Rebel Relays title at South Hagerstown.

The Wildcats, the reigning Maryland Class 1A state champions, won the distance medley to open the meet and never trailed as they scored 79 points, well ahead of second-place North Hagerstown, which tallied 53 points. Smithsburg was third with 43 and South rounded out the girls field with eight points.

"At this point in the season, we're starting to try to get to the next level," Williamsport coach John Bailey said. "In track you have plateaus that you hit. We're on one right now and we want to get to the next one."

Williamsport's Jordan Atha won the Dr. James Banks 800-meter run for the fourth straight year - her time of 2:27.4 won by eight seconds Friday. The Wildcats won six of seven track events, losing only in the 400 relay.

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The Wildcats were second in the long jump and shot put.

"Our motto is to be happy, but not satisfied," Bailey said.

North won the 400 relay and the long jump, while Smithsburg won the shot put.

Middletown surged late in the evening to surpass Smithsburg for the boys championship. The Knights took over the lead when they took second in the 3,200 relay in the 12th event. Another second-place finish in the 400 relay clinched the meet and a win in the 1,600 salted the title.

The Knights had 84 points followed by Smithsburg with 71, South with 57, Williamsport 43 and North 32.

"Middletown is a tough team. They always bring a lot of quality," said Smithsburg coach Ray Shriver. "In the end, they got us with their distance depth. In this meet, you have to have a lot of depth."

Three Smithsburg throwers combined to make a mark of 125 feet, 3 1/2 inches in the shot put to edge South by half an inch. The Rebels got another impressive throw from senior Trey Jones, who threw 53 feet, 3 inches.

The Leopards got another close win by edging North by 0.2 seconds in the 800 relay. The Hubs' lead, provided by Jarell Hasan in the second leg of the race, was erased by Smithsburg sprinter Chad Brown, who anchored Smithsburg's winning time of 1:33.

"With this meet, we just look to have fun," Shriver said. "We still look to win, but a lot of it is to get ready for the big meets in May."

The Leopards finished with five wins, while South and Williamsport won two and North Hagerstown won one.

The meet was paused between the running of the Dr. James Banks 800s to honor former South coach and athletic director Harrison Lanham. The Rebels presented Lanham with a plaque, former students took time to praise his efforts and the Rebel Relays will now be known as the Harrison Lanham Rebel Relays.

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