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Flying start

Williamsport girls start strong as county wins four events

Williamsport girls start strong as county wins four events

May 25, 2007|by ANDREW MASON

BALTIMORE - Don't question the confidence of the Williamsport girls track and field team.

The Wildcats began their Class 1A title defense at the Maryland state championships Thursday by winning the first event on the track at Morgan State University. Williamsport's Jess Johnson, Tracey Forsythe, Lexi Bryan and Jordan Atha teamed to win the 3,200-meter relay in 10:02.02.

"Hopefully, this will set the pace for us," Bryan said.

"What do you mean 'hopefully?' It will," Johnson said. "We're off to a good start, and it's only going to get better."

Three other Washington County athletes won titles Thursday as the championships began for classes 1A and 2A. Classes 3A and 4A begin today, and all four classes conclude Saturday.

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South Hagerstown senior Trey Jones won the 2A boys shot put for the second straight year with a throw of 49 feet, 3 1/2 inches; Clear Spring senior Dustin Adams won the 1A boys 3,200 in a personal-best 9:52.35; and senior Jamal Campbell won the 1A boys long jump with a leap of 21-1 for reigning state champion Smithsburg.

"Bittersweet" was how Jones described his victory.

"I'm happy that I won, but it would have been nice to throw a lot farther," said Jones, who never trailed Thursday and posted his winning mark on his second throw of the finals. "I think I was more excited about winning last year."

Last year, Jones won with a then-personal-record throw of 50-5 3/4. After improving his PR to 55-2 earlier this season, he had big hopes for states.

"The goal was to win, but I also wanted to PR," Jones said. "I felt good on every throw, form-wise. I just wasn't quick enough and explosive enough. But I'll take the win."

Adams capped off his senior year in fitting fashion, after leading Clear Spring to a state team title in cross country in the fall and winning the 2A-1A 3,200 title in indoor track in the winter.

"It's a good way to go out," he said. "It's cool."

Adams kept his cool for most of the race, taking the lead for the first time with 300 meters left and then pouring it on. Northern Garrett's Ryan Bowser, who came from behind to edge Adams at the line in the 3,200 at last week's West region meet, was the runner-up Thursday in 9:57.57.

"At regionals, I was like, 'Where'd he come from?'" Adams said. "I was afraid Bowser would outkick me again. All I kept thinking was, 'Here he comes.'"

And Adams went.

Campbell, who outjumped runner-up Eric Robison of Allegany by 6 inches, hopes to pick up Saturday where he left off Thursday.

"Hopefully I can keep this going. I'm feeling pretty confident," said Campbell, who still has the 110 hurdles, 300 hurdles and triple jump left on his agenda. "I just want to get as many points as possible for the team."

The Smithsburg boys are leading the team race with 33 points through seven of the 18 events. Brunswick, the runner-up to the Leopards last year, is in second with 26.

Smithsburg also got top-three, medal-winning places Thursday from Leon Souders, who was second in the pole vault at 12-6, and Matt Plumley, Josh Edwards, Tyler Craig and Chad Brown, who teamed to take third in the 800 relay (1:32.45).

Brown, who will defend his 100 and 200 titles Saturday, was in eighth place when he received the baton as the anchor leg.

Through six events, the Williamsport girls are in second place with 22 points, trailing Poolesville by four.

Several other county athletes captured medals.

For the Boonsboro girls, Hayley Harnett, Lauren Hensley, Kristen Byers and Kyle Lefler placed second in the 1A 3,200 relay (10:08.78) and Katie Farr was the runner-up in the pole vault (9-0).

Erin Kittel placed third in the 1A girls discus (102-2) for Smithsburg.

For the Williamsport boys, Jesse Buchman, Justin Gardenhour, Mike Lilley and Justin Cole took second in the 1A 3,200 relay (8:14.63) and Sean Dixon was second in the high jump (6-4).

Boonsboro's Scott Rice placed third in the 1A boys pole vault (11-6).

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