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Spread your wings and fly - Harnett makes up for 2006

May 27, 2007|By ANDREW MASON

BALTIMORE - Boonsboro senior Hayley Harnett won the Class 1A girls long jump and 800-meter run Saturday at the Maryland State Track & Field Championships, giving her seven career state titles spread over five events - if anyone's counting.

"Really?" said Harnett, who obviously wasn't counting. "That's cool."

But she has kept track of last year's title count - zero.

Harnett - who won gold in the 400 and 800 as a freshman and the 800, 800 relay and 1,600 relay as a sophomore - won nothing as a junior.

"Last year was so disappointing," she said. "I was really determined this year. I wanted to go out with a bang."

Harnett banged out a pair of school records Saturday at Morgan State University, winning the long jump with a leap of 17 feet, 7 1/2 inches and the 800 in 2:19.57.

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"I just gave it everything I had, and it worked out," she said.

Harnett was in third place in the long jump at 16-11, before soaring to the win on her last attempt in the finals.

"I was like, 'Wow,'" she said. "It came out of nowhere."

In the 800, Harnett took the lead 300 meters into the race and never looked back, winning by more than 2 seconds.

"It was really hot, and I was like, 'Oh, man,'" she said. "I just hoped everyone else was feeling it too."

Clear Spring freshman Paige Shirk also saved her best for last in the 1A girls shot put, winning by more than a foot with a personal-record 33-11 1/4 on the last throw of the event.

"I was like, 'Wow! Where did that come from?'" said Shirk, who had been tied for second with a then-PR 32-3 1/4. "I don't know where any of it came from."

She qualified for states by placing third in last week's West region meet with a 28-9.

"That was a PR by over two feet at regionals," Shirk said. "It's just all starting to come together for me. My throws are just starting to flow now."

Cayla Broadwater was Washington County's only other female champion Saturday. The Williamsport sophomore won the 1A high jump at 5-2.

"I was really relaxed today. I don't know what it was," Broadwater said. "I just came in here knowing that I was going to win. I don't know if that's cocky or what, but I just do my best under pressure."

"It's bittersweet, though," she said, because Williamsport failed to defend its team title. "But we all tried our best."

Digital Harbor won with 75 points. Williamsport was fifth with 46.

The Wildcats won their only other medals Saturday in the 400 relay, as Morgan Keplinger, Brittany Weaver, Amy Taylor and Jess Palmer teamed to place third in 51.77.

North Hagerstown freshman Katie Ritter placed third in the 2A girls 100 in 12.57.

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