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Like sister, like brother

June 08, 2007|by ANDREW MASON

Jamal Campbell speaks of his fellow seniors on Smithsburg's boys track and field team as if they were brothers.

Campbell, who led the Leopards to their second straight state title at the Maryland Class 1A championships on Memorial Day weekend, owes it all to his sister.

"She's pretty much the one who taught me how to hurdle in the beginning," said Campbell of his older sister, Corina, a state champion hurdler for Smithsburg in 2004. "She's one of my biggest influences. I probably never would have run track if not for her."

Campbell joined his sister as a high-hurdles state champ last month, while also winning state titles in the long jump and triple jump and placing second in the 300 intermediate hurdles.

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"I guess you can call it a dream," he said. "It was a great blessing."

It was a May to remember for Campbell, who earned The Herald-Mail's 2007 All-Area and All-Washington County Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year honors. He won all four of his events at the MVAL Antietam Conference, Washington County and West region championships, giving him 15 golds and one silver for the month.

"When you have a track stud like that, you try to get all the points you can out of him," said Smithsburg coach Ray Shriver, whose boys team went undefeated last month. "We tried to maximize Jamal, and he had a monster May."

Campbell left last year's state meet with four bronze medals.

"I thought last year I should have won at least a couple of them, or at least gotten second," he said. "This year, I had to go all out."

His team depended on him more than ever this year.

"Last year, it was a really big deal because we hadn't won states in quite a while (since 1978)," Campbell said. "And this year, we were like, 'We have to maintain for at least one more year.'

"Sometimes it seemed like a lot of pressure."

Few have handled it the way Campbell did.

"He's very laid back, which I think helps him," Shriver said. "He never gets too worked up about anything. A lot of kids get worried, and they get tight at big meets. But Jamal's one of the coolest kids I've ever been around.

"When you can relax, you can always do so much better."

Campbell finished the season ranked No. 1 in the Tri-State in the 110 hurdles (14.89 seconds), No. 2 in the 300 hurdles (40.24), No. 2 in the triple jump (44-0 3/4) and No. 5 in the long jump (21-3).

"The biggest thing in his favor is just that he's so talented," Shriver said. "We could put him in any event, and he'd succeed. He's just very blessed physically with a lot of natural track talent."

Campbell is set to receive a partial scholarship to compete at the NCAA Division I level for Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C. He said he chose Winthrop over Mount St. Mary's, High Point and California (Pa.).

"They have good hurdlers, people who are nationally ranked," he said. "I figured I could go there and get better."

Joining Campbell on the All-Area First Team are:

Chad Brown, Smithsburg: Senior won his third straight Maryland Class 1A state title in the 100 and placed third in the 200 and fourth in the 400 for the state-champion Leopards. He set the Washington County record in the 100 with an area-leading 10.74.

Everett Chapman, Chambersburg: Senior was the Tri-State leader in the 300 hurdles (40.03) and No. 2 in the 110 hurdles (15.19).

Tappah Dinall, Chambersburg: Senior won the PIAA District 3-AAA title in the shot put with an area-best throw of 56-7.

Jordan Exeter, Mercersburg: Senior won Pennsylvania Independent School and Mid-Atlantic Prep League titles in the 100 and 200.

Corey Grove, Chambersburg: Senior was the area leader in the 800 (1:56.79) and 3,200 (9:25.14) and anchored the Trojans' 3,200 relay to a Tri-State record (7:50.70).

Jarell Hasan, North Hagerstown: Senior capped his first year of track by winning Maryland Class 2A state titles in the 100 and 200. He was the area leader in the 200 (21.70).

Trey Jones, South Hagerstown: Senior won his second straight Maryland Class 2A state title in the shot put. He had a season-best throw of 55-2.

Dion Lehman, James Buchanan: Senior placed fourth in the long jump at the PIAA Class AAA state championships with an area-leading leap of 22-10 1/4.

Dewey McDonald, Jefferson: Sophomore won West Virginia Class AAA state titles in the high jump and 400 relay.

Matthew Porter, Martinsburg: Senior was the West Virginia Class AAA state champion in the discus and the area leader in the event (162-6).

Terrell Rickard, Waynesboro: Junior became Waynesboro's first PIAA Class AAA state champion in 14 years, winning the high jump with an area-best leap of 6-9. He was also the Tri-State leader in the 400 (49.86).

Devin Sims, Waynesboro: Senior captured the eighth-place medal in the triple jump at the PIAA Class AAA state championships with an area-leading leap of 45-7 1/4.

Chris Snyder, McConnellsburg: Senior placed second in the 1,600 at the PIAA Class AA state championships in an area-leading 4:20.61.




All-Area Second Team

Dustin Adams, Sr., Clear Springs - distance

Robin Dean, Sr., Hedgesville - hurdles/jumps

Sean Dixon, Jr., Williamsport - jumps

David Eubanks, So., Chambersburg - distance

James Finucane, Jr., Mercersburg - distance

Michael Lilley, So., Williamsport - distance

Aaron McKenzie, Jr., Waynesboro - throws

Brian Ness, Sr., Berkeley Springs - hurdles/jumps

Armond Perez, Jr., Chambersburg - jumps/javelin

Jordan Reed, So., Hedgesville - sprints

Channon Riggs, Sr., Chambersburg - middle distance

Lenny Roach, So., Berkeley Springs - distance

Will Roberts, Sr., Hedgesville - pole vault

Leon Souders, Sr., Smithsburg - pole vault

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