Buchman's actions override words

January 12, 2008|By ANDREW MASON

Jesse Buchman lost his cool, but not his fire Friday night at the fifth annual MVAL Antietam Indoor Track & Field Championships at Hagerstown Community College.

The Williamsport junior won the 500-meter dash, but was disqualified for an unsportsmanlike remark he made at the finish line, costing the Wildcats valuable team points in their quest to knock off two-time defending champ Smithsburg.

"I don't even remember what I said, actually. When you have the adrenaline flowing, things just come out, you know," Buchman said. "I should have kept my cool a little better, but I got bumped by (Smithsburg's Tyler Craig, the runner-up and eventual winner), and I was really frustrated."

Buchman more than redeemed himself in the 800 - the meet's next-to-last event - by winning the race in 2:09.99 to clinch the Williamsport boys team's first conference title since 2004. Justin Gardenhour, his teammate, finished second in 2:10.31 for the exclamation point.


"I was upset. I had to win it. We needed it, and Smithsburg had three guys in the race," Buchman said. "Shorty (Gardenhour) and I, we wanted to go 1-2. That was the goal."

Buchman also anchored the winning 3,200 relay (9:01.3) and placed third in the high jump (5 feet, 8 inches) for the Wildcats, who outscored the runner-up Leopards, 115-86. Boonsboro was third with 69.

"We've been close in past years, but this year we finally put it all together," Buchman said. "The sprinters really stepped up."

So did Williamsport distance star Michael Lilley, who dominated in the 1,600 (4:36.59) and 3,200 (10:05.09), winning both by comfortable margins.

"It was a good day. I came in not really shooting for any records, just trying for the wins," Lilley said. "The school record in the 1,600 is 4:35 and the meet record is 10:04, so I missed them both by a second. Now that I realize that, I'm sure I could have thrown in a little surge in both races.

"But the main goal was to win both and win as a team."

The Williamsport boys made it a clean sweep of the relays, adding wins in the 4x200 (1:40.45) and 4x400 (3:56.05), and also got individual victories from Colt Linton in the 55 (7.02) and Justin Bowie in the 55 hurdles (8.21).

The Williamsport girls team fell short in capturing one for the thumb.

Antietam newcomer South Carroll won with 140 points - 38 more than the runner-up Wildcats, who entered the meet as the four-time defending champs. Smithsburg was third with 65.

"The most important thing for us is states," Williamsport senior Jess Johnson said. "We still have our eyes on the prize. We're only going to get better from here."

That might be a scary thought for Johnson's competition in the middle distances. Johnson blasted the 500 in a meet-record 1:21.58, winning by nearly five seconds, and came back to win the 800 in 2:38.66, waiting until the final lap to take the lead.

"It's extremely difficult to run against the clock with no one there, but I knew I had to take it out if I wanted to get the time I wanted," said Johnson of the 500. "In the 800, it was more strategic. I just figured I'd tail whoever was in the lead and just start my kick on the last lap."

The Williamsport girls also got a victory from Amy Taylor in the 55 hurdles (9.27).

Boonsboro dominated vertically.

For the Warriors, Katie Farr and Travis Reaux won the girls and boys pole vaults in 8-0 and 12-0, and Morgan Holmes and Robert Kornides won the girls and boys high jumps in 4-11 and 6-0.

"We worked pretty hard to be able to do that. Our coaches are so motivating," said Kornides, who broke the meet record he equaled last year by 2 inches. "I just love to high jump."

Craig won the 300 (37.79) to finish as a double winner for the Smithsburg boys, and Erin Kittel won the shot put (31-8 1/4) for the Smithsburg girls.

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