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Wildcats boys turn in greyhound performance to win West title

Wildcats boys turn in greyhound performance to win West title

February 05, 2008|By ANDREW MASON

While Super Bowl XLII was one for the ages, Williamsport indoor track coach Cindy Mease can't stop thinking about Super Bowl XL.

"Pittsburgh road The Bus to the Super Bowl," she said. "We are riding the bus to states. We have a charter bus to fill."

That's why Mease's top priority Monday evening at the Maryland Class 1A West championships at Hagerstown Community College was to qualify as many athletes as possible for the state meet Feb. 18 in Landover, Md.

"I'd rather have a full bus than a region title," Mease said.

She accomplished both as the Williamsport boys surged from third to first place in the team standings over the final two events -- the 800-meter run and 1,600 relay. The Wildcats finished with 96 points, while Smithsburg was the runner-up with 87. Boonsboro, which led through 11 of the 13 events, was third with 81.


"The 800 is definitely where we turn meets around," said Williamsport's Jesse Buchman, who clearly had more than just qualifying for states in his mind when he lined up for the race. "Every time I run a race, I want to win."

Buchman won the 800 in 2:09.71 and teammate Justin Gardenhour took second in 2:09.81 to put the Wildcats in front for good. Williamsport capped the night by winning the 1,600 relay (3:47.67), which Buchman anchored for his fourth blue ribbon of the meet.

"Maybe we can go after a team title at states," said Buchman, who also won the 500 (1:12.42) and anchored the winning 3,200 relay (8:49.89).

The Williamsport boys also got a victory from Justin Bowie in the 55 hurdles (8.30).

Smithsburg's Tyler Craig won the 300 (37.40) and ran a leg of the 800 relay, which the Leopards won in 1:40.19 from the slow heat.

The Boonsboro boys had three champs -- Justin Garver in the 55 (7.09), Robert Kornides in the high jump (5-9 1/2) and Scott Rice in the pole vault (12-6).

The Warriors took the top two spots in the pole vault as Rice prevailed over teammate Travis Reaux in a jumpoff. The pair also went 1-2 at the Washington County and MVAL Antietam championships, splitting the wins.

"They're getting there. They're really improving," said Boonsboro coach Becky Walter, who was an All-American pole vaulter for HCC. "Once you clear 11-6 and 12 feet, you don't see too many vaulters able to do that in the state of Maryland."

Another 1-2 finish on Feb. 18 is the goal.

"They stand a very good chance of doing it," Walter said.

The Poolesville girls won eight of 13 events and defended their region title with 127 points. Williamsport was second with 99, and Smithsburg was third with 65.

Individual champs included Boonsboro's Katie Farr in the pole vault (7-5) and Williamsport's Jess Johnson in the 500 (1:21.88) and Jordie Lord in the shot put (33-3 1/4).

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