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Buchman goes outside to show what's inside

February 19, 2008|By DAN KAUFFMAN

LANDOVER, Md. - Jesse Buchman's anchor leg of Williamsport's state championship-winning 3,200-meter relay on Monday can be described in one word.

Guts.

Buchman lost the lead to Digital Harbor on the first turn of the final lap, but fought back to regain it on the final turn and held on at the Prince George's Sports Complex.

Buchman won by about three meters, helping the Wildcats clock 8:25.18 and give Washington County its first state title of the day.

"He passed me on the outside, so I knew I'd have to pass him outside, I wouldn't be able to do it inside," Buchman said. "I moved out as soon as he passed me and gave it everything I had."

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"That's typical Jesse," Wildcats coach Cindy Mease said. "He's the person I want in that position. He's tough as nails and always gives 110 percent."

Justin Gardenhour ran a dead heat with Digital Harbor on the first leg, Michael Lilley and Mark Oliver opened up a 20-meter lead in the middle legs and Buchman brought the minor upset home.

"I don't think going into any race we feel like underdogs," Buchman said.

Buchman added a third place in the 500, rallying from last place after the first 300 meters to challenge for the title in a close finish. He fell at the line, pushing himself just a touch too hard.

Lilley won the 3,200 in 10:02.20 for his second title Monday and third of his career, adding to his outdoor 1,600 title last year. In doing so, he turned the tables on Catoctin's Ceth Parker, who surprised Lilley to win the West region meet.

"I thought (the region) would be a gimme, but Ceth ran a great race," Lilley said. "He threw a surge in there, I wasn't ready and he broke me. I really had to concentrate today. He came at me again and I was lucky to hold him off."

"At regionals, the goal was to qualify," Mease said, "Today was for all the marbles, and I know how much he wanted it."

Justin Bowie added a second-place finish in the 55 hurdles for Williamsport, which finished tied for third in the team standings with Glenelg with 48 points. Digital Harbor won the title with 70 points.

n Boonsboro's Scott Rice set a 1A state record in the pole vault, clearing 13 feet, 2 inches on his fist attempt.

"When I went over it, I thought I knocked it off because I hit it," Rice said. "When I saw it stayed up, I was like, 'Holy cow!'"

Rice, whose previous career best was 13 feet, defeated teammate Travis Reaux, who cleared 12 feet for second.

Robert Kornides gave Boonsboro another state champion, winning the 1A high jump by clearing 5-10 without any misses. Clear Spring's Ben Courter also cleared 5-10 but missed on his first attempt.

"I'm super excited about it," Kornides said. "We've worked really hard and put a lot of hours in at HCC, and it was all worth it."

Kornides used a practice miss as motivation.

"In practice, I missed at 5-6 and I knew I couldn't do that again," he said. "That pumped me up."

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