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Williamsport girls lose lead in final race

February 19, 2008|By DAN KAUFFMAN

LANDOVER, Md. - Two seconds.

That's all that stood between Williamsport's girls indoor track team and Washington County's first-ever state team title at Monday's Maryland State Championships at the Prince George's Sports Complex.

The Wildcats entered the final event - the 1,600-meter relay - leading Poolesville and South Carroll by six points in the Class 1A standings. But Poolesville won the 1,600 relay while Williamsport finished fifth, causing an eight-point swing as Poolesville edged the Wildcats 53-51 for the title.

Williamsport finished in 4:25.82, which was 2.04 seconds behind Western STES for the fourth-place spot that would have given the Wildcats a share of the title.

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Still, coach Cindy Mease was thrilled with the performance of the Wildcats.

"All along, everybody was talking about the guys, guys, guys," she said. "And that's awesome, too. But here, the girls sneak in, get second and almost win the championship.

"To get this close and not win is a little disappointing, but I look at the good. We've never been second, and we got it in a tough field, so that's something to celebrate. To see the kids put forth the effort they did today, that's something to celebrate."

Jordie Lord won Williamsport's only girls state title.

Lord, the top seed in the shot put, needed her final throw to overtake Smithsburg's Erin Kittel for the title. Lord's final throw went 33 feet to relegate Kittel to second place at 32 feet.

"I was really nervous about it, but it worked out real good," Lord said. "I didn't do my best until the end. I feel bad for Erin, she did really well."

Jessica Johnson finished second in both the 500 (1:09.09) and 800 (2:27.42) for the Wildcats, doing better than her seeds in both events - she was seeded third in the 500 and fourth in the 800.

"I'm so proud, not just for myself but the team," Johnson said. "I couldn't do this without my coaches and teammates. Their cheering pushes me on.

"I've done so much better than I expected. Winning would have been nice, but there's always outdoor season."

Johnson also was part of the Wildcats' second-place 3,200 relay team and the 1,600 relay team.

"Jess has not only been a great kid to work with, but her work ethic is outstanding," Mease said. "She shows a lot of leadership, and for her indoor season to end like this, I'm tickled for her."

Boonsboro's Katie Farr won the 1A pole vault title, clearing 8 feet on her second attempt.

"I pretty much knew that (won it)," Farr said. "I was the only one to clear 8 feet this season in our region. ... It was just a matter of shaking (the miss) off and not getting psyched out."

Smithsburg's Anna Law and Erika Gerhold took second and third, each clearing 7-6.

North Hagerstown's Katie Ritter suffered perhaps the most agonizing loss of the day, finishing second in the Class 2A 55 dash by 0.01 seconds. Angela Humpbert of Hammond won in 7.41 seconds and Ritter clocked 7.42.

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