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Track and Field: Rice wants to soar to more records

April 11, 2008|By ANDREW MASON

The sky might be the only limit for Scott Rice.

The Boonsboro junior set a school record in the pole vault Wednesday, clearing 13 feet, 7 inches in a dual meet at Walkersville. The previous Boonsboro record was 13-6, set by Pete Frey in 2006.

"We switched him onto a new pole Tuesday at practice - a little bit of a stiffer pole - and it gave him more power in the air," said Boonsboro coach Becky Walker, who was an All-American pole vaulter for Hagerstown Community College. "He attempted 14 feet (Wednesday). He missed, but he was very close.

"It's just amazing the improvement he's made in just a little amount of time. Indoors last year, he was jumping 9-6."

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By the end of outdoors last year, Rice was a Maryland Class 1A bronze medalist with a personal best of 11-6.

By the end of indoors this year, he was a state champion and the owner of the 1A indoor state record (13-2).

This past Saturday, Rice cleared 12-9 to set a meet record at the Dwight Scott Invitational. At the time, it was his best performance outdoors.

"I fully expect him to be over 14 by the end of the season," Walter said. "That's his big goal. He can possibly get it Saturday at the Smithsburg Invitational. We're going to try him on a longer pole."

The Washington County record is 14-0, set by North Hagerstown's David Miller in 2001. The Tri-State record is 14-8, set by Chambersburg's Pete Johncour in 1994.

"(Rice) is not aware of what those records are," Walter said.

But they might be his one day.

"I see nothing holding him back," Walter said. "He's got great potential, great speed and he's always in the weight room, always working.

"He's doing great now. Just imagine what another year will do for him. I fully expect some colleges to come after him."

· For a complete list of the Tri-State and Washington County boys and girls track and field records, go to www.herald-mail.com/sports/blogs/mason/?p=57.

· Call it The Herald-Mail cover jinx.

Williamsport senior Jess Johnson was featured in the newspaper as the Washington County Girls Indoor Track Athlete of the Year on March 27 - which also was her first day out with a hamstring injury.

The good news is that Johnson, a middle distance standout, is returning to form. After missing two meets, she competed in the 1,600 and 4x800 in a low-key meet Wednesday at Catoctin.

"She's trying not to overdue it, and that's hard for her because she's such a hard worker," said Williamsport coach John Bailey, who's not sure when he will cut her loose to run an open 400 or 800.

"We're babying it along a little bit, not wanting it to turn into anything bigger. She's champing at the bit. She's ready to go."

· The Jefferson girls team finished second to Urbana at the Dwight Scott Invitational.

The Cougars would probably like another crack at the Hawks next month.

"You have to take into consideration indoor track," Jefferson girls coach John Serian said Saturday. "In West Virginia, we're not privy to it, so it takes our kids a little while to get going."

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