North's 'young ones' lead the way at Heurich meet

April 13, 2008|By CHRIS CARTER

SMITHSBURG -- Perhaps North Hagerstown freshman Beth Wagner was just being humble Saturday afternoon.

Or maybe the Hubs' 4x100-meter relay team has become this good, this fast.

Wagner anchored the event as North sprinted to victory in 51.96 seconds -- one of seven wins for the first-place Hubs at the Charas Heurich Invitational track and field meet.

"That team is strong. It's fast," Wagner said of the Hubs' 4x100 squad. "I'm probably the slowest one."

Shuntia Hamilton took the lead in the opening leg of the race and the gap only got bigger as the baton passed to Renee Phillips, Katie Ritter and finally to Wagner.

Hamilton is the only upperclassman on the 4x100 team, which finished 0.36 seconds shy of the meet record.

"We're all pretty much young, but the young girls do well," said North coach Curtis Graff. "The young ones tend to be a little better."


Wagner and Phillips are first-year track members and they each won two events Saturday. Wagner matched a personal best by leaping 4-10 in the high jump and she won the 300 hurdles in 50.49.

Phillips won the 200 in 26.97 and the 400 in 1:02.88.

"I just went with the flow," Phillips said. "I'm nervous before every race, but I get pep talks from my coaches and just go."

Phillips beat out South Hagerstown freshman Kayla Freeman in the 200 and Rebels junior Rachel Loudin in the 400.

"Renee Phillips is an excellent sprinter, and for my daughter to be mentioned in the same breath is something I'm very proud of," said Kayla's father and South coach Dwayne Freeman. "Hopefully she will continue to get better and maybe challenge Renee."

Kayla Freeman took third in the 100 -- 0.74 seconds behind first-place Ritter, who finished in 12.85 -- and was part of the South's winning 4x200 relay team, which was the only victory for the fourth-place Rebels.

Whitney Garvin was the other girls champion for North, winning the triple jump with a distance of 33-2. The Hubs scored 16 points in the triple jump -- the final event of the day -- to bring their meet total to 130 points. The Hubs finished 16 points ahead of second-place Smithsburg.

"That shows that a lot of hard work has paid off," Wagner said.

The Leopards got individual wins from Shelby Layman in the 100 hurdles (17.25), Colleen Black in the long jump (14-0 1/2) and Erin Kittel in the discus throw (94-5) and a relay victory in the 4x800 (10:59.97). Natalie Mancini anchored the relay team and took the lead with about 40 meters left to edge North by 2.67.

Boonsboro placed fifth in the eight-team meet, getting titles from Katie Farr in the pole vault (8-6) and the 4x400 relay team in 4:34.80.

Paige Shirk covered 33-7 in the shot put and was the lone champion for Clear Spring.

South edged Smithsburg in the boys meet, 118 1/2 to 118.

Once again, the triple jump was the deciding factor as Devaun Bowie placed second to score eight points for the Rebels. The Leopards did not place any jumpers in the event.

"We're coming along, but there are still some challenges," Dwayne Freeman said. "The biggest thing as coach is I want to feel like we're coming through as a team. I want to see more dedication because we had two key runners that did not show up."

But those who made the trip were just enough for the Rebels, who won four events. Xavier Richardson sprung 19-3 3/4 to win the long jump, Kyle Toms won the shot put with a distance of 43-3, Jamal Kirby won the 200 in 23.45 and the Rebels took first in the 4x200 relay in 1:34.06.

Tyler Craig was the only champion for the Smithsburg, winning the 400 in 52.25, but the Leopards had seven second-place finishes to compete for the team title.

"From what I saw the effort was tremendous," said Leopards coach Ray Shriver. "No one lost focus and I'm sure when I go back and look at the results, I'll see some good times and some personal records."

Shane Lowery (5-8 high jump) and Scott Rice (13-0 pole vault) won outright titles and Jackson Phillipson tied for first in the 110 hurdles in 15.81 for Boonsboro, which was third with 82 1/2 points.

North finished seventh after Steve Wang jumped a personal best 38-3 to win the triple jump.

Brunswick's Ben Horner set a meet record in the discus with a throw of 167 feet. He set the previous record at 159-1 last year.

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