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Rebels boys find cause to take Washington County track and field title

South Hagerstown's win is first since 1970; Williamsport girls defend crown

South Hagerstown's win is first since 1970; Williamsport girls defend crown

May 09, 2008|By ANDREW MASON

CLEAR SPRING - No matter how many events Dwayne Freeman won for South Hagerstown in the late 1980s, the Rebels were never able to win a team title at the Washington County Track & Field Championships.

"I'd score 40 points," said Freeman, who starred in the sprints and jumps. "But we'd still get like third place."

The county team title is no longer missing from his resume.

Freeman, in his third season as the Rebels' head coach, guided the boys team to its first county title since 1970 on Thursday. The Rebels edged runner-up Williamsport, 188 1/2 to 187.

"For me to be able to come back and succeed and exceed what I've done, it's a good feeling. It means a lot," Freeman said. "But it's not all about me. It's about the kids, the school and the community."

Jason Chase won the 100 (11.3) and 200 (23.0) and ran legs of two winning relays - the 4x200 (1:32.9) and 4x400 (3:33.8) - for the Rebels.

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"Our team practices hard every day," Chase said. "We have a lot of competition with each other and that makes us faster."

South had three other individual champs - Mark Lewis in the 300 hurdles (42.2), Xavier Richardson in the long jump (19-11 1/2) and Kyle Toms in the shot put (43-5 1/2). The Rebels also won the 4x100 (44.6).

"We're just trying to bring the glory back to South High and set some standards," said Ian Anderson, who anchored South's 4x100 and 4x200.

The Williamsport girls scored 220 points to successfully defend their title. North Hagerstown finished second with 165.

Cayla Broadwater led the way for the Wildcats, winning the high jump (5-2), long jump (16-7) and triple jump (35-1 1/2) and anchoring the first-place 4x200 (1:50.9). Tracey Forsythe won the 1,600 (5:45.9) and 3,200 (12:46.0) for Williamsport, while Amy Taylor won the 100 hurdles (16.3) and Jess Palmer won the 300 hurdles (48.6). The Wildcats also were victorious in the 4x400 (4:11.5).

"The kids are working hard," said Williamsport coach John Bailey, whose focus is on next week's Maryland Class 1A West region meet. "They will be back tomorrow, practicing for the region meet, and will work harder next week than they did this week. Hopefully next week we'll be ready to step it up another notch."

North's Katie Ritter was the meet's biggest star Thursday. She won the 100 (12.4), 200 (25.5) and 400 (58.7) and ran a leg of the winning 4x100 (51.4). Her times in the 100 and 200 equaled meet records and her time in the 400 is the best in the Tri-State this season. In each of those three races, her teammate Renee Phillips was a close runner-up.

"That was our plan. We knew what we had to do - 1 and 2," Ritter said. "It's good because we're competition for each other, and it makes you work harder. We're just getting better and better."

The Smithsburg girls, who finished third with 115 points, got victories from Natalie Mancini in the 800 (2:30.9), Erin Kittel in the shot put (33-4 1/4) and Colleen Black in the discus (96-4).

The other girls champ was Boonsboro's Katie Farr in the pole vault (8-6 1/2).

For the Williamsport boys, Jesse Buchman won the 400 (51.3) and 800 (2:02.6) and anchored the winning 4x800 (8:44.0), Michael Lilley won the 1,600 (4:33.8) and 3,200 (9:58.9), Sean Dixon won the high jump (6-0) and triple jump (42-4 1/4) and Justin Bowie won the 110 hurdles (15.8).

But in the end, the Wildcats had to settle for being a close second.

"I just hope it gives us a little more desire to do better," Bailey said.

The other boys champs were Smithsburg's Tyler Barnhart in the discus (126-3) and Boonsboro's Scott Rice in the pole vault (13-6).

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