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Injuries sideline Berkeley Springs' Buser for state meet

May 16, 2008|By ANDREW MASON

Rachel Buser has always been one of the runners to watch at big high school meets.

This weekend at the West Virginia State Track & Field Championships in Charleston, watching is all the Berkeley Springs senior will be able to do.

Buser -- an eight-time Class AA state champ in track and a four-time Class AA-A state champ in cross country -- is injured and unable to compete. Her splendid prep career is over.

"It's really upsetting, but I can't do anything about it," she said.

Buser recently was diagnosed with four stress fractures -- one on each side of her pubic rami and one in each femur. For most of the spring, she said she thought it was just a pulled groin that was causing her discomfort and slowing her down.

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"My times were not good at all, and they kept getting worse," she said. "We went a couple months without knowing what the problem was, so it's nice to at least know what it is."

Several weeks of rest are what the doctors have ordered.

"They say I'll be stronger when I recover," said Buser, who has signed with NCAA Division I Eastern Kentucky. "I have four more years of college at the top level, so I'm excited."

As a freshman, Buser won state track titles in the 800-, 1,600- and 3,200-meter runs and the 4x800 relay. She successfully defended her titles in the 1,600 and 3,200 as a sophomore and junior. In cross country, she became only the second girl in West Virginia history to win four state crowns.

Injured or not, she had nothing left to prove this spring.

"I didn't want to compete injured. There really would have been no point," she said. "It's really hard watching everyone run, but ... I feel pretty good about what's happened the last three or four years."

The state meet begins today and concludes Saturday.

While the Berkeley Springs girls lost half of their 1-2 punch, they still have senior Meghan Mock.

Mock -- last year's Herald-Mail Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year -- is the reigning state champ in the 300 hurdles, high jump and long jump. This weekend, she is seeded first in the 300 hurdles (47.08 seconds) and long jump (17 feet, 5 inches) and second in the 100 hurdles (15.68) and high jump (5-2) -- based on regional results.

In Class AAA girls, Jefferson juniors Chelsea Flinchum (12.56) and Brittany Carr (12.59) are seeded first and second in the 100 and each runs a leg of the Cougars' top-seeded 4x200 (1:47.08). Carr is the reigning state champ in the 100.

In Class AAA boys, Hedgesville junior Jordan Reed is seeded first in the 100 (10.69), Martinsburg senior Dustin Peters is first in the discus (153-1) and Musselman is first in the 4x800 (8:16.40). Jefferson junior Dewey McDonald, the defending state champ in the high jump, only finished fifth in the region, but automatically qualified with his jump of 6-2. Hedgesville sophomore Chris Deaner is tied at the top at 6-6.

Berkeley Springs junior Lenny Roach is seeded first in the Class AA boys 800 (2:01.10).

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