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The numbers add up for Bailey

ALL-AREA COACH:

June 19, 2008|By ANDREW MASON

With one event left at the Maryland State Track & Field Championships last month in Baltimore, Williamsport coach John Bailey had only one thing on his mind -- that last event, the high jump.

What Bailey didn't know was that his girls were in second place in the Class 1A team standings, trailing Western Tech by eight points. He'd find out soon enough.

"I don't keep scores as the meets are run. I've never done that," Bailey said. "I'm more intent on watching the kids and seeing how they do, and then seeing how things work out afterwards.

"If the kids succeed individually, things will work out."

Sure enough, Williamsport's Cayla Broadwater won the high jump and the Wildcats prevailed 66-64 over Western Tech for their second state title in Bailey's five years at the helm.

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"(Bailey) has high expectations," Broadwater said. "He expects a lot out of us, and I think that's why we perform the way we do."

Bailey is The Herald-Mail's 2008 All-Area and All-Washington County Girls Track & Field Coach of the Year.

His girls team was perfect in May, also winning titles at the MVAL Antietam, Washington County and West region meets. His boys were regional champions.

"I was as proud of the boys as I was of the girls. They slipped a little bit at the state meet (finishing fourth), but they've made strides," Bailey said. "The success of the whole team, boys and girls, is what we are working for."

Bailey can't stress "we" enough, as he extends much of the credit for Williamsport's success to his coaching staff.

"There are so many good people helping me," he said of assistant coaches Cindy Mease, Mike Taylor, Taylor Oliver, Lily Prazencia and Teresa Weaver. "I'd put them up against anybody. I used to say anybody in the state, but now I'll say anybody anywhere.

"I just get to be the ringleader."

He gets the most out of everyone when it counts.

"I'm always telling the kids to be happy, but not to be satisfied, not until the end of May," Bailey said.

"But what makes them do so well is that they're not satisfied. Those juniors will come back next year and think about who beat them in a race, and they'll try not to let that happen again."

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