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That special feeling

Leopards boys, Wildcats girls experience victory

Leopards boys, Wildcats girls experience victory

January 31, 2009|By ANDREW MASON

Smithsburg senior Tyler Craig said there's nothing like beating Williamsport.

"Williamsport has a really strong team," he said. "Any time you beat Williamsport in any race, it's just the greatest feeling in the world."

But to beat Williamsport in the final race of the day to lift Smithsburg to the team title, well ... Craig said that "was just amazing."

Craig anchored the Leopards' 4x400-meter relay to a split-second victory over Williamsport in 3:43.85 as Smithsburg edged the Wildcats 99-96 for the title Saturday at the Maryland Class 1A West Indoor Track Championships at Hagerstown Community College.

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"Williamsport brings out the best in us, and I think we bring out the best in them," said Smithsburg coach Ray Shriver, whose boys finished second to the Wildcats at both the MVAL Antietam and Washington County championships earlier this season. "It's a nice rivalry. Both teams are so evenly matched.

"Who knows what will happen in two weeks (at the state meet)?"

The Williamsport girls held off defending state champ Poolesville 139-104 for the title. The Falcons edged the Wildcats 53-51 at last year's state meet.

"It's a nice win, a great win. Poolesville's a good team," Williamsport coach John Bailey said. "But right now I'm feeling worse for the boys than better for the girls."

Probably no one felt worse than Boonsboro senior Scott Rice did Saturday.

Rice, the greatest pole vaulter in the history of both Washington County and Maryland Class 1A, shockingly did not qualify for states in the event and will be unable to defend his title.

Rice, who was seeded first at 14 feet, entered the event at 12 feet and failed on all three of his attempts at the height. His teammate, Eddie Seabright, won at 11-0.

He blamed it on a new pole, on missed practice time because of inclement weather and, basically, on having "just a really bad day."

"I don't know, I don't really know. I'm still kind of like soaking it in," Rice said. "I was like three feet over it, but I just kept coming down on top of it.

"It just sucks so bad, man."

But his indoor season in the pole vault is not over.

"He qualified for Nike Nationals," Boonsboro coach Becky Walter said. "He's going to nationals, but he can't go to states because of one bad day."

Smithsburg's Zach Cross, who said he "was just hoping to go to states," turned in a career day to help lead his team to the title. Cross won the 500 (1:13.32), 800 (2:07.74) and ran a leg of the clinching 4x400.

Craig added a victory in the 300 (38.13) for the Leopards and twice was the runner-up to a teammate -- Cross in the 500 and Billy Lawrence in the high jump.

For the Williamsport boys, Justin Bowie won the 55 hurdles (8.06) and Michael Lilley won the 3,200 (10:07.00) and anchored the winning 4x800 (8:43.82).

Cory Horton won the 1,600 in 4:53.71 for Clear Spring, and Boonsboro won the 4x200 in 1:37.35.

The Williamsport girls won all three relays -- the 4x200 (1:53.24), 4x400 (4:21.15) and 4x800 (10:26.46) -- and got individual victories from Amy Taylor in the 500 (1:23.86), Morgan Keplinger in the 800 (2:32.83) and Tracey Forsythe in the 3,200 (12:17.34).

Other champions included Smithsburg's Erika Gerhold in the pole vault (9-0) and Clear Spring's Paige Shirk in the shot put (38-0 1/2).

Prep Indoor Track
Md. 1A West Championships
at Hagerstown Community College
Girls results

Teams: 1. Williamsport 139; 2. Poolesville 104; 3. Smithsburg 36; 4. Boonsboro 34; 5. Catoctin 26; 6. Brunswick, Southern Garrett 22; 8. Clear Spring 20.

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