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Goal oriented

State qualifiers set sights on special results

State qualifiers set sights on special results

May 20, 2009|By ANDREW MASON

Michael Lilley enters the Maryland State Track & Field Championships as the two-time defending champion in the Class 1A boys 1,600-meter run.

But the Williamsport senior is aiming for much more than just a third straight title in that event.

Sure, his sights are set on three -- but that's three in the same meet.

"I definitely want three titles," said Lilley, who will compete in the 4x800 relay and 3,200 today, when the championships begin at Morgan State University in Baltimore. "And I want at least one 1A record to leave my mark. I don't care what it's in.

"And I want to do whatever I can to help our boys and girls win team titles. If that happens, it will be the perfect day."

The Wildcats have been perfect so far this month, sweeping the boys and girls team titles at the MVAL Antietam, Washington County and West region championships.

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The Williamsport girls are the defending state champs, while the boys last won it all in 1999.

Cayla Broadwater won the girls high, long and triple jumps at last year's state meet, leading the Wildcats to the team title. She'll be counted on to come through in the clutch again, and she knows it.

"I like the pressure," said Broadwater, who's aiming for personal records in all three jumps. "I want to leave knowing I gave it everything I had. Being my senior year, it's that much more important that I finish strong and help the team to finish strong."

Williamsport junior Justin Bowie is the defending state champ in the boys 110 hurdles. The Williamsport girls, who set the Washington County record in the 4x400 relay at 4:04.49 earlier this season, are the defending champs in that event.

Clear Spring junior Paige Shirk won a 1A title in the girls shot put as a freshman and a title in the discus last year.

"I'd like to win them both this time," she said.

If Shirk doesn't win the shot put, it will be a shocker. She has broken the Tri-State record in that event twice this year, most recently with her winning throw of 43 feet, 8 1/2 inches at last week's West region meet.

The 1A meet record is 38-11.

"In shot put, my bigger goal is to (get a personal record) because I'm not really worried about someone coming up and beating me," Shirk said. "But you never know.

"I'll have some competition in the discus, so my main goal there is just to come out on top."

Smithsburg senior Billy Lawrence is a title contender in the boys high, long and triple jumps. And even though the Smithsburg boys team has finished second to Williamsport three times this month, he said the Leopards should not be dismissed.

"It's going to be cool to see what happens at states," Lawrence said, "because people are going to be taking points from each other."

In Class 2A, North Hagerstown junior Katie Ritter will be in pursuit of her first state title. She was second in the 400 and third in the 100 and 200 last year.

While Ritter won all three at last week's West region meet, she said she likes her chances in the 400 the best at states.

"There are a lot of fast girls, but I think my endurance could help me win," she said.

The state championships begin today for classes 1A and 2A, while classes 3A and 4A begin Friday. The meet concludes for everyone Saturday.

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