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All-Area Boys Track & Field -- Lawrence explodes on scene

June 11, 2009|By ANDREW MASON

At the conclusion of the Maryland State Track & Field Championships in Baltimore last month, Billy Lawrence needed a shower.

The Smithsburg senior just reeked of natural talent.

In the final event -- the 4x400-meter relay -- Lawrence, running the third leg, received the baton in fifth place and handed it off in fourth, where the Leopards stayed.

"I was really nervous," Lawrence said. "I'd never run a 400, so I had no idea how I'd do. But I knew what was at stake."

The team he passed, Williamsport, finished fifth, as Smithsburg pulled even with the Wildcats at the top of the final team standings.

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The Leopards -- who finished second to Williamsport at the MVAL Antietam, Washington County and West region championships -- caught the Wildcats when it mattered most. The two teams finished as co-champions of Maryland Class 1A with 71 points each.

"I honestly didn't think we had a chance," Lawrence said. "But there was always a chance."

He gave them one.

Lawrence won individual state titles in the high jump and triple jump and placed second in the long jump. He is The Herald-Mail's Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year.

"When it came to the state meet, and really all of the championship meets, (Lawrence) was always checking to see how we were doing and how many points we needed," Smithsburg coach T.J. Hood said. "He bought into the team concept big time, and I'm glad to see he's getting some individual honors.

"He just wanted to score as many points as he could for the team, and he did."

What's especially remarkable about the 5-foot-10, 150-pound Lawrence is that he didn't join the track team until he was a junior, didn't start long jumping until the beginning of this spring and never triple jumped until two weeks before the state meet.

"He's just a great athlete, and he's very explosive," Hood said. "You look at him in football, he set our school record for receiving touchdowns in a season (nine) because no one could run with him. He's got speed. He could have scored in the state meet in the 100-meter dash."

Lawrence's love is jumping.

"All the jumping events are fun, so it's not really a hassle to work on them," he said. "The high jump can be nerve-racking, but the long jump and triple jump, they're just fun."

The high jump was the event in which Lawrence really shined. He won the state title with a leap of 6 feet, 8 inches to equal a 34-year-old 1A meet record while breaking a 30-year-old Washington County record by 2 inches.

"What I liked most about having Billy Lawrence on the team was he did his best when it mattered most," Hood said.

Lawrence said he plans to be on a college track and field team this coming school year.

"I'm 99 percent sure I'm going to Mount St. Mary's, but I haven't officially signed anything yet," he said.

Joining Lawrence on the All-Area First Team are:

Justin Bowie, Williamsport, Hurdles

The junior was the Maryland 1A state champ in the 110 hurdles and runner-up in the 300 hurdles.

Chris Deaner, Hedgesville, Jumps/hurdles

The junior won West Virginia Class AAA state silver in three events -- the high jump, 300 hurdles and shuttle-hurdle relay.

David Eubanks, Chambersburg, Mid. distance

The senior was the area leader in the 800 (1:55.94) and 1,600 (4:25.62) and was part of the area-leading 4x400 (3:23.76) and 4x800 (8:03.51).

Michael Lilley, Williamsport, Distance

The senior was the Maryland 1A state champ in the 3,200 and runner-up in the 1,600.

Dewey McDonald, Jefferson, Jumps/sprints

The senior won West Virginia Class AAA state titles in the long jump (area-best 22-2) and 4x100.

Maurice Newby, Hedgesville, Throws

The senior was the area leader and West Virginia Class AAA state runner-up in the shot put (51-8 1/2).

Frederick Owusu-Ayim, N. Hagerstown, Sprints

The junior was the Maryland 2A state runner-up in the 100. He ranked second in the area in the 100 (10.94) and fourth in the 200 (22.51).

Jordan Reed, Hedgesville, Sprints

The senior was the West Virginia Class AAA state champ and area leader in the 100 (10.85) and 200 (21.96).

Brandon Smith, James Buchanan, Hurdles

The senior ranked first in the area in the 300 hurdles (38.74) and fifth in the 110 hurdles (15.11).

ConRoy Smith, Chambersburg, Sprints/jumps

The junior ranked second in the area in the 200 (22.15), third in the long jump (21-10) and fourth in the 100 (11.08). He also anchored the Trojans' 4x100 to a Tri-State record (42.49).

Khiry Timbers, Martinsburg, Middle distance

The junior won the West Virginia Class AAA state title in the 400 in an area-best 49.05.

Nathaniel Witter, J. Buchanan, Jumps/sprints

The junior was the area leader and PIAA Class AAA state bronze medalist in the pole vault (14-6). He also ranked No. 3 in the area in the 100 (11.04).

Cory Young, Waynesboro, Hurdles

The senior was the area leader and a PIAA Class AAA state medalist in the 110 hurdles (14.61).

All-Area Second Team



Jordan Acton, Sr., Boonsboro, Middle distance

Kavon Bailey, Sr., Chambersburg, Jumps

Tyler Barnhart, Sr., Smithsburg, Throws

Brandon Doughty, So., Jefferson, Distance

Cory Hampshire, Sr., Jefferson, Distance

Travis Hayden, Sr., Jefferson, Sprints

Casey Johnson, Sr., Jefferson, Jumps/sprints

Tyson Keith, Jr., Chambersburg, Sprints

Neb Osman, Jr., Mercersburg, Distance

Robert Shehan, Sr., McConnellsburg, Throws

Dominic Sink, Jr., North Hagerstown, Pole vault

Kyle Toms, Sr., South Hagerstown, Throws

David Wilson, Jr., Smithsburg, Distance

Marquis Woods, Jr., Hedgesville, Hurdles/jumps

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